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Women's Rights Movement 1848-1969
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The First-Ever Women's Convention: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott assembled 300 men & women to sign the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls, New York.
The 14th Amendment is passed through Congress
Arabella Mansfield becomes the first woman lawyer in Iowa.
Ada H. Kepley is the first woman in the United States to graduate from law school.
Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first female presidential candidate in the U.S.
Female federal employees guaranteed equal pay for equal work under the law
Susan B. Anthony votes to test whether the 14th Amendment would guarantee the right for women to vote. She was convicted for "unlawful voting."
Supreme Court rules that a state has the right to exclude a married woman from practicing law.
Susanna Medora Salter becomes the first woman elected mayor of an American town in Argonia, Kansas.
Wyoming becomes the first state to grant women the right to vote in ALL elections.
Every state now has passed legislation granting married women the right to keep their own wages and property in their name.
In Montana, Jeannete Rankin is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Maragret Sanger, two years after being a founder of and opening a birth control clinic (Planned Parenthood in 1942) in Brooklyn, New York wins her suit in NY to allow doctors to advise their married patients about birth control for health purposes.
The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, ensuring the right of women to vote
The first version of an Equal Rights Amendment is introduced. It says, "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction."
Hattie Wyatt Caraway from Arkansas becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate
The National Recovery Act forbids more than one family member from holding a government job, resulting in many women losing their jobs.
Frances Perkins becomes the first female cabinet member, appointed Secreatary of Labor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Jerrie Cobb is the first woman to undergo astronaut testing. NASA however, cancels the women's program in 1963.
The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin, or sex of the worker.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes prohibiting sex discrimination in employment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commision is created.
The Supreme Court establishes the right of married couples to use contraception.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs an executive order prohibiting sex discrimination by government contractors and requiring affirmative action plans for hiring women.
California adopts the nation's first "no fault" divorce law, allowing divorce by mutual consent.
Wellesley College graduate Hillary Clinton becomes the first student to address the graduating class at commencement.
First American woman, Sally Ride, is sent into space.
First woman in space. Russian woman Valentina Tereshkova spends 3 days in space in her capsule, Vostok 6
Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist, women's rights activist and former slave, delivers the famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.
Alice Paul and Lucy Burns form the Congressional Union to work toward a federal amendment that would give women the vote. The group later is renamed the National Women's Party. Members picket the White House and in 1917 are arrested; some go on hunger strikes and are force-fed.
The Equal Rights Amendment, written by Alice Paul, first is presented to Congress.
Millions of women lose their jobs when men return from World War II, though surveys show 80% want to keep working.
In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court overturns one of the last state laws prohibiting the prescription or use of contraceptives by married couples.
In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court rules that the right to privacy includes an unmarried person's right to use contraceptives.
In Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the Supreme Court declares that the Constitution protects women's right to terminate an early pregnancy, thus making abortion legal.
Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin, which rapidly becomes a bestseller.
The successful vulcanization of rubber provides women with reliable condoms for the first time. The birth rate in the United States continues its downward, century-long spiral. By the late 1900s, women will raise an average of only two to three children, in contrast to the five or six children they raised at the beginning of the century.
The Fifteenth Amendment enfranchises black men. NWSA refuses to work for its ratification, arguing, instead, that it be "scrapped" in favor of a Sixteenth Amendment providing universal suffrage. Frederick Douglass breaks with Stanton and Anthony over NWSA's position.
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded by Annie Wittenmyer. With Frances Willard at its head (1876), the WCTU became an important force in the fight for woman suffrage. Not surprisingly, one of the most vehement opponents to women's enfranchisement was the liquor lobby, which feared women might use the franchise to prohibit the sale of liquor.
A Woman Suffrage Amendment is introduced in the United States Congress. The wording is unchanged in 1919, when the amendment finally passes both houses.
Ida B. Wells launches her nation-wide anti-lynching campaign after the murder of three black businessmen in Memphis, Tennessee.
Hannah Greenbaum Solomon founds the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) after a meeting of the Jewish Women's Congress at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. In that same year, Colorado becomes the first state to adopt a state amendment enfranchising women.
Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery. Over the next ten years she leads many slaves to freedom by the Underground Railroad.
Amelia Jenks Bloomer launches the dress reform movement with a costume bearing her name. The Bloomer costume was later abandoned by many suffragists who feared it detracted attention from more serious women's rights issues.
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