American Women Through Time
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Go to: II. RESEARCH SOURCES (Historical Overviews, Primary Sources, and Secondary Sources)


Mariel boatlift results in a wave of immigration from Cuba to Florida.
Finding Mañana Details Cuban 'Exodus' [Weekend Edition, National Public Radio] includes an interview with Mirta Ojito, and an excerpt from her book, Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus.
Pulitzer Stems from Cuban Boatlift [32 minutes] features Terry Gross' interview with Ojito.

Collaboration between Georgeanna Jones and Howard Jones results in the first child conceived by in-vitro fertilization in the United States.
In Vitro Fertilization Pioneer Jones Dies [All Things Considered, March 28, 2005].
Reproductive Medicine Pioneer Georgeanna Seegar Jones Dies at 92 [Eastern Virginia Medical School]

First medical reports to describe Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

In Their Own Words ...: NIH Researchers Recall the Early Years of AIDS [online]. [Bethesda, Md.: National Institutes of Health, 2001]. Available from:
See the transcripts of interviews with Ms. Barbara Fabian Baird, R.N., and Christine Grady, R.N., Ph.D.

Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. O'Connor discusses her book, Lazy B: Growing Up On a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest, on Booknotes.

Unveiling of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by Maya Lin.
See Booknotes interview with Maya Lin (2000). Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial proposal is featured on the American Treasures of the Library of Congress site.

Barbara McClintock wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The Barbara McClintock Papers, part of the National Library of Medicine's Profiles in Science site, includes correspondence, lecture notes, and numerous photographs.

Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of nerve growth factor and epidermal growth factor.
The Nobel Foundation provides an autobiography and Levi-Montalcini's Nobel lecture, "The Nerve Growth Factor: Thirty-Five Years Later."
Washington University's Women in Health Sciences online exhibit includes a biographical profile of Levi-Montalcini.

A Year in the Life: Beginning the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Albany New York, 1987-88 [online]. Produced by Stephanie Madnick. Talking History, 29 June 2000. Available from:

Women of Valor: Gertrude Elion [online]. Brookline, Mass.: Jewish Women's Archive, n.d. [cited 16 March 2002]. Available from:
Elion (1918-1999) helped develop treatments for childhood leukemia, the herpes virus, immunity disorders, arthritis, and other diseases. She won the Nobel Prize in 1988.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Darlene M. Iskra becomes the first woman to take command of a U.S. Navy ship.
Darlene M. Iskra is featured on the Library of Congress site, Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project. The site includes a lengthy interview (video; 62 min.) with Iskra, clips of interview highlights, and five photographs.

Hodgson v. Minnesota tests the constitutionality of Minnesota's abortion notification statute.
OYEZ provides an overview of the case, Oral Arguments (Real Audio), and a link to the written opinions of the court.

Persian Gulf War
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project includes a video clip from an interview with Rhonda Cornum, a medical officer who was held by the Iraqis for seven days, and an audio clip from an interview with medic Wendy Wamsley Taines.

Hurricane Andrew.
Voices of Andrew [University of Miami] is an online archive of 70 oral history interviews with people who experienced the hurricane and the subsequent recovery process.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes the second female member of the Supreme Court.
An interview with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg [Audio; 59 min.], from Only In America: Celebrating 350 Years of the American Jewish Experience, offers a rare personal glimpse into Ginsburg's struggles against gender discrimination and her judicial philosophy.
Supreme Court Nominations - Confirmed [Law Library Reading Room, Library of Congress] includes floor debates (Senate debate while in Executive Session), votes, hearing transcripts and Senate statements (statements made about the nominees outside of Executive Session) concerning Ginsburg and other Supreme Court Justices.

Violence Against Women Act of 1994
How Do Social Movements Shape Civil Rights Legislation for Women? The 1994 Violence Against Women Act [Women and Social Movements in the United States]

WTO Seattle Collection [online]. Seattle, Wash. : University of Washington Libraries, n.d. [cited 28 November 2004]. Available from: In addition to photographs of protesters, this collection also includes oral histories of women who helped organize protests during the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle in 1999.

September 11
See Susan Watts (New York Daily News) on the Library of Congress program, Capturing History: Photojournalists and 9/11.
Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress


Advertising offers 6,000 print advertisments published from 1940 to the present. Search by year or browse by decade.

Advice Literature

Peterson, Kelsy. The Glory of Woman: Prescriptive Literature in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture [online]. Durham, NC: Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University, 2003 [cited 21 November 2005]. Available from:
Researchers can browse this extensive, annotated bibliography by date.

Historical Statistics

Statistical Abstract of the United States [online]. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1879- .
A valuable online tool for locating historical statistics for a given year.

The U.S. Census Bureau offers census data from 1980, 1990, and 2000.

News Sources

The Ten O'Clock News [online]. WGBH Educational Foundation, c2003.
The WGBH Media Archives and Preservation Center has preserved and described 523 tapes from The Ten O'Clock News, WGBH's in-depth nightly news program. Dating from 1974 to 1991, this collection focuses on news stories relating to Boston's African American community.

Public Opinion

See the Public Opinion section for citations to print and electronic sources.

Secondary Sources

The database America: History & Life offers a simple option for limiting a search for articles and other sources to a specific time period. If you are searching for articles that cover the 1980s or 1990s, enter 1980d or 1990d in the "Time Period" row of the search screen. See Searching America: History & Life by Time Period for an example using another time period.

American Women Through Time

Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State Univ. Library
Murfreesboro, TN 37132