This past Saturday, nine Women You Should Know were inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Seneca Falls, NY, the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement. Inductees were selected based on their lasting contributions to society through the arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy and science.
“The 2013 inductees again represent the spirit of Seneca Falls and the groundbreaking events that inspired the nation and the world,” Beverly Ryder, co-president of the board of directors.
Founded in 1969, the National Women’s Hall of Fame is the nation’s oldest membership organization recognizing the achievements of great American women.
The 2013 Inductees are…
Betty Ford (1918 – 2011) A groundbreaking First Lady, Betty Ford is often remembered for her candor in addressing the controversial issues of her time. Shortly after she became the First Lady of the United States in 1974, Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. Rather than suppressing the diagnosis, Ford courageously shared her story and inspired countless women across the nation to get breast cancer examinations. In 1978, Ford underwent successful treatment for addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. She again used her story to raise public awareness of addiction, and in 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center to treat victims of alcohol and chemical dependency. Ford was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and the Congressional Gold Medal, with President Gerald R. Ford, in 1999.
Ina May Gaskin (1940 – ) A certified professional midwife who has attended more than 1,200 births, Ina May Gaskin is known as the “mother of authentic midwifery”. In 1971, Gaskin founded the Farm Midwifery Center in rural Tennessee and effectively demonstrated that home birth midwives could be well prepared for their profession without first being educated as obstetric nurses. During a stay in Guatemala in 1976, Gaskin learned a technique for preventing and resolving shoulder dystocia during birth. After using the method with great success, Gaskin began to teach it and publish articles about the method. Now referred to as the Gaskin maneuver, it is the first obstetrical maneuver to be named after a midwife.
Julie Krone (1963 – ) With more than 3,700 career wins, Julie Krone is the leading female Thoroughbred horse racing jockey of all time. Krone made history in 1993 when she became the first woman to win a Triple Crown event at the Belmont Stakes. In 2003, she went on to become the first woman to win a Breeders’ Cup event at the Juvenile Fillies and the first woman to win a million dollar event at the Pacific Classic. Krone retired from horse racing in 1999 and became a commentator and analyst, but returned to the sport in 2002, retiring for a second time in 2004. Krone was named ESPN’s 1993 Professional Female Athlete of the Year, and in 2000, she became the first woman inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.
Kate Millett (1934 – ) A feminist activist, writer, visual artist, filmmaker, teacher and human rights advocate, Kate Millett has been described as one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century. Millett began her career as an English instructor and in 1966, became the first Chair of the Education Committee of the newly formed National Organization for Women. In 1968, she authored a pioneering report published by NOW, Token Learning: A Study of Women’s Higher Education in America, in which she challenged women’s colleges to provide an equal education for women. Millett is best-known for her landmark work in feminist history, Sexual Politics (1970). She currently serves as the Director of the Millett Center for the Arts, a creative workspace that provides artist in residence accommodation and studio facilities to women artists from around the world.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (1940 – ) For twenty-five years, Nancy Pelosi has broken ground for women in politics. As the representative from California’s 12th district, Pelosi has focused her political career on strengthening America’s middle class and creating jobs, reforming the political system to create clean campaigns and fair elections, enacting comprehensive immigration reform, and ensuring safety in America’s communities, neighborhoods and schools. In 2002, Pelosi became the first woman to lead a major political party in the United States as the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, and from 2007-2011, she served as the first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Pelosi has spearheaded the passage of historic legislation, including the Affordable Care Act, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and more.
Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, MM (1882 – 1955) Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, MM founded the Maryknoll Sisters in 1912, the first United States based Catholic congregation of religious women dedicated to a global mission. While attending Smith College in 1904, Rogers was inspired by graduating Protestant students preparing to leave for missionary work in China, and following her graduation, she returned to Smith and started a mission club for Catholic students (1905). It was while organizing the club that she met Father James A. Walsh, director of Boston’s Office for the Propagation of the Faith, later founder of Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, through whom she was inspired to establish a mission congregation for women.
Bernice Resnick Sandler (1928 – ) For more than forty years, Bernice Resnick Sandler has been a tireless advocate of educational equality for women and girls. In 1970, Sandler filed the first charges of sex discrimination against 250 educational institutions. It was this strategy that led to the first federal investigations of campus sex discrimination at a time when no laws existed to prohibit discrimination based on sex in education. Sandler was instrumental in the development, passage and implementation of Title IX. She currently serves as a Senior Scholar in Residence at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, DC.
Anna Jacobson Schwartz (1915 – 2012) Perhaps the most widely acclaimed female research economist of the 20th century, Anna Jacobson Schwartz has been described as “one of the world’s greatest monetary scholars”. In 1941, after a five-year career with Columbia University’s Social Science Research Council, Schwartz began her more than seventy-year tenure working for the National Bureau of Economic Research. During her time at the National Bureau, Schwartz met and began working with Milton Friedman and together, the two coauthored A Monetary History of the United States, 1867 – 1960. Described by Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, as “the leading and most persuasive explanation of the worst economic disaster in American history,” the text is one of the most widely cited in economics.
Emma Hart Willard (1787 – 1870) During her lifetime, Emma Hart Willard blazed an extraordinary trail on behalf of women’s education. A teacher by trade, Willard opened a girls’ school in her home in 1814 and was struck by the contrast between the education she could offer her female students and the education provided to men at nearby Middlebury College. She crafted A Plan for Improving Female Education, a document in which she advocated equal education for women at the academy level. In 1819, at the encouragement of Governor DeWitt Clinton, Willard opened a school in Waterford, New York , which closed shortly afterward due to a lack of funding. Two years later, she founded Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York (1821), the first school of higher learning for women. The seminary was renamed the Emma Willard School in her honor in 1895.