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A Timeline of Women’s History to Celebrate Women’s History Month

As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, discover important moments throughout history and the incredible women who blazed the trail from the fight for equality to their great impact on today’s society.

These women exemplify this month’s theme: Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

July 19-20, 1848

Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention organized by women was held in New York with 300 attendees. This meeting set the agenda for the Women’s Rights Movement.

December 10, 1869

Wyoming territory passed the nation’s first women’s suffrage law. It became the first state to grant women the right to vote after being admitted to the Union in 1890.

July 21, 1896

Harriet Tubman, Mary Church Terrell, and others founded the National Association of Colored Women Clubs. This organization advocated for equal pay, educational opportunities, job training, and access to childcare for Black women. They continue their work today supporting women, children, and families.

March 3, 1913

The Woman Suffrage Procession was the first public demonstration in Washington, DC for women’s suffrage. This march was in protest of women’s exclusion from politics as they advocated for their right to vote.

April 2, 1917

Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a longtime activist with the National Woman Suffrage Association, was sworn in as the first woman elected to Congress as a member of the House of Representatives.

August 18, 1920

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

June 10, 1963

The Equal Pay Act requires individuals at the same workplace to receive equal pay for equal work.

June 23, 1972

Title IX of the Civil Rights Law was signed into law, protecting people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.


Molly Murphy MacGregor, Mary Ruthsdotter, Maria Cuevas, Paula Hammett, and Bette Morgan founded the National Women’s History Project in 1980 in Santa Rosa, California, which started by lobbying Congress to designate March as Women’s History Month. Since 2018, this group became the National Women’s History Alliance working to support the study and celebration of women’s history throughout the year.

September 21, 1981

Sandra Day O’Conner became the first female to serve on the United States Supreme Court.


The Oprah Winfrey Show quickly became the highest-rated talk show in television history. This same year, Oprah became the first Black woman in the American entertainment industry to establish and own her own production company, Harpo Studios.


Dr. Keren Brown Wilson is known as the creator of assisted living, opening the first community in 1988. She founded the Jessie F Richardson Foundation in 2001, which improves access to elder care services in Oregon. She also started AGE+, a non-profit that helps seniors in rural Oregon with their housing and care needs.


This year was known as the Year of the Woman. Many women started campaigning for a seat on the Senate following a widely televised hearing with an all-male Judiciary Committee, which didn’t include the two current female members. Four women were elected to the Senate this year, more than any had been elected in a single year.

January 23, 1997

Madeleine K. Albright became the 64th Secretary of State of the United States. This appointment made her the highest-ranking woman in the federal government’s history.


Betty White was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013 as the female entertainer with the longest television career. Her career spanned over 74 years, and even past her death in December 2021 she still retains this world record.

January 20, 2021

Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman and first woman of color vice president of the United States.

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June 30, 2022

Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Planned Late 2024

Christina Koch will be the first woman on a moon mission. She currently holds the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman.

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