Frontier woman

Movement for Women's Rights and Women's History

  • Anne Hutchinson

    Anne Hutchinson
    Banished for Hersey in 1637, Anne Hutchinson was a prominent proponent of Antinomianism. She fled the MA Bay Colony to the newly founded colony of Rhode Island. She sought religious freedom and spoke up for her beliefs, which was uncommon for most women at the time.
  • Women in Demand

    Women in Demand
    As colonies began to form, they were composed of mainly men, even the indentured servants. As the years progressed, it became apparent that women were in need for the continuation of these colonies.
  • Developing Colonies

    Developing Colonies
    At this point in time, women played the traditional role of inferior care-takers of the family and the home. Many females married very young and had many children. They braved the difficulties of the developing colonies such as disease, Indians, weather, and tasking daily work.
  • Phyllis Wheatly

    Phyllis Wheatly
    Wheatly was an African American writer and poet who grew up in slavery. At 20, she published her first book despite her lack of serious education. She was one of the few standouts of colonial literature, and even George Washington favored her work.
  • Abigail Adams

    Abigail Adams
    Abigail Adams was an extremely strong female individual. Wife to John Adams, the revolutionary and future president, she was inspiringly supportive and determined. John Adams considered Abigail his equal and took her advice on political matters, which was very unusual at the time.
  • The Revolution

    The Revolution
    Although many of the leading firgues of the Revolution were men, women were subject to the abuse tariffs, taxes, and acts of the British government, so many women also gave their support to the cause (but a large number were still Loyalists). They upheld their homsteads, made use of little, and were thrifty so that extra supplies may be donated to their desired cause. Women in the Continental Army served as cooks, nurses, and sewers.
  • Revolution Continues

    Revolution Continues
    As the Revolution carried on, women with husbands as politicians and soldiers were left at home for long expanses of time. They often feared for the invasion of their home and had to pursue through sickness. It was a heavy burden to keep the home running while watching out for the children and worrying for family and friends.
  • Second Great Awakening

    Second Great Awakening
    This second wave of religious revival was headed by Charles Finney and General Cartwright, and the general idea was to reform society by reforming each citizen. This wave was more accepting, held more frequently outdoors, and many more women were involved. This was a significant improvement from the first wave in which few females participated.
  • Lowell Mills

    Lowell Mills
    The factory town in Lowell, MA was the ideal vision of an efficient and productive company town system. Employees worked, lived, and purchased within the town, most of them being New England farm girls. The hours were long and strict.
  • American Temperance Society

    American Temperance Society
    In 1826, the ATS formed in Boston; it sought to reduce American consumption of alcohol through public speeches, propaganda, and temperance pledges. Women were able to get very involved in this group, and it demonstrated the beginnings of females in societal reform. In 1851, this movement succeeded in passing the Maine Law.
  • Eaton Affair

    Eaton Affair
    Jackson's Cabinet fell apart when Secretary of War John Eaton's wife, Peggy O'Neil, found herself in the middle of a scandal. This incident brought Van Buren closer to Jackson while turning the unfriendly Calhoun away. This event, involving the wives of politicians, led to the creation of Jackson's "kitchen cabinet."
  • Start of the Cult of Domesticity

    Start of the Cult of Domesticity
    In the mid-1800s, the infamous Cult of Domesticity began to form. It put women on a pedestal with the job of upholding morals and religion. The home was the "women's sphere," and she cared for the children and tended to their education. Over time, the birth rate fell, and the family centered on few, precious children.
  • Seneca Falls Convention

    Seneca Falls Convention
    In 1848, women's rights leaders like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott met at a convention in Seneca Falls, New York. This was the first meeting on suffrage in the U.S. The Declaration of Sentiments was read, which supported equality under the law in all spheres: education, religion, free speech, and employment. This was the springboard for the women's rights movement.
  • Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth
    Truth was a female African American abolitionist and supporter of women's rights. In her famous "Ain't I A Woman?" speech she told of how women worked just as hard as men and that they too deserved the vote.
  • Women and the Civil War

    Women and the Civil War
    While the nation entered Civil War and the Northern economy boomed, women stepped up to take open jobs. Some worked in factories, and others worked as spies or nurses. Clara Barton earned respect for professional nursing along with other revolutionaries like Dorthea Dix.
  • Unions

    In 1866, the National Labor Union (NLU) formed, and they supported workingwomen. The NLU even went as far as to elect a woman as a national officer. In addition, the Knights of Labor, formed in 1869, also supported women. Not only did women break out into the workforce, but they stood up for their rights and participated actively in unions.
  • Manners and Morals

