Women’s History Month: Famous Firsts

In 1978 'Women’s History Week' was first celebrated in Sonoma County, California. Three years later, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared 'Women’s History Month.' Every year the contributions women made in the fields of health and science, medicine, literature, economics, politics and sports are recognized around the country.

See below as www.nyliberty.com explores some of these famous firsts in women’s history, including historic moments in the history of women's basketball.

WOMEN'S HISTORY FIRSTS:
~ 1707 – Henrietta Johnston begins to work as a portrait artist in Charles Town (Charleston, SC). She is the first known professional artist in America.
~ 1792 – Suzanne Vaillande appears in The Bird Catcher, in New York, the first ballet presented in the U.S. She was the first woman to work as a choreographer and set designer in the United States.
~ 1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell receives her MD degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, NY, becoming the first woman with a medical degree.
~ 1872 – Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers.
~ 1920 – Women receive the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.
~ 1926 – American Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
~ 1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
~ 1967 – Althea Gibson is the first African – American tennis player to win a singles title at Wimbledon.
~ 1972 – The federal law, Title IX, is passed ensuring equal funding for both male and female sports in public schools.
~ 1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan, making her its firsts woman justice.
~ 1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.
~ 1993 – Janet Reno becomes the first women U.S. attorney general. Toni Morrison is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
~ 1997 – Madeleine Albright is sworn in as the U.S. Secretary of State. She is the first woman in this position and the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. government.
~ 2000 – Hillary Clinton becomes the First Lady to be elected to public office, as U.S. Senator for New York.
~ 2005 – Condoleezza Rice becomes the first African – American female Secretary of State.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FIRSTS:
~ 1892 – Senda Berenson adapts basketball rules for women and introduces the game at Smith College in Massachusetts.
~ 1896 – The first intercollegiate game was played between Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley, which Stanford won.
~ 1926 – The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) sponsors the first ever national women’s basketball championship.
~ 1953 – USA Women’s Basketball team wins the gold in the first world championships.
~ 1955 – USA Women’s Basketball team played in first Pan American games basketball competition and won the gold medal.
~ 1971 – Five player full court game and 30 second clock becomes official in the women’s game.
~ 1977 – Lucy Harris became the first woman to be drafted by a NBA team, New Orleans Jazz.
~ 1978 – Carol Blazejowski named inaugural recipient of the Wade Trophy. The Wade Trophy, considered the heisman of women’s college basketball, is named after legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach Lily Margaret Wade and honors the year’s best college basketball player.
~ 1982 – First NCAA National Championship is held in which Louisiana Tech is named champion.
~ 1984 – West Virginia’s Georgeann Wells registers the first dunk in women’s college basketball.
~ 1985 – Olympian Lynette Woodward becomes the first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
~ 1986 – Nancy Lieberman becomes the first woman to play in a men’s professional league when she joins the USBL’s Springfield Fame.
~ 1995 – Rebecca Lobo is named Associated Press Female Athlete of the year.
~ 1996 – The American Basketball League (ABL) tips off its inaugural season.
~ 1997 – The inaugural Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) season begins.
~ 2001 – Southwest Missouri State's Jackie Stiles establishes a new NCAA Division 1 scoring mark.