Let's Talk About Some Women's Firsts

With international women's day having just passed on March 8th, I would like to highlight the success woman have had throughout history. The women below have been great doctors, scientists, adventurer's and most importantly, these women have been positive figures in our lives that have championed the definition of what it means to be a strong, successful woman. Now, let's talk about some of the 'firsts' they were able to accomplish!

 

Valentina Tereshkova​

Tereshkova was the first woman in space. She was a Soviet cosmonaut and launched with the Vostok 6 mission on June 16, 1963. Tereshkova logged more than 70 hours in space and made 48 orbits of Earth. This was her only mission in space but, she continued to remain in the science world as she became a spokesperson for the Soviet Union and earned a doctorate in technical sciences. She is now 82 years old.

 

Sandra Day O’Connor

O'Connor was the first female justice to be appointed to the United Staes Supreme Court. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagen in 1981 and served as a justice until her retirement in 2006.  O'Connor also served as the first female Majority Leader of a state senate as the Republican leader in the Arizona Senate. One of her landmark cases include Bush V. Gore and O’Connor was also one of three co-authors of the lead opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. She is now 88 years old.

 

Junko Tabei

Tabei at age 35 was the first woman to climb Mount Everest. In 1975 Tabei reached the summit of the worlds highest peak. The summit of Mount Everest sits at 29,000 feet. Tabei was also the first woman to ascend all Seven Summits by climbing the highest peak on every continent. The Seven Summits include the African Plate– Kilimanjaro, Antarctic Plate– Vinson, Australian Plate– Puncak Jaya / Kosciuszko, Eurasian Plate– Mount Everest, North American Plate – Denali, Pacific Plate– Mauna Kea and the South-American Plate– Aconcagua. Tabei passed at age 77.

 

Elizabeth Blackwell

Blackwell was a British physician known as the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. Blackwell when applying to college was rejected from all the medical schools she applied to except Geneva Medical College. In 1847 Blackwell became the first woman to attend medical school in the United States. Blackwell's article on typhoid fever was the first medical article published by a female student from the United States. She passed at age 89.

 

Arabella Mansfield

Mansfield in 1869 became the first female lawyer in the United States. Manfield was admitted to the Iowa bar. Mansfield had taken the bar exam and earned high scores which led her to challenge the Iowa State court and its law restricting the bar exam to males. Iowa amended its licensing statute and became the first state to accept women and minorities into its bar. Mansfield worked was primarily an educator and activist as she spent her career teaching at Iowa Wesleyan College and DePauw University. She eventually became a university administrator, serving as dean in the 1890s of two different schools. She passed at age 65.

 

There are still many ‘Firsts’ to be had when it comes to the achievements of women but, we have come a long way. The women above have paved the way in their fields to offer more opportunity for the women that came after them. But, now that we have talked about some women's firsts hopefully the readers of this article will be able to achieve some ‘firsts’ of their own.