    Manners and Morals
    In 1869, Catherine Beecher wrote her popular book "The American Woman’s Home." This book describes the Victorian code that was important at the time, for certain expectations were held. Victorian morality and the Cult of Domesticity both defined the woman’s place as a spiritual leader and caretaker of the home. These acted as serious restraints that prevented earlier progress.
  • "Girl Homesteaders"

    "Girl Homesteaders"
    As railroads branched out and offered land to settlers, the growing need for an increased female population became evident. Men were encouraged to bring their wives and families out west, but the various land promotions also made plots available for single women, also known as “girl homesteaders.” In Wyoming, these independent females accounted for more than 18 percent of the applicants. This movement displayed new self-reliant characteristics of women that had been previously suppressed.
  • The First Signs of Enfranchisement

    The First Signs of Enfranchisement
    As new states developed, the governments were persuaded by activists like Anthony and Stanton to give women the vote. The Wyoming territory enfranchised women in 1869 to give them equal political rights and help them maintain their moral guidance. A year later, the Utah territory followed, and soon Nebraska and Colorado allowed women to vote in school elections. By 1890, women earned full voting rights in four states and sparked a revolution to come.
  • Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)

    Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)
    Frances Willard was the president of this union. She took the idea of women having little role in the real world and developed it into a rationale for political action. Through it, women gained knowledge and experience of lobbyists, organizers, and lecturers. Activities were eventually greatly expanding and in 1890 it became the nation's first large organizatio of women.
  • Textile Mills

    Textile Mills
    Between 1860 and 1900, cotton-mills flourished throughout the South. These mills, often hiring poor whites, provided many women with jobs, but some also abused workers by paying in “scrip” and lowering wages. Mothers were commonly accompanied by their children to work, for superintendents hired entire families. Thrifty women even grew their own gardens and raised animals, and their maternal presence tied struggling communities together.
  • The Coming of "New Women"

    The Coming of "New Women"
    Leaving the home to work seemed an opportunity for many young women. With new technologies and factory jobs, women could earn extra money for their families. The Cult of Domesticity began to break, and a breed of “new women” entered the workforce. Some took jobs as maids, cooks, and laundresses, but whatever the job, this new sense of possibility inspired women.
  • The Impact of Technology

    The Impact of Technology
    With the industrialization of America came a boom in the field of invention. The Singer Sewing Machine began to produce machines in 1860, and soon these would become available to women at home and in factories, making sewing more efficient at home and providing factory jobs. Both Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 telephone, which expanded by 1900, and the typewriter gave women the chance to push the edges of their “woman’s sphere” by offering jobs as office clerks and secretaries.
  • Young Women's Christian Association

    Young Women's Christian Association
    The YWCA provided young women and children with a roof over their heads, which came with a nursery and comfort as well.
  • Prostitution Fight

    Prostitution Fight
    The codes of victorian morality eventually led to the moral purity campaign, which began in 1885, to cleanse the immoral lower classes. This campaign fought against saloons, symbols of mass culture, that often coupled with the infamous business of prostitution. Upper class standards attempted to rid America of a frowned upon institution, but prostitution actually offered a paying job that gave many young women a sense of freedom, even in these difficult times.
  • College Attendance

    College Attendance
    Female attendance to colleges increased by more than one-third of the total college student population. Also, across the country the total percent of women admitted to college increased from 30% to 71%.
  • Female Leaders

    Female Leaders
    Mary E. Lease was a major activist in the Alliance and Populist movements. She came on the scene as a "fiery alliance orator," and was one of the few women who took on a role during these days of desparate cause.
  • Conflict Among Women

    Conflict Among Women
    In 1890, women began to challenge expectations and class boundaries. There was a rise new of womens' clubs, womens' colleges, and a "bicycle fad" where there also became the emergence of the "new woman". Furthermore, there was the emergence of class conflict. For instance, middle-class women made their problems and arguments heard. Women also began advocating the idea of women working outside the home and expanding on the idea of a "widened sphere". This went against the Cult of Domesticity.
  • Settlement Houses

    Settlement Houses
    With the overwhelming immigrant population mounting, women such as Florence Kelley and Jane Addams stepped in and opened "Settlement Houses." Homes, like Addams' Hull House, provided immigrants with day care for children and small classes to teach everyday skills.
  • The National Women's Alliance (NWA)

    The National Women's Alliance (NWA)
    The National Women's Alliance (NWA) is founded. Other women who were veterans of the Grange, or prohibition cause rallied for this. They in essence argued, "Put 1,000 women lecturers in the field and revolution is here."
  • General Federation of Women's Clubs

    General Federation of Women's Clubs
    The General Federation of Women's Clubs was the umbrella organization of all women's clubs. In these clubs women combined their skills in civic affairs, public speaking, and intellectual analysis. The women quickly became incolved in welfare projects, expansion of public libraries and education, and improving tenements.
  • Effects of NWA

