Interesting Fact #2 –Women as Nobel Prize winners: Elizabeth Blackwell, one of the most influential women in medicine during the modern era, set a trend for notable achievements among women in the fields of science, politics and the arts. Blackwell, who established a hospital and medical school before she died at age 90, encouraged more than 7,000 women to become doctors in the U.S. alone. Other notable women of the era include Nobel Prize winners Marie Curie (Physics, 1903), Pearl Buck (Literature, 1938), Barbara McClintock (Medicine, 1983) and Aung San Suu Kyi (Peace, 1991).
Interesting Fact #3 – The role of women in the modern workforce: According to an educational series on The History Channel, more and more women are realizing their professional potential. Statistics on women’s income, profession, military service and businesses have dramatically improved since 2002, where the number of women-owned businesses climbed to nearly 6.5 million, up 20 percent from 1997.
Interesting Fact #4 – Famous firsts: Mary Katherine Goddard was the first woman publisher in America (printing the Providence Gazette newspaper and the annual West’s Almanack) in 1766. She also became the first woman postmaster in the country in 1775, the first printer to offer copies of the Declaration of Independence(including the signer’s names) in 1777, and the first woman in America to open a Baltimore bookstore in 1789.
Interesting Fact #5 – Women in sports: Because there wasn’t a women’s figure skating competition at the time, Madge Syers of Britain entered the men’s world championship in 1902 and placed second. She then went on to win the first women’s Olympic gold medal in 1908.
Interesting Fact #6 – Women in war: Harriet Tubman risked her life for over a decade to lead hundreds of enslaved people out of the South towards freedom in the North during the Civil War, where she worked as a nurse and scout. Her last major project was her Home for the Aged, which is now a museum honoring her life and work.
Interesting Fact #7 –Working women: In 1992, two-thirds (66 percent) of all part-time workers were women. In addition, of the 54 million women employed in the U.S. during that year, 40 million worked full-time (35 hours or more per week) and nearly 14 million held part-time jobs.
Interesting Fact #8 – Women in Congress: Jeannette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, was the first woman elected to serve in Congress on November 9, 1916, to the House of Representatives as Montana’s Representative –at-Large to the 65th Congress. She served from 1917 until 1919.
Interesting Fact #9 – Women inventors: On May 15, 1809, Mary Dixon Kies received the first U.S. patent issued to a woman for inventing a process for weaving straw with silk or thread. Before then, most women inventors didn’t bother to patent their new inventions because they couldn’t legally own property independent of their husbands.
Interesting Fact #10 – Women and college – Graduating first in her class from Oberlin College in 1847, Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was one of the first women in the United States to earn a college degree. Stone later went on to organize the first national women’s rights convention.