Timeline: The women's rights movement in the US

Historians describe two waves of feminism in history: the first in the 19th century, growing out of the anti-slavery movement, and the second, in the 1960s and 1970s. Women have made great strides – and suffered some setbacks – throughout history, but many of their gains were made during the two eras of activism in favor of women's rights. Some notable events:

1769 – The colonies adopt the English system decreeing women cannot own property in their own name or keep their own earnings.

1777 All states pass laws which take away women's right to vote.

1809 – Mary Kies becomes the first woman to receive a patent, for a method of weaving straw with silk.

1839 – The first state (Mississippi) grants women the right to hold property in their own names – with permission from their husbands.

1848 – At Seneca Falls, New York, 300 women and men sign the Declaration of Sentiments, a plea for the end of discrimination against women.

1866 – The 14th Amendment is passed by Congress, with "citizens" and "voters" defined as "male" in the Constitution.

1869 Arabella Mansfield is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer. Ada H. Kepley becomes the first woman in the United States to graduate from law school.

1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first female presidential candidate in the United States, nominated by the National Radical Reformers.

Female federal employees (but not private sector workers) guaranteed equal pay for equal work under the law.

Susan B. Anthony casts her first vote to test whether the 14th Amendment would be interpreted broadly to guarantee women the right to vote. She is convicted of "unlawful voting."

1873The Supreme Court rules that a state has the right to exclude a married woman from practicing law.

1887 Susanna Medora Salter becomes the first woman elected mayor of an American town, in Argonia, Kansas.

1890 – The first state (Wyoming) grants women the right to vote in all elections.

1900 – By this year, every state had passed legislation granting married women the right to keep their own wages and to own property in their own name.

1916 – Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives

1918 – Margaret Sanger, two years after opening a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, wins her suit in New York to allow doctors to advise their married patients about birth control for health purposes. The clinic, along with others, becomes Planned Parenthood in 1942.

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Margaret Sanger
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Margaret Sanger
(Original Caption) A birth control clinic will be opened secretly on First Avenue in New York City this week. Mrs. Margaret Sanger announced that the new clinic will be equipped with nurses, apparatus and a secretary. Consultation will be given to women at 10 cents each. The address of the clinic will be distributed by hand to mothers of large families. Shown is Mrs. Ethel Byrne, the nurse in charge of one of the patients.
(Original Caption) Margaret Sanger (1883-1966), American leader of Birth Control Movement. Undated.
Following a court clash involving many social activists that nearly ended in a riot on April 24th, the fate of the 5 'birth' defendants who came before the court may end in a formal trial. Lawyers were asked to submit the two doctors and three nurses who was accused with illegally giving contraceptive information. Photo shows Mrs. Margaret Sanger, and 4 of the defendants at hearing. Left to right are Mrs. Sanger, Dr. Hannah M. Stone, M. Sigrid Brestwell, Miss Antoinette Field, and Mrs. Marcella Sideri. Mrs. Sanger's husband J.Noah Slee sits to the right of the women.
(Original Caption) 1/30/1917-Mrs. Margaret Sanger and Mrs. Lillian Fassett on way to Court to attend the Sanger Trial.
A small crowd gathers around Margaret Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, as they leave the Court of Special Services.
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1920 – The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, ensuring the right of women to vote.

1923 – 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."

1932 Hattie Wyatt Caraway, of Arkansas, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

1932 – The National Recovery Act forbids more than one family member from holding a government job, resulting in many women losing their jobs.

1933 Frances Perkins becomes the first female cabinet member, appointed secretary of labor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1953 – Jerrie Cobb is the first U.S. woman to undergo astronaut testing. NASA, however, cancels the women's program in 1963. It is not until 1983 that an American woman gets sent into space.

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.

1964 – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes, prohibiting sex discrimination in employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is created.

1965 – The Supreme Court establishes the right of married couples to use contraception.

1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs an executive order prohibiting sex discrimination by government contractors and requiring affirmative action plans for hiring women.

1969 – 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.