    Effects of NWA
    After the NWA is founded, Ignatius Donnelly wrote a novel called The Golden Battle. This book showed the agrarian reformer's social vision.
  • The Awakening

    The Awakening
    The Awakening was a novel written by Kate Chopin, afemale author who pushed the idea of this independent "new woman." In the novel, the main (woman) character falls in love with another man and ultimately kills herself because his perception of women are narrow-minded and remind her of her husband. Other female authors include Sarah Orne Jewett and Annie MacLean.
  • Florence Kelley Taking Action

    Florence Kelley Taking Action
    In 1891, Kelley was a Hull House resident, and two years later, she helped pass a child labor law in Illinois, which also limited work hours for women. In 1899, she assumed her position as general secretary of the National Consumer’s League. She continued to support nation-wide child labor laws. Kelley is one of many examples of females who actively participated during the diverse Progressive Era.
  • Divorce Rate Soared

    Divorce Rate Soared
    The divorce rate climbed to an ultimate high at one in twelve ending in this manner. In divorce cases, courts often awarded women with alimony. This was a settlement of money payable to the ex-husband to support her and their children.
  • Ida B. Wells

    Ida B. Wells
    In 1900, Ida B. Wells wrote "Lynch Law in America," a speech detailing the "unwritten law" that many Americans used as justification for their brutal actions. This noteable African American activist spoke out against lynching and also supported women's suffrage.
  • Unions

    In 1900, the International Ladie’s Garment Worker's Union was founded. This is one way women organized, but during WWI, unions became unpopular.
  • Transfer of Duty

    Transfer of Duty
    In 1900, Susan B. Anthony retired from the presidency of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (a combination of the NWSA and the AWSA) and passed the duty off to Carrie Chapman Catt, who favored the “Winning Plan”: grass roots approach with central coordination. Women developed new techniques of getting their message out. They lobbied legislators, organized parades, created slogans, posters, buttons, and banners, and held fundraisers.
  • The WCTU, Prohibition, and Prostitution

    The WCTU, Prohibition, and Prostitution
    During the Progressive Era, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union became more involved in the crusade for prohibition and against prostitution. Both of these wishes came true. With the 18th Amendment, the sale, manufacture, and transport of alcohol became illegal, and in 1910, the Mann Act made it illegal to transport women across state lines for prostitution. (Prohibition caused violence and was repealed.)
  • Ida Tarbell

    Ida Tarbell
    Ida Tarbell, a famous female muckraker, deserves much credit for her 1904 "History of the Standard Oil Company" in which she revealed the corruption of Morgan's trust. She wrote for McClure's magazine, which revealed to middle-class readers the dramatic need for reform in America.
  • The California Campaign

    The California Campaign
    Like the New York movement, the California featured women’s clubs in the 1800’s, who focused mainly on cultural and domestic ideas. By the 1900’s, these clubs expanded to statewide organizations that sought municipal reform and public school education reform. Supporter’s vouched for “organized womanhood” and “good government” to build a better America, and they incorporated men into their ranks. By 1911, CA received woman suffrage. The elite and middle class led this campaign.
  • "Antis"

    Those who opposed the suffrage movement were mainly of the upper class and were referred to as "antis", led by the wealthy Josephine Dodge of New York. She argued that invading the men's sphere would "tarnish their moral and spiritual role."
  • Jane Addams

    Jane Addams
    Jane Addams, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), believed in peace. She wrote a book called Newer Ideals of Peace, where she insisted that the multiethnic "internationalism" of neighborhoods of America's immigrants proved that hostilities could be overcome.
  • Muller v. Oregon

    Muller v. Oregon
    This Supreme Court case set maximum working hours for female laundry workers. Many worried that female could hurt their reproductive systems, but later on, women would seek equality rather than special treatment.
  • Battling Industrialization

    Battling Industrialization
    In 1902, Jane Addams published her book "Democracy and Social Ethics," and in 1910, she followed this up with "Twenty Years at Hull House." She demanded better conditions for factories and immigrants slums and focused on the well being of all Americans.
  • Voting Update

    Voting Update
    Women can now vote in four states: Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho.
  • Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

    Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
    On this date, a fire broke out at New York City's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on the eighth and ninth floors, leaving 141 young women (and some men), mostly immigrants, dead. The doors were locked, and the fire escapes broke. This incident gained support for workplace reform, and sparked this major movement at the start of the Progressive Era. Many female suffragists supported this cause in addition to their main goal- enfranchisement.
  • Alice Hamilton's Contributions

