August in Women's History


August 26th Anniversary of Women in US Winning the Vote

August Women's History Events 

  • August 6, 1965 - Voting Rights Act outlaws the discriminatory literacy tests that had been used to prevent African Americans from voting. Suffrage is finally fully extended to African American women
  • August 8, 1969 - Executive order 11478 issued by President Nixon requires each federal department and agency to establish and maintain an affirmative action program of equal employment opportunity for civilian employees and applicants
  • August 9, 1995 - Roberta Cooper Ramo becomes the first woman to hold the office of president of the American Bar Association
  • August 10, 1993 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sworn in as the second woman and 107th Justice to serve on the US Supreme Court
  • August 12, 1972 - Wendy Rue founds the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), the largest businesswomen's organization in the US
  • August 14, 1986 - Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper retires from active duty in the US Navy. A pioneering computer scientist and inventor of the computer language COBOL, she was the oldest officer still on active duty at the time of her retirement
  • August 23, 1902 - Fanny Farmer opens the "School of Cookery" in BostonMA
  • August 26, 1920 - The 19th Amendment of the US Constitution is ratified granting women the right to vote Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
  • August 26, 1970 - Betty Friedan leads a nationwide protest called the Women's Strike for Equality in New York Cityon the fiftieth anniversary of women's suffrage
  • August 26, 1971 - The first "Women's Equality Day," instituted by Bella Abzug, is established by Presidential Proclamation and reaffirmed annually
  • August 26, 1976 - "EXONERATION OF ANNE HUTCHINSON DAY" - Banished by the Massachusetts General Court in 1637, our early American Foremother was exonerated in a Proclamation by then Governor Michael Dukakis
  • August 28, 1963 - More than 250,000 gather for a march on WashingtonDC, and listen to Martin Luther King Jr's famous "I Have a Dream" speech
  • August 30, 1984 - Judith A. Resnick is the second US woman in space, traveling on the first flight of the space shuttle Discovery