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Hillary Clinton through the years
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Hillary Clinton through the years
A 1992 photo shows then Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton (L) and his wife Hillary (R) embracing. (Photo credit AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton (L) waves to supporters as he holds the hand of his wife Hillary, 22 July, 1992 after speaking at a rally. St. Louis was the last stop on the Clinton-Gore campaign's bus tour. The crowd was estimated at 40,000. (Photo credit Tim Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
US President Bill Clinton's wife Hillary Rodham Clinton (l) in a picture taken 16 January 1993 in Little Rock, hugs her daughter Chelsea during a farewell address to the people of Arkansas at an airport rally. The Clinton family then left for Charlottesville, Virginia for the start of the planned bus trip to Washington, DC. (Photo credit J. David Ake, AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Hillary Clinton (R) watches over as 12-year-old Chevon Perry (L) works on a lesson at P.S. 115 Elementary School 26 January 1993. Clinton made her first trip as first lady to New York to receive an award for her service to children. (Photo credit Tim Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Hillary Clinton responds to applause, 12 February 1993, in Arlington, VA, as U.S. President Bill Clinton stands behind her. (Photo credit Robert Giroux, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton laughs as she is presented a bouquet of flowers by Japanee children 08 July 1993 at the Meguro waste incineration plant in Tokyo, Japan. Mrs. Clinton, maintaining a high profile during the G7 summit, is popular in Japan. (Photo credit David Nelson, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Bill Clinton (R) and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) listen to Karl Kregor explain, 16 September 1993 in Washington, D.C. why he is afraid of losng health isurance for his family.The Clintons met at the White House with citizens who shared problems they have had with the present health care system. Clinton is scheduled to present his health care plan to a joint session of congress 22 September. (Photo credit Paul Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton responds 22 September 1993 to applause from a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. after President Bill Clinton saluted her as the 'talented navigator' for the national health plan he is proposing. Standing alongside the first lady is Dr. T. Berry Brazelton (L), a noted pediatrician and author. (Photo credit J. David Ake, AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Hillary Clinton attends the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo by Clive Brunskill, Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Clinton (L) and Wife of French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur, Marie-Josephe Balladur pose at the Hotel Matignon on June 7, 1994. (Photo credit Pascal Pavani, AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (C) smiles at a friend in the crowd 28 September 1994 as she stands next to Russian First Lady Naina Yeltsin (L) during a ceremony at the Library of Congress. Mrs. Yeltsin was accompanying her husband on his visit to Washington for a summit meeting with US President Bill Clinton. AFP YEARENDER (Photo credit Joshua Roberts, AFP/Getty Images)
US President Bill Clinton (R) and First Lady Hillary Clinton leave the White House for the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, 13 Janaury. President Clinton is waving a copy of the morning pool report on his activities, which was written as a poem. The poem begins ' The president jogged at Fort McNair....of him we saw not hide nor hair,' and ends with the slogan 'Burma Shave.' (Photo credit Paul Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Clinton laughs as she listens to political humorist Bill Maher address the annual dinner of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association in Washington on March 14, 1995. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Clinton (L) poses with 'Robo Crook'(R) a character from the television program Sesame Street at the White House in Washington, DC 26 June. Mrs. Clinton moderated a panel discussion on the role of Public Television in educating children. (Photo credit Jamal Wilson, AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton, wife of US President Bill Clinton, talks with Britain's Queen Elizabeth 30 November in the Grand Entrance Hall of Buckingham Palace in London. President Clinton and Hillary Clinton arrived 29 November morning for a three-day visit which will be dominated by the Northern Ireland peace process. (Photo credit John Stillwell, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Clinton greets guests after speaking at the Women's Leadership Forum at the World Trade Center 20 June in Boston, Massachusetts.The First Lady will be in Washington DC later 20 June for the arrival of the Olympic Torch at the White House. (Photo credit John Mottern, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton waves from the bullet-proof presidential limousine as she and US President Bill Clinton leave Sydney International Airport on November 19, 1996. The Clintons arrived in Australia from Hawaii at the start of a five-day working and holiday visit. A(Photo credit should read Torsten Blackwood, AFP/Getty Images)
US President Bill Clinton (L)and his wife Hillary listen to speakers at a coalition for America's Children event at the White House in Washington, on March 3, 1997. The Clintons will begin a series of television, radio and newspaper public service annoucements, urging Americans to help improve the lives of children. (Photo credit Joyce Naltchayan, AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton proudly shows the tea-pot which had been a gift from community worker Joyce McCartan on the Clintons' previous visit to Belfast, during her speech at the University of Ulster, in Belfast 31 October. The memorial speech, named after Joyce McCartan, who died last year, called on parties from both sides to make compromises for peace in the country. The American First Lady is on a whistle-stop tour visiting Dublin, Belfast and London in three days. (Photo credit Alan Lewis, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Clinton talks with NBC TV anchorwoman Katie Couric (L)10 September during an event in the East Room of the White House promoting colon cancer awareness and prevention. Hillary Clinton announced a new research grant to fight colon cancer and unveiled a new public service announcement to promote prevention. (Photo credit Tim Sloan, AFP/Getty Images)