    Alice Hamilton's Contributions
    This forward-thinking female progressive fused science with passion of reform to examine "industrial hygiene" and study the lead poisoning of workers. In 1911, the U.S. Bureau of Labor appointed her as an investigator, and she became an expert on medical hazards. Like other reformers, the case of Alice Hamilton demonstrates the active participation of women in all fields of reform.
  • Raining Catts and Dennett

    Raining Catts and Dennett
    During the Progressive Era, women focused on much more than the suffrage movement. Reformer Katherine Bement Davis was a superintendent of a women’s reformatory and made many progressive changes. Emma Goldman traveled America to speak of feminism and edited a journal titled “Mother Earth.” Marion Talbot was the first dean of women at the University of Chicago. Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote “Women and Economics” in 1898, blaming women’s “inferiority” on their economic dependence on men.
  • Marching

    In 1913, 30,000 supporters marched for woman suffrage in New York (led by Alice Paul)!
  • Warning Signs

    Warning Signs
    Feminists and other reformers warn that war would erode support for progressive reforms.
  • Opposition to War

    Opposition to War
    Jane Addams was strongly against U.S. involvement in WWI, as were many progressives who wanted to continue gathering attention to their cause. In January 1915, Addams helped found the Woman’s Peace Party. In April, she attended an International Congress of Women, and she personally met with Wilson but failed to succeed in her peacekeeping endeavors. In 1917, Addams was sadly kicked out of the DAR for her disloyalty.
  • The March

    The March
    Fifteen Hundred women marched down New York's Fifth Avenue protesting the War.
  • March of Opposition

    March of Opposition
    In August 1914, 1,500 women marched down Fifth Avenue in protest of the war, and feminists Catt and Addams formed the Woman’s Peace party.
  • Birth Control

    Birth Control
    Margaret Sanger of New York headed the birth control movement. In 1916, Sanger returned from England and opened the first clinic in Brooklyn. In 1918, she founded “Birth Control Review." In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League. In 1919, Mary Ware Dennett published her pamphlet “The Sex Side of Life,” which spoke of human reproduction in clear terms. This Progressive Era reform marks the widening of the women’s sphere as activists attempted to give women more freedom.
  • Women's Peace party

    Women's Peace party
    A year after war broke out, Addams founded the Women's Peace party and attended an International Congress of Women that requested warrring stations to submit their differences to arbitration.
  • Women's Peace Party

    Women's Peace Party
    Jane Addams founds the Women's Peace Party. Carrie Chapman Catt and other feminists joined in its formations
  • International Congress of Women.

    International Congress of Women.
    Addams attended the International Congress of Women which called on all warring nations to submit to arbitration.
  • New York Suffrage Movement

    New York Suffrage Movement
    A suffrage campaign in New York State sparked in 1915 but was unsuccessful. It marked the revival of the continuing suffrage cause.
  • Women in Wartime

    Women in Wartime
    Women played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in WWI. Some women served in the AEF, while 1 million worked in industry, most moving into higher paying positions. Females bought war bonds, suffered “meatless” and “wheatless” Mondays and Wednesdays, and grew Victory Gardens. Due to their war service, Wilson finally granted women suffrage in 1917. The 19th Amendment was passed in 1919 and ratified in 1920. Sadly, many women lost their jobs when veterans returned.
  • Expulsion From DAR

    Expulsion From DAR
    Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) expelled Jane Addams and for years after they and other patriotic organizations like the American Legion, attacked her for her disloyalty.
  • War Splits Women's Movement

    War Splits Women's Movement
    New York passed a state women-suffrage referendum. Catt believed women earned the right to vote through their service in the war effort.
  • Jane Addams

    Jane Addams
    Jane Addams, founder of the Hull House, was against Wilson's decision to declare war on Germany. She worked to overcome tensions between different ethnic groups in the United States to prove that "ethnic hostilities" could be overcome.
  • Hostess House

    Hostess House
    Local women in Plattsburgh, New York, opened a "Hostess House" to provide comforts of home to homesick recruits at a training camp.
  • Meatless and Wheatless

    Meatless and Wheatless
    The Food Administration got housewives to sign pledges that said they would conserve food by obscuring "meatless" and "wheatless" days. This meant they would go without certain foods for specific days of the week.
  • Harriot Stanton Blatch

    Harriot Stanton Blatch
    Harriot Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, headed the Food Administration's Speaker's Bureau. This bureau spread messages to conserve whenever possible. Blatch also organized the Woman's Land Army. This recruited women to fill in for male farmers while they were at war.
  • American Expeditionary Force

    American Expeditionary Force
    16,500 U.S. women served in the American Expeditionary Force. They took the roles of nurses, telephone operators, canteen workers and secretaries. Other women worked in industry
  • Voting Update

