August Women’s History Events
Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USNR Official portrait photograph. (1)
August is my favorite month. Not only is it my birthday month (yes, I take a whole month), it is the birthday month of some of the most amazing women I have the honor of calling friend or family. When working a genealogical problem, as often as not one of the challenges is tracing the female line. So although this post is not a genealogical post, I’m including it because women’s history has a large role in understanding the women in our lines. Feel free to add events via the comment section.
I’ve relied on the National Women’s History Project‘s great list of women’s-history events for August. The list includes one of my hero’s, Commodore Grace M. Hopper. The Seattle Girls School, and many other organizations, too, honors two women each year with a Grace Hopper award for Leadership and for Outstanding Achievement.
Also this month in history is the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Women got the vote. A sincerely thank you for all the women in my family andall the women in the country who worked for more than 100 years to gain voting rights for women.
I know at least one of my family marched in the streets and carried signs, working to get the ERA ratified. Though not successful, knowing my family played a role is helpful to me as I bring the stories to the dates and places.
Women’s History Events for August (2)
- 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 business women’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 Boston, MA
- August 26, 1920 -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 City on 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 Washington, DC, 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
1. U.S. Naval Historical Center Online Library Photograph – http://www.history.navy.mil/warning.htm
2. List is from The National Women’s History Project Aug 1, 2013 e-newsletter