Do you need Women’s History Month facts to share with your students this March? The teacher team at Teach Starter has come up with a list of facts to celebrate Women’s History Month (or any time of year!) that you can share with your students and incorporate into your lessons. From the world of STEM to politics and art, women have been making a difference since day one. We hope your students love learning about these incredible figures, past and present!
Did you know that more than 70% of teachers in the US are women? As educators working hard to enlighten the minds of tomorrow, it’s crucial that we teach our students about women’s importance throughout history. Although many stories, perspectives, opinions, and knowledge have been brushed aside in the past, we have the opportunity today to share all the accomplishments women have made throughout the world to better humanity.
Who Started Women’s History Month and Why?
Women’s History Month actually started as Women’s History Week in Santa Rosa, California in 1978. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women wanted the week to include International Women’s Day (March 8).
This recognition of women expanded to other communities and by 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8 to be National Women’s History Week. Predecessors of Carter continued the recognition until Congress designated March as Women’s History Month in 1987, almost a decade after the first Women’s History Week.
Short on time? Explore our favorite Women’s Rights Movement printables and more!
Women’s History Month Facts for Kids
1. The nation’s first Women’s History Day celebration was in NYC in 1909.
2. In 1869, the Wyoming Territory was the first place to give women the right to vote.
3. Despite that major milestone, all American women couldn’t vote until nearly a century later in 1965 when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.
4. The first female governor in the US was Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming. She took the job after her husband’s death in 1924, and she holds the honor by a slim margin. Miriam Ferguson was inaugurated governor of Texas just 16 days later!
5. Women couldn’t get their own credit cards until 1974 when the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), more formally known as Title VII of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, was finally passed by Congress.
6. The Equal Pay Act, passed by US Congress in 1963, was the first piece of federal legislation to prohibit sex-based discrimination.
7. American Revolution heroine Sybil Ludington is thought to have ridden more than twice as far as Paul Revere to warn militiamen that the British were coming. She is said to have made an all-night ride 40 miles to rally militia forces after Danbury, Connecticut had been set ablaze by British forces.
8. Rosa Parks‘ role in the civil rights movement earned her the nickname “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”
9. We may talk about Watson and Crick’s double helix discovery in science class, but British chemist Rosalind Franklin is the one who revealed DNA’s structure.
10. Sally Ride was the first woman in space in 1983.
11. Rita Moreno was the first Latinx person to receive an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award).
12. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rae Rivera were instrumental members of the gay rights movement.
13. Jane Addams was known as a pioneer social worker in America. She founded the Hull House, organized the Women’s Peace Party and the International Congress of Women, and received the Nobel Peace Prize.
14. Anna May Wong was the first Asian American woman to receive a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.
15. Junko Tabei was the first woman to summit Mount Everest and the first woman to complete the “Seven Summits” (climbing the tallest mountain on each continent).
17. Hillary Clinton was the first woman to win a major party’s nomination for president of the US in 2016.
18. Singer Aretha Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
19. Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina Supreme Court justice in 2009.
20. Kamala Harris is the first woman and the first woman of color to serve as vice president of the US.
21. Florence Griffith Joyner is considered the fastest woman of all time with records from 1988 in the 100 and 200-meter dashes that still stand today.
22. Donyale Luna is hailed as “the first Black supermodel” and was the first African American model to appear on the cover of British Vogue in 1966.
23. Hattie McDaniel was the first Black actor to receive an Oscar for her performance in Gone with the Wind.
24. Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to be the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
25. Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in 2021 when she read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Joe Biden’s inauguration.
26. Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1979.
27. Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to be elected to Congress in 1916.
28. Mathematician Katherine Johnson‘s mathematical computations helped launch John Glenn into orbit and send Apollo 11 to the Moon.
29. Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first Muslim woman to represent the US at the Olympics in 2016 and was the first Olympian to wear a hijab.
30. With 28 wins, Beyoncé has the most Grammy Awards in history.
31. Harriet Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed military operation the Combahee River Raid) in the US.
31. Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1926.
32. Obiageli Ezekwesili is a humanitarian, education activist, former Vice President of the World Bank Africa Division, and co-founded Transparency International, an anti-corruption body.
33. Madam C.J. Walker is considered America’s first female self-made millionaire for her hair care products for Black women.
35. Kathy Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967 despite the fact that women were not allowed to compete.
36. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female justice on the US Supreme Court, taking her seat in 1981. She was joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg more than a decade later in 1993.
37. Barbara Streisand was the first woman to win the Golden Globe for best director.
38. Dr. Mae Jemison was the first Black woman to travel to space.
39. Frida Kahlo was the first Mexican artist to be shown at the Louvre.
40. Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail, solo and unassisted, around the world in 2010.
41. Nancy Pelosi was the first woman to serve as speaker of the House in the US Congress. She first took the gavel in 2007.
42. Serena Williams was the first (and only) tennis player to accomplish a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles.
43. Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani education rights activist and the world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
44. Jodie Foster was the first known LGBTQ woman to win an Oscar for best actress.
45. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly a plane across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928.
46. Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. The associate justice was confirmed by the US Senate on April 7, 2022, and sworn into office on June 30.
47. Mary Anderson invented windshield wipers on automobiles.
48. Madeleine Albright was the first female US secretary of state.
49. Halle Berry was the first African American to win an Oscar for best actress in 2001.
50. In 1972, then Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm became the first Black person in America to run for the presidency.
51. Antonia Novello was the first woman to serve as U.S. Surgeon General.
52. Carol Moseley Braun was the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
53. Katharine Graham was the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, the Washington Post.
54. Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who leads a global community of like-minded youth in combating climate change.
55. Edith Wharton was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for her 1921 novel, “The Age of Innocence.”
56. A woman named Josephine Cochrane invented the mechanical dishwasher.
57. Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and eventually, the first woman to win two as well. Bonus fact for your students: Curie is credited with coining the term “radioactivity” which describes the phenomenon of radiation caused by atomic decay.
58. Actress Hedy Lamarr is credited with inventing the tech behind Wi-Fi.
59. Janet Guthrie was the first female Indy 500 contender in 1977.
60. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey was the first Black female billionaire.
61. Queen Lili’uokalani was the first woman ever to rule the Kingdom of Hawaii and the first queen regnant in the history of Hawaii.
62. Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian descent to fly into space.
63. Long before computers were invented, Ada Lovelace came up with the idea for a computer language.
64. Sally Preisand became the first female rabbi in the US in 1972.
65. Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to write a book and wrote 14 books during her life.
66. Nancy Johnson invented a hand-operated ice cream maker in 1843 that is still used today!
67. South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim is the first female figure skater to win all four of these prestigious competitions: The Winter Olympic Games, The World Championships, The Four Continents Championships, and the ISU Grand Prix.
68. Author Toni Morrison was the first Black woman to win a Nobel Prize.
69. Amelia Boynton became Alabama’s first Black woman candidate for Congress and the first woman of any race to run for the Democratic ticket in the state.
70. Ann Tsukamoto was able to identify and isolate stem cells in 1991 which was been vital to medical advancements such as treatment for blood cancer.