    Voting Update
    In 1917, New York voters approved a woman-suffrage referendum (a vote by the whole of an electorate on a specific question or questions put to it by a government or similar body). This was a key victory that encouraged other states.
  • Alice Paul

    Alice Paul
    Alice Paul, another prominent suffragist, opposed Catt’s patient state-by-state strategy and followed the militant tactic’s of Britain’s Woman Suffrage Movement. In 1913, she formed the Congressional Union (Woman’s Party). In 1917, she targeted Democrats and picketed the White House constantly, determined to get an amendment passed. As the U.S. went to war, she called Wilson out on his plan to bring democracy to other nations, but not the females of his own country. Finally, she was jailed.
  • War Splits the Women's Movement

    War Splits the Women's Movement
    With war came the division of the women’s movement. Those against war joined Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Catt (she shifted her views slightly in 1917) in their peace efforts, but others followed the leadership of Harriot Stanton Blatch and Anna Howard Shaw. Blatch, author of “Mobilizing Woman-Power” (1918) argued that those who wanted peace must have war to get it and should take part in supporting it. Shaw was appointed to the Woman’s Committee of the Council of National Defense.
  • "Mobilizing Woman Power"

    "Mobilizing Woman Power"
    Harriot Stanton Blatch wrote "Mobilizing Woman Power" in which she argued that women who wanted to hep shape the peace needed to support the war.
  • Anna Howard Shaw

    Anna Howard Shaw
    Anna Howard Shaw accepted appointment to chair the Women's Committee of the Council of National Denfense (NAWSA).
  • Catt Taking Over

    Catt Taking Over
    Carrie Chapman Catt was successor as president of NAWSA insisting the women's suffrage was the group's priority
  • Edith Wharton

    Edith Wharton
    In her 1918 novel "The Marne", American writer Edith Wharton detailed her love of France in order to gain sympathy for the Allies and support the war.
  • Addams Elected President

    Addams Elected President
    After the war ended, Jane Addams was elected the first president of the Women's International League for peace and freedom.
  • Gaining the vote

    Gaining the vote
    The House of Representatives and the Senate pass the Ninenteenth Amendement granting women the right to vote. This was ratified in 1920.
  • Action of the Opposition

    Action of the Opposition
    During the war, Jane Addams campaigned across America, seeking to aid refugees and war victims. In 1919, she was elected president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In 1922, she wrote “Peace and Bread in Time of War,” and in 1931, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Addams example demonstrates how deeply war affects the daily processes of life, especially as can be seen in her 1922 novel.
  • Women During the Progressive Era

    Women During the Progressive Era
    Between 1900 and 1920 opportunities for women in cities provided them with both freedom and hardship. At this time, many became white-collar workers. In 1900, 949,00 women held such jobs, but by 1920, 3.4 million held white-collar jobs. The numbers of college-educated women tripled. For women stuck at home with children, city life could mean isolation, and as the Women’s Suffrage Movement gained momentum, there were still females who did not take part or believe in the cause.

    THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT IS PASSED. WOMEN GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE NATIONWIDE. (This is partly due to the dedication of Alice Paul as seen in "Iron Jawed Angels.")
  • Women's Joint Congressional Committee

    Women's Joint Congressional Committee
    This network of women's groups lobbied for child-labor laws, protection of female workers, and federal support for education. In 1921, this group also supported the Sheppard-Towner Act. This act gave funding to rural prenatal and baby-care centers staffed by public-health nurses.
  • After the Vote

    After the Vote
    After women finally got the vote, much of the suffrage movement dispersed, and the 19th Amendment had little immediate political effect. The League of Women Voters lost focus and began to study civic issues. The National Woman's party drafted an equal-rights amendment, but it was never put into serious action. Congress was unsupportive of the reforms of women's groups.
  • 1920s Culture

    1920s Culture
    Women listened to the radio programs like "Amos 'n' Andy," read journals such as "Digest," and went out to the movies like "The Sheik" with Rudolph Valentino (a favorite of the ladies). In 1921, Atlantic City also launched the Miss America Pageant.

