Who was the first women to fly (solo) across the Atlantic Ocean? That’s right: Amelia Earhart. She was quoted as saying: “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” (Yes, baseball fans, I thought Yogi Berra might have said that. But if he did, Amelia said it first.) Who was the first woman to become a Justice for the United States Supreme Court? Right, again: Sandra Day O’Connor. But who was the first woman to win an Oscar as Director of a Motion Picture? Yes, Kathryn Bigelow. You are three for three. Finally, who was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? (see her picture above) Aretha Franklin.
Check the September 18th issue of Time Magazine for a story of 46 women who were first in other important achievements. To give you a sample of who is included in the article, here are some women that were mentioned whose names you will recognize: Serena Williams (first tennis player to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the open era), Barbara Walters (first woman to co-anchor a network evening news program), and Hilary Rodham Clinton (first woman to win a major party’s nomination for President).
Finally, here is a sample of the remaining women who achieved significant firsts in a wide variety of areas.
Madeleine Albright (see above): First woman to become U. S. Secretary of State.
Elizabeth Blackburn: First woman to be president of the Salk Institute. 211 individuals have won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Blackburn is one of 12 women.
Eileen Collins: First woman to command a space shuttle.
Ann Dunwoody: First woman to rise to four-star general in the U. S. military.
Ava DuVernay: First black woman to direct a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. 2014’s “Selma.”
Nikki Haley: First Indian-American woman to be elected governor (South Carolina).
Carla Hayden (see above): First woman and first African American to be the Librarian of Congress. The library has more than books. It contains 164 items including Jackie Robinson’s papers and the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated.
Maya Lin: First woman to design a memorial on the National Mall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Loretta Lynch: First black woman to become U. S. Attorney General.
Rita Moreno: First Latina to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. Only 12 people have done so.
Ilhan Omar: (see above): The first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected to the United States Congress (from Minnesota). “I want to help build a world where chances of birth don’t define peoples lives. I want my daughters to be judged not by their gender or skin color, but by their contributions to our community.”
Cindy Sherman: First woman to break $1 million in a photography sale.
Kathryn Sullivan: First American woman to walk in space. She also was a member of the shuttle crew that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.
Alice Waters: First woman to win the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef. She was a pioneer of the “farm-to-table”, eat what is fresh and locally available movement. She inspired Michelle Obama’s outside the White House food garden.
Janet Yellen: First woman to chair the Federal Reserve.
I have not mentioned all 46 women described in Time magazine. Still, it is worth your time to check out the issue (September 18, 2017) and read about the women saluted therein.