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


Anna Mae McCabe Hays becomes the first woman general in the U.S. Army.
See the Hat worn by Anna Mae McCabe Hays when she became the first woman general in the U.S. Army, June 11, 1970, part of the Smithsonian's Legacies exhibit.

Bella Abzug wins election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Women of Valor: Bella Abzug exhibit from Jewish Women's Archive includes a wealth of biographical information about Abzug, including a section on her Passionate Politics.

Disabled in Action, a grassroots disability rights group, is founded by Judith Heumann in New York City.
The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement includes transcipts (and selected audio clips) from oral history interviews with Heumann and five other Disabled in Action members.

Kent State University Shootings
Kent State Shootings: Oral Histories includes 69 oral histories related to the shootings.

May 4 Collection [Kent State University Libraries]

Talk of the Nation (4 May 2005) offers The Kent State Shootings, 35 Years Later. Writer Philip Caputo returns to Kent State 35 years after he covered the shootings there. The site also includes an excerpt from Caputo's book, Thirteen Seconds.

Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter."
Coal Miner's Daughter is part of The NPR 100, National Public Radio's selection of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century. The audio clip includes an interview with Lynn and short clips from the song.

Anna Nieto Gomez, in the first issue of the Chicana newspaper, Hijas de Cuauhtemoc, calls for the elimination of sexism in Chicano families and in the Chicano movement.
The Chicana Feminists section of The Virtual Oral/Aural History Archive [California State University, Long Beach] includes oral history interviews with Nieto Gomez, additional activists in Hijas de Cuauhtemoc (Corinne Sanchez, Leticia Hernandez and Sylvia Castillo), Yolanda Nava, and Consuelo Nieto. Access note: the audio recordings of these interviews will not be available until 2006.

Breaking New Ground - Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971) [Supreme Court Historical Society]

The National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC) is founded by Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Bella Abzug.
Listen to a brief audio clip from Gloria Steinem's address to the National Women's Political Caucus [History Channel]

The Equal Rights Amendment is passed by the Senate and submitted to the states for ratification.
Equal Rights Amendment [Florida Memory Project] includes four examples of constituent letters for and against the ERA.

Buttons supporting Shirley Chisholm for president, 1972, part of the Smithsonian's Legacies exhibit.

Shirley Chisholm's 1972 Presidential Campaign [Jo Freeman]

Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972 bans discrimination in most federally assisted educational programs.
Gender Equity in Sports includes a concise overview of Title IX, a timeline of Title IX cases, federal and state legislation, and more.
Title IX: 25 Years of Progress (U.S. Department of Education, 1997)

Frontiero v. Richardson Supreme Court decision.
See A Double Standard for Benefits - Frontiero v. Richardson from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

In Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court rules that women have a right to abort a fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy.
OYEZ offers an overview of the case, oral arguments (in Real Audio format), and a link to the written opinions of the court.
Also see CNN's special report, Roe vs. Wade 25 Years Later.

Listen to Barbara Jordan's Statement at the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearings, part of Say It Plain: A Century of Great African American Speeches from American Radio Works.

Ella Grasso is elected governor of Connecticut. She becomes the first woman in the United States to be elected governor without the benefit of a husband's previous incumbency. Mount Holyoke Digital Collections includes a few photographs of Ella Tambussi when she attended Mount Holyoke, as well as a campaign flyer from 1972.
Ella Giovanna Oliva (Tambussi) Grasso [Connecticut State Library] offers a biographical profile and portrait of Grasso.

Lesbian Herstory Archives opens.
Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution [Jewish Women's Archive] includes a video clip of Joan Nestle, co-founder of Lesbian Herstory Archives.

The Alice Paul Memorial March, Washington, D.C. 1977 [Jo Freeman]

See Sisters of '77, a companion site to the film about the National Women's Conference in 1977.

The first home pregnancy tests start appearing on drug store shelves.
A Thin Blue Line: The History of the Pregnancy Test Kit [Office of NIH History] includes an overview, a timeline of pregnancy testing, examples of advertisements, and transcripts of interviews with medical researchers Judith Vaitukaitis and Glenn Braunstein.

Research Sources

Overviews & General Sources

Slocum-Schaffer, Stephanie A. America in the Seventies. Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 2003.

Wandersee, Winifred. On the Move: American Women in the 1970s. New York: Twayne, 1988.

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.

Primary Source Documents

Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement. Durham, N.C.: Special Collections Library, Duke University, April 1997 [cited 6 March 1998]. Available from:

Rose, Cynthia, ed. American Decades Primary Sources, 1970-1979. Detroit: Gale, 2004.

Historic Film / Television News

The Florida Memory Project includes several video clips from the 1970s, including Their Game is Golf, and Angela Davis speaking at Florida A&M University's Black History Month convocation in 1979.

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.

Historical Statistics

Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1975.
Also available online in two parts: Part 1 and Part II.

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 documents from the 1970 Census and the 1980 Census.

Oral History

Tejano Voices [online]. Arlington: University of Texas, c2002. Available from: This collection includes transcripts and audio clips from 77 oral history interviews, including 21 interviews with women. Many of these women discuss their lives during the 1970s.

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 1970s, enter 1970d 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