August Birthdays

  • August 1, 1923 (2006)– Beatrice Medicine, Standing Rock Sioux anthropologist, focused on the roles of Lakota women in changes facing their cultures in areas including bilingual education, alcohol and drug use, abuse, socialization of children, and identity needs, author of Learning to Be an Anthropologist and Remaining Native
  • August 2, 1902 (1997)– Mina Rees, supervised Applied Mathematics Panel contracts that developed electronic computers in World War 2, urged women to enter scientific research, honored by Great Britain and US
  • August 3, 1904 (1983)– Dolores Del Rio, made movies for 20 years, played mothers to Elvis Presley and Sal Mineo, later established day care facilities for actors
  • August 4, 1890 (1976)– Barbara Armstrong, architect of U.S. Social Security program, championed a living wage, health care, disability and unemployment insurance
  • August 4, 1920– (2013) Helen Thomas, former member of the White House Press Corps for United Press from the Kennedy to Obama administrations
  • August 6, 1903 (1999)–Virginia Durr, worked with Eleanor Roosevelt for civil rights for Afro-Americans, aid to the poor and abolition of the poll tax, aided Rosa Parks
  • August 6, 1911 (1989)– Lucille Ball, comedian and television executive, starred in TV series “I Love Lucy” from 1950 to 1960, first movie was “Roman Scandals” in 1933 
  • August 9, 1919 (1986)– Leona Libby, only woman on Fermi’s team that helped build the first nuclear reactor and then produced fuel and plutonium for the bomb, later wrote books advocating nuclear power and environmental issues
  • August 11, 1941– Elizabeth Holtzman, Democratic Congresswoman from New York (1973-81), on Judiciary and Budget Committees, secured extension for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and encouraged legal action to expel Nazi war criminals
  • August 12, 1889 (1981)– Zerna Sharp, called the “mother of Dick and Jane,” advised Scott Foresman in the 1930 creation of the popular series for new readers based on theories of John Dewey, with controlled vocabulary, bright action picture stories, and little phonics
  • August 13, 1893 (1986)– Eva Dykes, first African-American to earn a Ph.D. (in English at Radcliffe in 1921), taught English and Latin for eight years in Dunbar High Public School in WashingtonD.C., then joined HowardUniversity’s faculty
  • August 14, 1899 (1990)– Caroline Ware, pioneer in the “cultural approach to History,” was very articulate in lobbying Congress for the American Association of University Women, United Nations, the Pan American Union, League of Women Voters, and UNESCO
  • August 14, 1911 (1991)– Ethel Payne, joined Army Special Services, became hostess in Japan, wrote of life for black troops (not integrated until 1961), named “first lady of black press,” was second Afro-American woman to be White House Press correspondent (1951-73)
  • August 15, 1903 (1984)– Ellen Winston, first federal commissioner of welfare (1963-67), advocated public welfare programs that emphasized prevention, protective and rehabilitative services
  • August 15, 1913 (1998)– Aurora Castillo, community activist, co-founded Mothers of East Los Angeles that worked against a proposed prison and hazardous waste dump in East Los Angeles
  • August 15, 1918 (1995)– Fay Knopp, pacifist and feminist, prison reformer, member of Women Strike for Peace, pioneered more humane treatment of prisoners based on compassion and a belief that people can change themselves
  • August 17, 1891 (1980)– Marion Kenworthy, advanced the adoption of psychodynamic concepts into the theoretical training and clinical practice of psychiatry and social work
  • August 17, 1893 (1980)– Mae West, appeared on stage from age 7 and in Broadway revues at 18, wrote scripts inHollywood and acted, was highest paid woman in America during the Depression (over $480,000)
  • August 17, 1906 (1998)– Hazel Bishop, chemist for Standard Oil (1942-45), developed aviation fuel for jet engines, created a “kiss-proof” lipstick, and then lectured on how to establish good business practices
  • August 18, 1893 (1982)– Ragini Devi, American specialist in classical and folk ethnographic dances, won acclaim from dance critics passing as a Kashmiri Hindu from 1922 to 1930, wrote Dance Dialects of India in 1972, later performed with her daughter and granddaughter
  • August 18, 1902 (1991)– Leona Baumgartner, prominent in public health science, campaigned for the Agency for International Development (AID) to distribute birth control information and discourage teenage smoking
  • August 18, 1927 (1997)– Elaine Hedges, urged the establishment of the Commission on the Status and Education of Women at the 1968 convention of the Modern Language Association, served as chair, 1972-73
  • August 18, 1927– Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady, walked with her husband President Jimmy Carter to the White House after he was sworn in, as Jefferson had done, worked on mental health and early childhood issues
  • August 19, 1895 (1987)– Vera Weisbord, interest in Industrial Workers of the World led to involvement in civil rights struggles, active in Congress of Racial Equality in the 1940s and the women’s rights movement, wrote A Radical Life in 1987
  • August 19, 1920 (1999)– Donna Allen, founded the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press to publicize and research women’s issues including pollution of milk from nuclear fallout
  • August 22, 1883 (1984)– Ruth Underhill, anthropologist, studied with Ruth Benedict who encouraged traveling with native women to learn their history, wrote of the Papago culture and then taught their history to children in Bureau of Indian Affairs schools
  • August 22, 1912 (1996)– Coya Knutson, first Congresswoman from Minnesota, (1954-58), authored legislation dealing with farm bills, education, and health but was defeated after a “Come Home Coya” letter in 1958
  • August 23, 1899 (1999)– Grace Chu, emigrated from Shanghai in 1920 with a scholarship from Wellesley College, taught Chinese cooking from 1960, wrote Madame Chu’s Cooking School in 1975
  • August 26, 1898 (1979)– Peggy Guggenheim, started buying modern art in 1939 and introduced these artists in major shows in the 1940s, supported Djuna Barnes for years
  • August 26, 1908 (1986)– Cynthia Wedel, sought leadership roles for women in her work with the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches, published pamphlets urging people to acknowledge change
  • August 26, 1935 (2011)– Geraldine Ferraro, New York Congresswoman, first woman to run for Vice President of the U.S. on a major party (with Democratic candidate Walter Mondale)
  • August 29, 1913 (1991)– Sylvia Kaye, wrote scripts and lyrics, penned dialogues for Danny Kaye, donated a million dollars to Hunter College Playhouse
  • August 30, 1907 (1992)– Luisa Moreno, emigrated from Guatemala in 1939, created first national Latino civil rights assembly, worked with the Food, Tobacco, and Allied Workers of America (FTA), deported on charges of her radical past in 1947