You will not find a New Orleans tour guide more dedicated to learning and sharing women’s history than Suzanne Stone, creator of Lucky Bean Tours’ original French Quarter Fascinatin’ Women Tour. This week, Suzanne provides us with a robust list of some pivotal moments in women’s history that happened in February. Suzanne is always researching and learning about remarkable women in history and entertaining guests on all of her New Orleans walking tours. She is a guest favorite!
So here it is:
Before the month ends, let’s celebrate the many female firsts and other important occasions that occurred in February:
February 1, 1878 — Birthday of Hattie Caraway, the first woman elected to the US Senate. Her husband became the US Senator from Arkansas. Following his death in 1931, she filled the remainder of his term, then was elected herself, serving a total of 14 years.
February 3, 1821 — Birthday of the first female physician in the US, Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910). She was awarded her MD by the Medical Institute of Geneva, N y, in 1849, and established a hospital in New York City run by an all-female staff.
February 3, 1901 – United States Army Nurse Corps established as a permanent organization.
February 5, 1919 – Mary Pickford with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists.
February 6, 1918 – British women over the age of 30 with minimum property qualifications get the right to vote through the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1918.
February 7. 1867 – Birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder, American author.
February 8, 1850 – Birthday of Kate Chopin, pseudonym of Katherine O’Flaherty, American writer best known for the novel The Awakening.
February 9, 1960 – Joanne Woodward receives the first star for a woman on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
February 10, 1870 – The YWCA is founded in New York City.
February 11, 1916 – Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control.
February 12, 1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded. Prominent women among the charter members include, among others, Ida Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Anna Garlin Spencer, Mary White Ovington.
February 13, 1689 – William and Mary are proclaimed co-rulers of England.
February 13, 1943 – The first women sign up for non-clerical duties in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve.
February 14, 1870 – Esther Hobart Morris begins her tenure as the first female Justice of the Peace in the United States. She was appointed after the previous Justice resigned in protest over Wyoming’s passage of the women’s suffrage amendment to the state constitution in December 1869.
February 14, 1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in the United States by Carrie Chapman Catt.
February 15, 1820 — Birthday of Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer in women’s rights. She was commemorated in 1979 with the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, thus becoming the first American woman to have her image on a US coin.
February 16, 1883 – The first issue of Ladies’ Home Journal is published.
February 17, 1897 – Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst hold the first convocation of the National Organization of Mothers (later renamed the Parent Teacher Association AKA the PTA).
February 18, 1922 – Birthday of Connie Wisniewski, American baseball player, starting pitcher and outfielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
February 19, 1963 –Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is published.
February 20, 1928 – Birthday of Jean Kennedy Smith, American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Ireland, founder of Very Special Arts, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
February 21, 1846 – Sarah G Bagley, thought to be the first woman telegrapher, becomes superintendent of the Lowell, MA, telegraph office.
February 22, 1956 – Rosa Parks and other participants in the three-month-old bus boycott in Montgomery, AL, voluntarily give themselves up for arrest after an ultimatum from white city leaders. Later that year, the US Supreme Court mandated desegregation of the buses.
February 23, 1901 – Birthday of Ruth Rowland Nichols, American aviator and aviation pioneer, only woman so far to simultaneously hold speed, altitude, and distance world records
February 24, 1912 – Henrietta Szold founds Hadassah, the largest Jewish organization in American history, focusing on healthcare and education in Israel and US.
February 25, 1986 – Corazon Aquino is sworn in as President of the Philippines.
February 26, 1858 – Birthday of Lavinia Lloyd Dock, American nurse, educator, feminist and social activist.
February 27, 1872 – Charlotte E. Ray becomes the first woman to graduate from Howard University School of Law.
February 27, 1922 – US Supreme Court rejects a challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
February 27, 1933 – Frances Perkins is appointed Secretary of Labor, becoming the 1st female in US Cabinet.
February 28, 1882 – Birthday of Geraldine Farrar, American operatic soprano and film actress who sang in New Orleans.