Did you know that Women’s History Month first started as a Day and a Week? We didn’t either! Learn more about these Women’s History Month facts and more with this list that is perfect to share with your students.
The first Women’s History Day took place in 1909.
The first Woman’s History Day took place on February 28, 1909, in New York City. It commemorated the one-year anniversary of the 15,000 women who marched in the garment workers’ strikes.
International Women’s Day became a holiday in 1911.
We celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th.
Women’s History Day became Women’s History Week in 1978.
The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned and launched a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978. Learn more about the history of Women’s History Month in this video from PBS Kids.
Women’s History Month began in 1987.
After being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9, which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”
Wyoming Territory was the first place to grant women the right to vote.
The legislature gave every woman the right to vote in 1869.
The first female state governor was Nellie Tayloe Ross.
She was elected in Wyoming in 1924.
The 19th amendment didn’t give all women the right to vote.
The 19th amendment was signed into law on August 26, 1920. Unfortunately, at the time, other laws prohibited Native American, Black, Asian American, and Latinx women from voting. Learn more about Women’s Suffrage in this video by Highlights Kids.
Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb was the first woman to pass astronaut testing in 1961.
Unfortunately, Cobb wasn’t allowed to travel to space due to her gender.
Caroline Herschel was one of the first women scientists invited to join the Royal Society.
Throughout her long career, she discovered eight comets, received the Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society, and helped discover the planet, Uranus. Learn more about Caroline Herschel in this video for kids.
Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to earn a medical degree in the U.S.
In 1849, she was instrumental in opening up the field of medicine for women, mentoring many women who went on to careers in the field. Dr. Blackwell also focused on providing better health care for women and children. Learn more in this video from Scholastic.
Title IX was passed on March 1, 1972.
Title IX prohibits discrimination due to sex in federally funded education programs. Learn more in this video from TED-Ed.
Women couldn’t get credit cards until 1974.
Congress passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, which allowed women to get credit cards in their own name.
Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel.
On October 24, 1901, Taylor, a forty-three-year-old schoolteacher from Michigan, headed over the falls and survived!
Women outlive men in almost every society.
The average life expectancy at birth is 79 years for women, 72 years for men. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why but think it might have to do with the estrogen’s ability to improve immune function.
Women make up 16 percent of active-duty military members.
This ranges from about 8 percent in the Marine Corps to 19 percent in the Air Force.
Marie Curie was the first woman to receive two Nobel prizes.
Her first award was for physics for her work on spontaneous radiation with her husband, with her second being in Chemistry for her studies of radioactivity. Learn more in this video from TED-Ed.
Jane Addams was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jane Addams pioneered the concept of social work by opening Hull House in Chicago in 1889. She also co-founded the ACLU and was a staunch pacifist throughout her life. Her prize honored her commitment to improving the quality of life for humanity.
Madam C. J. Walker was the first Black female millionaire in the U.S.
When a medical condition caused her to lose much of her hair, Madam Walker invented a treatment system that completely revolutionized Black hair care. Learn more in this video for kids by The Wise Channel.
Charlotte E. Ray was the first Black American female lawyer in the U.S.
She graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1872. Learn more in this Little Leaders Read Aloud.
At the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924, women could only compete in figure skating.
In the 2022 Winter Olympics, women could participate in 44 events!
Aretha Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Referred to as the “Queen of Soul,” Franklin has placed ninth in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” two times! Learn more in this Little People, Big Dreams read aloud.
Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
She served as a justice from 1981-2006. Learn more about Sandra Day O’Connor in this video from WonderGrove Kids.
In 1739 Elizabeth Timothy became the first female in the American colonies to assume the role of publisher and editor of a newspaper.
This was for the South Carolina Gazette.
Kamala Harris was the first woman vice president.
She assumed office as vice president of the United States on January 20, 2021.
Do you have any Women’s History Month facts to share? Please post in the comments below!