My friend and I got involved in the April A-Z blogging challenge and it motivated us to post 26 blogs. Now we find ourselves on April 30th worried all of that momentum will go to waste. But fear not, we came up with a great idea, the May Day Blogging Challenge. Check the previous post for details.
Lots of interesting firsts for women on May 15th.
For example, on May 15th, 1869, in New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association. It wasn’t until 1920, though that the 19th amendment was ratified, stating, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex”.
May 15th, 1942, in the United States, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was signed into law. A year later it was given full status, the “Auxiliary” designation was removed and it was known as The Women’s Army Corps. Public Law 90-130, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Nov. 8, 1967, removed promotion and retirement restrictions on women officers in the Armed forces. Thereafter, it was possible for more than one woman in each service to hold the rank of colonel and for women to achieve General officer rank.
In 1970, on May 15th, President Richard Nixon appointed Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army Generals. It took until 1976 for women to be fully permitted in all service academies and by 1978 the WAC was disbanded, and all units were integrated with male units.
Around the same time, women were clawing their way to the top in international political arenas as well. In January of 1966, Indira Ghandi became Prime Minister of India, followed in 1969 by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1979.
All these years later, the good old United States of America (land of the free, home of the brave) has yet to even have a female candidate for President. I’m not saying there has been anyone qualified in the past or that there is currently any female who deserves nomination. I just find it hard to believe that we are so far behind the rest of the world, yet we all think we are so far superior to other countries. Maybe that’s true and maybe it’s not, but either way, there is a lesson to be learned…