US President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea tour the Forbidden City in Beijing, as a Chinese security agent (rear) looks on 28 June during their 9 day official trip to China. The three later toured the Great Wall. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to speakers during ceremonies 11 January to unveil the new Dolley Madison commemorative silver dollar coin at the White House in Washington, DC. The coin, designed by Tiffany and Company is available at the US Mint and celebrates the life, achievements and 150th anniversary of Dolley Madison's death. (Photo credit Tim Sloan, AFP/Getty Images)
First Lady Hillary Clinton works the crowd as she arrives at Prior Aviation Services in Buffalo, New York, 07 February, 2000. Mrs. Clinton, who officially announced her run for US Senate 06 February, 2000, made Buffalo her fisrt campaign stop. ((Photo credit Don Emmert, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) announces the formation of the Millenium Trails Celebration Committee 19 April, 1999 at the Central Park Boathouse in New York, New York. Millenium Trails is a national initiative to create and enhance hiking, cultural and other trails across the country. It partners the White House Millenium Council, the Department of Transportation and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. (Photo credit Stan Honda, AFP/Getty Images)
US President Bill Clinton (L) and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) wait on the South Portico for the arrival of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia 23 February 2000 at the White House in Washington, DC. The Clintons hosted an arrival ceremony for their visit. (Photo credit Stephen Jaffe, AFP/Getty Images)
US First Lady and New York US Senate candidate Hillary Clinton waves to the crowd as she arrives on the stage at the Democratic National Convention 14 August 2000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo credit Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Senate candidate and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a thumbs-up sign to supporters at the Hispanic Day Parade October 8, 2000 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers via Getty)
US First Lady Hillary Clinton smiles during a press conference in New York 08 November, 2000. Clinton defeated Congressman Rick Lazio to win the US Senate seat for New York being vacated by Patrick Moynihan. AFP PHOTO Doug KANTER (Photo credit Doug Kanter, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator-elect, First Lady Hillary Clinton walks through the U.S. Capitol during an orientation day for new senators December 5, 2000 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Newsmakers via Getty)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during Labor Secretary-designate Elaine Chao's confirmation hearing January 24, 2001 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Newsmakers via Getty)
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) attends a press conference to address the equal pay act June 12, 2001 Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The AFL-CIO''s Working Women Working Together held a news conference to introduce a campaign for legislation to step up enforcement of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
New York Senator and former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, signs copies of her autobiography, 'Living History' at Waterstone?s bookstore on July 3, 2003 in London, England. In her autobiography, Clinton reveals her presidential ambitions and her thoughts on Monica Lewinsky. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton appears with Jon Stewart during 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart' at the Daily Show Studios October 8, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images for The Daily Show)
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) attends a news conference in front of the United Nations to denounce the International Court of Justice's recent decision on Israel's security fence July 9, 2004 in New York City. The International Court in The Hague has ruled that the barrier Israel has nearly completed in the West Bank violates international law, and the court ruled that the United Nations should take action to stop its construction. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) speaks while former U.S. President Bill Clinton listens during a visit to the New York Buddhist Vihara December 31, 2004 in the Queens borough of New York City. The Clintons toured the temple where volunteers have been collecting donations for victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) speaks at a Democratic forum on Social Security reform at Pace University March 4, 2005 in New York City. A group of Democratic Senators spoke at the forum to protest U.S. President George W. Bush's plan to privatize Social Security. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) stands near her portrait during an unveiling ceremony at the Smithsonian April 24, 2006 in Washington DC. President Clinton's portrait will hang in the National Portrait Gallery's 'America's President's' exhibit. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton watches a speaker on the final day of the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting September 22, 2006 in New York City. A large array of notables in the worlds of politics, human rights, and philanthropy have gathered in the New York for three days of seminars and pledges on global issues. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks during a post primary rally at Southern New Hampshire University January 8, 2007 in Manchester, New Hampshire. After losing to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Edwards in Iowa, Clinton (D-NY) won New Hampshire, the first of the nation's presidential primaries. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