    In the 1920s, a new breed of rebellious females was born. The flapper was a flirtatious, cigarette-smoking young woman. Often times, they cut their hair short and tried to emulate boyish figures, and some had an aptitude for dancing the "Charleston." These women were "fast," wore makeup, and put on shorter skirts. Although these women were morally looked down on, this new image was a crucial development for women!
  • The Automobile

    The Automobile
    Many women loved the new car, for it provided them with new freedom and ease when driving to work, running errands, attending meetings, visiting friends, and getting out of the house! This was one of the many advances in technology that had a positive influence on women, particularly of the middle and upper classes.
  • Appliances

    The 1920s yeilded a large supply of helpful new appliances and household devices, such as the toaster, vacuum, electric washing machine, and the electric iron. Old days of terrible chores faded away.
  • Targets of Advertising

    Targets of Advertising
    The 1920s were very materialistic, and a new class of advertising professionals emerged, targetting women. Propaganda featured images of what potential women could live up to if they purchased certain products, but they also threatened with consequences of what might happen if they did not! Companies selling new home technologies persusively talked of the ease and style of their products.
  • Women at Work

    Women at Work
    Women, blacks, immigrants, and Mexican-Americans are still at the bottom of the wage scale. The average worker makes about $0.47 an hour. Ranks of working women increased by more than 2 million, but their number of the total workforce remained at 24%. They also faced serious wage discrimination and sought work in corporate offices.
  • Chain Stores

    Chain Stores
    Women, who did the majority of the shopping for the home, were profoundly affected by the popularity boom of chain stores. By 1930, these stores accouted for 25% of all retail sales. Department stores also experienced increased popularity and underwent new developments.
  • Education Increases

    Education Increases
    By 1930, the number of female graduates moving on to college reached 12%, and three times the number of women earned degrees as opposed to 1920! Most continued on to traditional jobs, but others fed off of the encouragement of the Progressive Era.
  • Nobel Peace Prize Winner

    Nobel Peace Prize Winner
    Jane Addams wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

    Eleanor Roosevelt
    Wife of FDR, she had a keen social conscience expressed in settlement-house work and the National Consumer's League headed by Florence Kelley. Through her, FDR could reach out to all social groups, sepcifically minorities.
  • Frances Perkins

    Frances Perkins
    FDR brought Perkins into his cabinet. Making her the first women ever to be in a presidential cabinet. She put pressure on the NRA making their textile-industry code ban child labor.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune

    Mary McLeod Bethune
    Mary McLeod Bethune was electied director of minority affairs in the National Youth Administration by FDR. She was also a Florida educator, head of the National Council of Negro Women, and a close friend to Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • Resignation for the DAR

    Resignation for the DAR
    When the DAR did not allow Marian Anderson to perform in the Constitutional Hall of Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization. Soon enough, it was arranged that Anderson would perform in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Dewson's Efforts

    Dewson's Efforts
    The Roosevelt administration got many women voters. Molly Dewson, head of the Democratic party's women's division le this effort. In the 1936 campaign, Dewson moblized 15,000 women who went door to door giving out flyers that described the New Deal programs and urged Americans to vote Roosevelt.
  • Women's Roles in Strikes

    Women's Roles in Strikes
    A Women's Auxiliary which was organized by strikers' wives, sisters, and daughters fed the striking workers who would sit-down and not work, protesting. They would feed the workers and set up a speaker's bureau, and marched through downtown Flint.
  • Governement Trend

    Governement Trend
    Federal government urged women into war production industry. Songs "We're the Janes who Make The Planes" reflected this trend.
  • Women in Workforce

    Women in Workforce
    Over 6 million women entered the workforce. The number of employed women increased to 19 million.
  • Percentages during the war

    75% of new women workers married; 60% over 35 and over 33% had children under it.
  • Plastic instead of Metal

    War Department brochure portrays women as "substitutes like plastic intead of metal". Wartime strengthened traditional views and gender discrimination with women earning only 65% of what men earned for same work.
  • Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter
    "Rosie the Riveter" becomes the symbol of women war workers. On the Pacific Coast, over one third of women were working in aircraft and shipbuilding
  • Divorce Rate

    Divorce Rate
    Divorce rate rose to 27 per 10 marriages but so did marriage and birth rates.
  • Refusal

    The government refused to support working mothersby establishing chile-care centers for women employed in defense. Labor Department Bureau said women's primary duty is to stay home and mend to the children.

    Over 150,000 women joined the armed forces and are given regular military status as members of Women's Army Corps (WAC) and Navy's Women Appointed for Volenteer Emergency Services (WAVES)
  • Potential of Women

    Women constituted one third of all workers. Also women now gained a new sense of potential.
  • Reluctance in Polls

    Reluctance in Polls
    Only 18% of respondents in polls approved of women working. This shows the relectuance of many Americans to women participating in important elements of the future of the country.
  • Morgan v. Virginia

    Morgan v. Virginia
    Irene Morgan acted as an early Rosa Parks when she refused to sit in the back of a bus in Virginia. She argued that since it was an interstate bus headed to Maryland, this Virginia law did not apply. The NAACP took her case, and she won. This civil rights stand was risky but notable, and the fact that Morgan was a woman made this case even more progressive.
  • Losing Jobs and Taking Others

