First Females of America

Today we watch Kamala Harris be sworn in as the first woman Vice President of the United States.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

While some wear pearls or Chucks today, we also want to showcase some women, who paved the way to where we are today, because they also were “the first woman” to accomplish something.

Check out our list of adult and kid books about these famous greats at: where books are order from independent bookstores!

  • 1650: Anne Bradstreet publishes a book of poems in England becoming the first published American woman writer. Her book was called, “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America.”
  • 1766: Mary Katherine Goddard and her widowed mother publish “Providence Gazette” becoming the first women publishers in the United States. Mary Katherine would later become the first female postmaster, the first printer to offer copies of The Declaration of Independence (male or female), and opened a bookstore in Baltimore (either the first or one of the first). (No known books on Mary Katherine Goddard.)
  • 1795: Anne Parrish establishes the first charitable organization for women called House of Industry. (No known books on Anne Parrish.)
  • 1849: Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. making her the first woman in the United States with a medical degree.
  • 1853: Antoinette Blackwell becomes ordained in a recognized denomination making her the first woman.
  • 1864: Rebecca Lee Crumpler is the first black woman to earn a medical degree.
  • 1866: Lucy Hobbs becomes the first woman to graduate from dental school. (No known books on Lucy Hobbs.)
  • 1870: Ada Kepley graduates from law school and becomes the first woman lawyer. (No known books on Ada Kepley.)
  • 1887: Susanna Medora Salter becomes the first elected mayor in Argonia, Kansas. (No known books on Susanna Medora Salter.)
  • 1897: H.H.A. Beach’s “Gaelic Symphony” is the first symphony by a woman to be performed — possibly in the world. (No known books on H.H.A. Beach.)
  • 1916: Montana elects Jeannette Rankin to be the first woman in the House of Representatives.
  • 1926: Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
  • 1932: Amelia Earhart flies from Newfoundland to Ireland. She becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
  • 1933: Frances Perkins is chosen by FDR to serve in a presidential cabinet when she is appointed Secretary of Labor.
  • 1933: Katherine Johnson was one of the first three African-American women to enroll in a graduate program at West Virginia University. Later she was a NASA “computer” due to her excellence in math and science.
  • 1934: Lettie Pate Whitehead becomes the director of Coca Cola, becoming the first woman to lead a major corporation. (No. known books on Lettie Pate Whitehead.)
  • 1946: Edith Houghton becomes the first major league scout in baseball.
  • 1960: Oveta Culp Hobby becomes the first woman to serve as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. She is also the first director of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), and the first woman to receive the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal.
  • 1964: Margaret Chase Smith becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States by the Republican National Convention.
  • 1970: Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride the Kentucky Derby.
  • 1981: Sandra Day O’Connor is the first female Supreme Court Justice of the United States.
  • 1983: Dr. Sally Ride becomes the first woman sent to space.
  • 1985: Wilma Mankiller becomes the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.
  • 1993: Shiela Widnall becomes the first secretary of a branch of the U.S. military when she is appointed to head the Air Force. (No known books on Shiela Widnall.)
  • 1993: Janet Reno is chosen as the first woman United States Attorney General. (No known books on Janet Reno.)
  • 1997: Madeline Albright is sworn is as the first female United States Secretary of State.
  • 2007: Nancy Pelosi is the first woman elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  • 2008: Sarah Palin becomes the first woman to run as Vice President on a Republican ticket.
  • 2010: Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win Best Director at the Academy Awards.
  • 2016: Hilary Clinton becomes the first woman to lead the ticket for a major party for President.
  • 2021: Kamala Harris is sworn in as the first woman to be Vice President of the United States. Sonia Sotomayor becomes the first Latina woman on the Supreme Court and the first to swear in a Vice President. Amanda Gorman becomes the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.