Dec. 10, 1869: The legislature of the territory of Wyoming passes America’s first woman suffrage law, granting women the right to vote and hold office. In 1890, Wyoming was the 44th state admitted to the Union and became the first state to allow women the right to vote.
May 15, 1869: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, which coordinated the national suffrage movement. In 1890, the group teamed with the American Woman Suffrage Association to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
Aug. 18, 1920: Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is completed, declaring “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.”
Dec. 1, 1955: Black seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. The move helps launch the civil rights movement.
June 10, 1963: President John F. Kennedy signs into law the Equal Pay Act, prohibiting sex-based wage discrimination between men and women performing the same job in the same workplace.
July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson, signs the Civil Rights Act into law; Title VII bans employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, or sex.
June 23, 1972: Title IX of the Education Amendments is signed into law by President Richard Nixon. It states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
July 7, 1981: Sandra Day O’Connor is sworn in by President Ronald Reagan as the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She retired in 2006, after serving for 24 years.
June 18, 1983: Flying on the Space Shuttle Challenger, Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.
Sept. 13, 1994: Clinton signs the Violence Against Women Act as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, providing funding for programs that help victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, stalking, and other gender-related violence.
Jan. 4, 2007: U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) becomes the first female speaker of the House. In 2019, she reclaims the title, becoming the first lawmaker to hold the office two times in more than 50 years.
July 26, 2016: Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to receive a presidential nomination from a major political party.
January 20, 2021: Kamala Harris is sworn in as the first woman and first woman of color vice president of the United States.