March is Women's History Month. Check the "Events" page of our website to see how the Women's Center is celebrating women's history this year.
Did you know...
Ella Grasso (D-CT) was the first woman to be elected as a governor in her own right. In 1952 Ella Grasso was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives and served until 1957. There followed a 12-year stint as Connecticut's Secretary of State, after which she was elected to the United States Congress and re-elected in 1972. A hard-fought campaign resulted in her election as Governor in 1974 and re-election in 1978. She never lost a campaign.
Married couples in Connecticut were prohibited from using contraception until 1965. In Griswold v. Connecticut, by a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy."
The Equal Rights Amendment was proposed in 1923, passed in Congress in 1972, but was never ratified. The ERA states that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
Connecticut's Heroine is Prudence Crandall. On September 9, 1834, a mob attacked Prudence Crandall's school in Canterbury, Connecticut, where she taught black women. Previously jailed for breaking the local law against teaching "colored persons," Crandall finally was forced to close her school. Now it is a museum that highlights black history and women's history.
Important dates in Women's History:
August 6, 1926:
Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, breaking the previous record by two hours. A ticker-tape parade in New York honored the young woman who wasn't yet twenty years old.
Aug 12, 1867:
Birth of Edith Hamilton, acclaimed scholar of Greek and Roman literature.
Aug 13, 1818:
Birth of Lucy Stone, feminist, abolitionist and suffragist who insisted on keeping her own name in marriage. She inspired the title of "Lucy Stoner," applied to other women who kept their names.
August 19, 1814:
Birth of Mary Ellen "Mammy" Pleasant, who as a former slave helped thousands of slaves escape to freedom in Canada. She migrated to California, where she sued a streetcar company for discrimination and fought for the rights of Black people.
August 26, 1920:
Women's Equality Day, when the states ratified the woman suffrage (19th) amendment to the U.S. Constitution, after 72 years of struggle.
August 29, 1957:
The U.S. Congress passes the Civil Rights Act.
For more information on Women's History, click the following links:
Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame - The Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization, was inaugurated
in Hartford in 1994. For the first time in 300 years of state history, the collective
achievements of Connecticut women, past and present, were publicly celebrated. The
Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame showcases the contributions Connecticut women-well
known and less famous-have made to their communities, the state and the nation.
National Women's History Project -
With an emphasis on positive role models and the importance of women from all backgrounds, the NWHP has developed a nationwide constituency of teachers, students, parents, public employees, businesses, organizations, and individuals who understand the critical link between knowing about historical women and making a positive difference in today's world.
History's Women - A magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women throughout history and recognizing the obstacles they have had to overcome in order to reach their goals.
The National Women's History Museum -
The National Women's History Museum (NWHM), founded in 1996, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit
educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the
diverse historic contributions of women, and integrating this rich heritage fully
into our nation's history.
National Women's Hall of Fame -
In 1969, a group of women and men of Seneca Falls created the National Women's Hall of Fame, believing that the contribution of American women deserved a permanent home in the small village where it all began. The Hall is home to exhibits, artifacts of historical interest, a research library and office. The National Women's Hall of Fame, a national membership organization, holds as its mission: "To honor in perpetuity these women, citizens of the United States of America whose contributions to the arts, athletics, business, education, government, the humanities, philanthropy and science, have been the greatest value for the development of their country."