    Losing Jobs and Taking Others
    The end of the war marked the end of an unusual period of opportunity for women in the work force. The defense budget dropped drastically, and more than a million jobs vanished. Most women moved out of industry, got married, and returned to work at low paying positions. Their primary concerned was to make small amounts of money to support their family but not to overstep their gender boundaries.
  • The Boys Come Home

    The Boys Come Home
    When all the veterans returned home, women got their sons, fathers, and husbands back. But many negative aspects included housing shortages and a spiking divorce rate! War separatation had encouraged these divorces, and many men had difficulty reconnected with friends and family. Despite these separation challenges, the 1950's produced a dramatic "baby boom," for all the men had returned home and American was prosperous.
  • Accusation Fears

    Accusation Fears
    The Anticommunist Crusade of the late 1940's and 1950's frightened Americans everywhere, and although women were less likely to be called out as Communists and were not targeted as public officials or high office holders, they did fear for their family. Women went to great lengths to uphold moral standards, work hard at work and in the home, and put on a patriotic act to discourage any McCarthy-like accusations. On top of all this, Americans struggled with the threats of the Cold War
  • Air-raid Drills

    Air-raid Drills
    Many women still held positions as school teachers, and when news broke out of the Soviet Union's atomic developments, teachers oversaw air-raid drills in which students crouched under their desks.
  • "Nifty Fifties"

    "Nifty Fifties"
    Much like the 1920's, the 50's were full of prosperity and consumerism. Women were able to purchase new, more feminine clothing, as well as a wider range of appliances, cosmetics, and televisions. This period also enforced a gentle style of parenting, and women were expected to know their place homemakers who tended to the children.
  • Women Strike for Peace

    Women Strike for Peace
    This organzation was founded amidst the insanity of the Cold War. This group of middle-class housewives informed the public of radioactivity in the air and warned of nuclear war.
  • Television

    Many housewives had to time to enjoy the popular shows of the day that included "Leave It To Beaver," "The Honeymooners," and the fantastic "I Love Lucy" with the hilarious Lucille Ball! The watching of these shows became a happy family ritual.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe

    In 1852, Stowe published "Uncle Tom's Cabin," a novel detailing the issues of slavery. This was in response to the terrible Fugitive Slave Law and encouraged by the religious aspects of the Second Great Awakening. Her novel was extremely successful, and this was a monumental success for a woman in particular.
  • Espionage

    The Cold War was packed with nuclear threats and covert CIA operations. Fears of espionage increased when the Soviets suddenly exploded an atomic bomb. Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius were accused of passing along secrets, and the two were the first Americans to be executed for espionage. This harsh decision reflected the frantic fears of the American people, for this poor woman and her husband may have been innocent.
  • Raising Children

    Raising Children
    In Dr. Benjamin Spock's 1946 "Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care," he encouraged a loving style of parenting. Women were the primary care-givers, and the 1950's revealed that increased prosperity led to an attitude change amongst teenagers- the "Gimme Kids." With so much to buy and so little work to do, teens became materialistic and unsatisfiable. Many women were left alone at home to deal with the growing baby boomers and meet their endless demands.
  • Suburbs

    Women were the center of the new "suburbs" developing in America. These heavens between the city and the rural country were quite uniform but appeared very safe and happy. Women were viewed as housewives who brought up the children, cooked, cleaned, and were reduced to their traditional roles. They visited strip malls, prepared TV dinners, and took up only minor public roles. These suburbs could also be extremely exclusive and many women felt lonely and depressed during this time.
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    Rosa parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and she was arrested. The NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr. supported her stand against discrimination. Rosa Parks took a risky move, particularly for a woman, but her determination eventually ended up in a 1956 ruling outlawing segregation on buses. This event sparked the massive, peaceful Civil Rights Movement.
  • Marriage Age

    Marriage Age
    During the 50's and Cold War days, women began to marry at younger ages, and they often suffered from the restricitions placed upon them by society, especially in suburbs like Levittown. One woman in three married by 19 in hopes of achieving the dream of the "perfect American couple." Young housewives felt as though they were "suffocating". The divorce rate also increased as did the fertility rate, which was aided by new antibiotics.
  • Media Influence

    Media Influence
    The media supported young marriage for women and stressed the importance of being a good, moral housewife. Movie stars Doris Day and Debbie Reynolds encouraged these thoughts on and off the screen in films like "The Tender Trap" of 1955.These thoughts were reflected upon the popular televisions, new music, and magazines like Life, Seventeen, and Esquire too.
  • Educational Influence

    Educational Influence
    Education also forced women to pratice more feminine studies, which restricted their futures and supported the idea of a "happy housewife." The Cold War race to produce the smartest citizens also gave women more opportunities to attend school, but almost 2/3 of women failed to earn a degree.
  • Religious Influence