US Senator Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea are seen at the lectern during a soundcheck at the Democratic National Convention 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, on August 26, 2008. Clinton takes the stage tonight vowing to unite Democrats after her primary battle with Barack Obama, on the second day of the convention that will crown him as White House nominee. The DNC is held 25-28 August. (Photo credit Stan Honda, AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) attend a campaign rally together at Amway Arena October 20, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. Obama continues to campaign against his challenger, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while Election Day begins to draw near. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former US President Bill Clinton (L) and US Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton (R) attend the inauguration of US President Barack Obama at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2009. (Photo credit Robyn Beck, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) is sworn in as her husband former President Bill Clinton (2nd L), and her daughter Chelsea (R) look on during a ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department February 2, 2009 in Washington, DC. Clinton is the 67th Secretary of State of the United States of America. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a press conference on February 21, 2009 in Beijing, China. Clinton is on a three day visit to the Chinese capital, as part of her first diplomatic tour to Asia. (Photo by Guang Niu/Pool/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on the US vision for Asia-Pacific multilateral engagement at the East-West Center in Honolulu January 12, 2010. (Photo credit Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, smiles during a press conference after Middle East Quartet talks in Moscow on March 19, 2010. The International Quartet on the Middle East urged Israel to freeze all settlement activity and expressed deep concern about the situation in Gaza, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. (Photo credit Yuri Kadobnov, AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks before signing the US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange agreement at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on May 25, 2010. The United States and China were wrapping up strategic talks aimed at smoothing out differences on currency and trade issues, as Washington presses Beijing to get tough on North Korea. (Photo credit Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to Ambassador-Designate to Russia Michael McFaul during his swearing-in ceremony at the State Department January 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. McFaul is President Barack Obama's top adviser on Russia and has been involved in the reset of relations between the two countries and the signing of the New START treaty. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the South Sudan International Engagement Conference December 14, 2011 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. The two-day conference was to highlight the national development vision of South Sudan and the opportunities for investment in the country. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters during a joint press conference with Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani at the Department of State January 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit Karen Bleier, AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) shakes hands with Moroccan Foreign Minister Saad-Eddine el-Othmani prior to meetings at the State Department in Washington, DC, on March 15, 2012. (Photo credit Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles during a joint press conference with Australian Foreign Minister arr following their meeting at the State Department in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2012. (Photo credit Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill January 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers questioned Clinton about the security failures during the September 11 attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Vital Voices Global Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington on April 2, 2013. The event honors 'women leaders from around the world who are the unsung heroines to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights,' according to the group's website. (Photo credit Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks about the situation in Syria after meeting with US President Barack Obama, prior to remarks about US efforts to combat wildlife trafficking at a White House forum at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on September 9, 2013. (Photo credit Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage at the Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2013 at Philadelphia Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
Hillary Clinton attends the New-York Historical Society 2014 History Makers Gala at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on November 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton Book Signing For 'Hard Choices' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on June 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a keynote address during the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women on February 24, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a keynote address to thousands of women in attendance for the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on stage during a ceremony to induct her into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 16, 2015 in New York City. The Irish America Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 and recognizes exceptional figures in the Irish American community. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
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1972 – Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of education programs that receive federal support.

