With March being Women’s History Month, it allows women to celebrate the achievements and advances that have been made.
We have compiled a short list of just some of the women from Oklahoma who have made an impact not only in the state, but on the nation and the world.
For more information on achievements made by all women, not just Oklahoma women, or to get involved visit your local library or go online to www.womenshistorymonth.gov.
To contact Mary McAtee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.
Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed a bill which authorized and requested the president to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.”
Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.”
In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed another piece of legislation which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”
Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.
Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
Photo Courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture
Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was born in 1924 in Chickasha. A black woman, she graduated from Langston University and applied to the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law, but was denied because state law prohibited blacks and whites from attending classes together. Fisher’s lawsuit against OU made it to the U.S. Supreme Court and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement in Oklahoma.
Photo Courtesy of NASA
Shannon Lucid was born in 1943 in China, but was raised in Bethany. She earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1973, and was chosen for NASA’s Astronaut Corps in 1978. She completed her first space flight in 1985 and later did four more. Lucid’s most famous tour in space was in 1996, when she spent 188 days in space, holding the record for longest time in orbit by a woman and by an American. Lucid was chief scientist at NASA from 2002 to 2003, and served as the lead communicator for several space shuttle missions.
Shannon Miller was born in 1977 in Missouri, but her family moved to Edmond while she was still a baby. She started practicing gymnastics when she was 5 and began competing in world competitions when she was 12. Miller participated in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, and led the 1996 team to its first Olympic Gold. Miller is one of the most decorated U.S. Gymnasts.
Cherokee Wilma Mankiller was born in 1945 in Tahlequah. Mankiller grew up in poverty and her family was forced to relocate during World War II. After living in California for many years she returned to Oklahoma in 1977 and began working for the Cherokee nation. She became the first female chief of the Cherokee nation in 1985. Mankiller is credited with helping revitalize Cherokee culture and empowering Cherokee women.
Mary Fallin was born in 1954 in Missouri and grew up in Tecumseh. She was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1990, and became the lieutenant governor in 1995. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2010, and is currently the governor of Oklahoma. Fallin is the first woman to serve as Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor and governor, and the second woman to represent Oklahoma in the U.S. House of Representatives.