    Religious Influence
    Religious activity spurred by Cold War panic flourished at this time, and Hollywood took up the role of bring it to the public in films like "Ben Hur" and "The Ten Commandments." Housewives also recieved the job of ascertaining their family's moral and religious status to raise the best children America could have.
  • The Pill on the Market

    The Pill on the Market
    The Pill went on the market in 1960 and gave women the freedom to make their own choices about when to have children.
  • Peace Corps

    Peace Corps
    Created in 1961, the Peace Corps offered a new way for women to be independent and proactive. Men had often been given the chance to travel overseas during wartime, as had women in the roles of nurses, but the Peace Corps was only one of the many new ways that women could aid their country, as well as other nations.
  • JFK and Women

    JFK and Women
    Despite the fact that JFK founded the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, he still carelessly mistreated women through his various scandalous affairs. Women were still discriminated against, and even the president acted as if they were unequal.
  • Women of Science

    Women of Science
    During the Cold War, America raced to produce new technologies and advance the science program. In 1962, Rachel Carson published the book "Silent Spring" in which she explained how pesticides greatly impact nature and the entire food chain. Her research earned her the nickname "mother of modern ecology." At a time when most women were expected to be quiet little housewives, Carson proved a leading scientist, despite her gender.
  • Response to Carson

    Response to Carson
    In 1962, in response to Carson's 1962 publication, Kennedy formed a team of advisors to look into pesticide use, and Congress later took action with the Clean Air Act (1963). This incident may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of female history, but it is an example of how a woman made herself heard and was able to impact the entire nation.
  • The Feminine Mystique

    The Feminine Mystique
    Betty Friedan's 1963 book detailed the issue felt by the oppressed female population of the time. Housewives suffocated under male domination, and Friedan referred to this issue as "the problem that has no name."
  • Great Society

    Great Society
    Even though the Great Society aided primarily the poor and African Americans, Johnson’s plans for education and scholarships also increased the probability of higher education for women. Such plans included the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act. But this plan, in conjunction with war and a lack of heavy taxation, would drive America into debt and lead many women to feel like a lost part of the "silent majority."
  • Counterculture

    Amidst the war and upheaval of the 1960’s, a population of American citizens, particularly young people, formed a new counterculture that defied traditional, conservative standards and focused on “be-ins,” love, peace, music, and drugs. Some female “hippies” wore tie-dye, flared jeans, beads, and peace signs. Many engaged in sexual activity and supported the sexual revolution. In this environment, women were viewed on a level of equality.
  • Women's Lib

    Women's Lib
    Feeding off of the movements of college students, African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans, the women’s movement gained strength for a second time. Leaders included Betty Friedan, Mary King, Casey Hayden, Bella Abzug, and Aileen Hernandez. In 1966,these women and other educated females formed the National organization for Women (NOW), which attempted to achieve total equality politically. By 1967, the movement became less liberal and much more focused on righting the many wron
  • Vietnam

    It is important to note the lack of enthusiasm and support for the war in Vietnam, for although one witnessed the growth of Victory Gardens and “meatless” and “wheatless” days during WWII, women were much more reluctant to aid this war measure. Many were mothers terrified of losing their sons to the draft. But some women did join the Air Force and other units.
  • Consciousness-raising

    In 1968, women began to employ a tactic called “consciousness-raising” in which they aided one another in opening their eyes to the problems and solution around them. They began to meet in groups to sympathize and organize. Women connected personal issues with political change and analyzed the power systems in the workplace and the home. They detested female pageants and supported one another by means of abuse shelters and counseling services.
  • 1970 Convention

    1970 Convention
    To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the1920 gain of the vote and to plan for the future, activists met in August 1970 in the largest women’s convention ever. They planned to put pressure on financial institutions, target colleges, and appeal to newspapers to put an end to discrimination. This demonstration of support and power was crucial to the liberation movement.
  • Roe v. Wade

    Roe v. Wade
    This ruling allowed women to abort during the first trimester (3 months) of pregnancy. This was one symbol of women's growing freedom.
  • Sandra Day O'Connor

    Sandra Day O'Connor
    Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor as the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Feminists supported his decision.
  • Election Day

    Election Day
    In the presidential election of 1984, Mondale's running mate was Geraldine Ferraro. She was the first woman to ever be on a presential ticket.
  • Condoleezza Rice

    Condoleezza Rice
    President Bush names Condoleezza Rice as national security advisor. Not only was this a huge milestone because she was a woman, but she was also an African American. Bush relied heavily on her advice in his dealings with Gorbachev and Yeltsin.