The Supreme Court upholds the right to use birth control by unmarried couples.

Juanita Kreps becomes the first woman director of the New York Stock Exchange.

1973 – Landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade makes abortion legal. The Supreme Court in a separate ruling bans sex-segregated "help wanted" advertising.

1974 – Housing discrimination on the basis of sex and credit discrimination against women are outlawed by Congress.

The Supreme Court rules it is illegal to force pregnant women to take maternity leave on the assumption they are incapable of working in their physical condition.

1975 – The Supreme Court denies states the right to exclude women from juries.

1978 – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women.

1980 – Paula Hawkins of Florida, a Republican, becomes the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate without following her husband or father in the job.

1981 – Sandra Day O'Connor becomes first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court rules that excluding women from the draft is constitutional. In a separate decision, the high court overturns state laws designating a husband "head and master" with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife.

In a break with tradition, Lady Diana Spencer deletes the vow to "obey" her husband as she marries Prince Charles.

1982 – The ERA falls short of ratification.

1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.

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Sally Ride
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Sally Ride
NASA astronaut Sally Ride (1951 - 2012) in the interior of the Challenger space shuttle during the STS-41-G mission, October 1984. In 1983 she became the first American woman in space on the STS-7 mission. (Photo by Space Frontiers/Getty Images)
14 Jan 2002: Torchbearer Sally Ride carries the Olympic Flame during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Torch Relay in San Diego, California. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw/Pool/Getty Images
SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 7: Dr. Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman to travel into space, speaks to the media at the San Diego Aerospace Museum February 7, 2003 in San Diego, California. Ride gave her condolences to the families of the lost space shuttle Columbia astronauts as well as spoke about the future of the space program. Ride also mentioned a science festival that she sponsors for fifth and eight grade girls known as the Sally Ride Science Club. The next club festival is scheduled for February 22, 2003 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
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1984 – Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first woman to be nominated to be vice president on a major party ticket.

U.S. Supreme Court bans sex discrimination in membership for onetime all-male groups like the Jaycees, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

The state of Mississippi belatedly ratifies the 19th Amendment, granting women the vote.

1985 – EMILY's List is founded, its mission to elect Democratic, pro-abortion rights women to office.

1986 – The U.S. Supreme Court held that a work environment can be declared hostile or abusive because of discrimination based on sex, an important tool in sexual harassment cases.

1989 – The Supreme Court affirms the right of states to deny public funding for abortions and to prohibit public hospitals from performing abortions.

1992 – The Year of the Woman: Following 1991 hearings in which lawyer Anita Hill accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, record numbers of women are elected to Congress, with four women winning Senate elections and two dozen women elected to first terms in the House.

In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v Casey, the Supreme Court upholds Roe v Wade but allows states to impose restrictions such as a waiting period and parental consent for minors seeking abortions.

1994 – The Violence Against Women Act funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence and allows women to seek civil rights remedies for gender-related crimes. Six years later, the Supreme Court invalidates those portions of the law permitting victims of rape, domestic violence, etc. to sue their attackers in federal court.

1997 – Madeleine Albright become the first female secretary of state.

2005 – Congress passes the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the first law to ban a specific abortion procedure. The Supreme Court upholds the ban the following year.

2007Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female speaker of the House.

2008Alaska Governor Sarah Palin becomes the first woman to run for vice president on the Republican ticket. Hillary Clinton loses the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama.

2009The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act allows victims, usually women, of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck.

2012The Paycheck Fairness Act, meant to fight gender discrimination in the workplace, fails in the Senate on a party-line vote. Two years later, Republicans filibuster the bill (twice).

2013The ban against women in military combat positions is removed, overturning a 1994 Pentagon decision restricting women from combat roles.

2016Hillary Rodham Clinton secures the Democratic presidential nomination, becoming the first U.S. woman to lead the ticket of a major party. She loses to Republican Donald Trump in the fall.

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Hillary Clinton speaks for the first time after losing the presidency
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Hillary Clinton speaks for the first time after losing the presidency
Hillary Clinton, former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, arrives with Former U.S. President Bill Clinton to speak at the New Yorker Hotel in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Donald Trump, a Republican who has never held public office, defeated Clinton after a punishing campaign that exposed searing divides in the American public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, arrives with Former U.S. President Bill Clinton to speak at the New Yorker Hotel in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Donald Trump, a Republican who has never held public office, defeated Clinton after a punishing campaign that exposed searing divides in the American public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Hillary and Bill Clinton arrive to the New Yorker Hotel where she was to address supporters on November 9, 2016 in New York City. The former Democratic Presidential nominee conceded defeat to president-elect Donald Trump earlier in the morning. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: John Podesta, the campaign chairman of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits for her to concede the presidential election at the New Yorker Hotel on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (R) is embraced by Hillary Clinton beforeher address to her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election at a hotel in New York, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being defeated by Republican president-elect Donald Trump as former President Bill Clinton(L) and running mate Tim Kaine look on in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband former President Bill Clinton, concedes the presidential election at the New Yorker Hotel on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election as former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and her running mate Tim Kaine applaud at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being defeated by Republican president-elect Donald Trump in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election as her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, looks on at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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The Supreme Court strikes down onerous abortion clinic regulations that were forcing women's clinics to close.

2017Congress has a record number of women, with 104 female House members and 21 female Senators, including the chamber's first Latina, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report

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