American Women's History: A Research Guide
Timeline [under development]
Home Page | Last Update: 3/24/2005 | Suggestion Box

Under Development

Salem witch trials.

Norton, Mary Beth. Salem Witch Trials [Interview online]. Interviewed by Eileen Dugan. Talking History, October 2002. Available from:

Reis, Elizabeth. Women and Witchcraft in Colonial Salem, Massachusetts. Interviewed by Bryan Le Beau, Talking History, 29 October 1998. Available from:

Phillis Wheatley becomes the first African American to publish a book: Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. The Massachusetts Historical Society's From Our Cabinet feature includes images of the title page and frontpiece of the book, as well as a poem in Wheatley's hand.

Abigail Adams' "Remember the Ladies" letter to John Adams, 31 March 1776. See Selected Manuscripts: Remember the Ladies from the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Deborah Sampson, soldier in disguise [Massachusetts Historical Society]
Deborah Sampson enlisted in the Continental Army under the name "Robert Shurtliff." This site reproduces a letter by Paul Revere in support of a military pension for Deborah Sampson Gannett.

Martha Ballard begins her diary on January 1, 1785.
See Martha Ballard's Diary Online.

Angelina Grimke's Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836) is available as part of the Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection [Cornell University Llibrary].

1837 Godey's Lady's Book begins under editor Sarah Buell Hale.

Mary Lyon (1797-1849) founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in Massachusetts. See the Mary Lyon Collection, part of the Five College Archives Digital Access Project.

Dubois, Ellen. The 150th Anniversary of the Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls: A Talk with Ellen Dubois [online]. Talking History, 13 July 1998. Available from:

Ellen Craft: Self-Emancipated Woman [WGBH Forum Network]

Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive the M.D. degree. See Elizabeth Blackwell: That Girl There Is Doctor in Medicine, an online exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, for Blackwell's class notes, her brother's account of the graduation, and additional sources that document her career.

The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania opens.


Hedrick, Joan. Uncle Tom's Cabin [Interview online]. Talking History, 25 February 2002. Available from:
Hedrick won the Pulitzer Prize for Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life (Oxford University Press, 1994).

Scholars in Action: Analyze Abolitionist Speeches [online]. In History Matters. Fairfax, VA: Center for History and New Media; New York : American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, 1998- [cited 24 March 2005]. Available from:
Historian Carla Peterson interprets speeches by Sojourner Truth (1852) and Frances Watkins Harper (1857).


The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory [online]. [Chicago, Ill.]: Chicago Historical Society and the Trustees of Northwestern University, 1996. Available from:
The "Web of Memory" section includes eyewitness recollections of the 1871 fire by nine women.

Victoria Woodhull testifies before Congress...
A political cartoon of Woodhull appears in Ohio Memory

Emma Spaulding Bryant Letters: An Online Archival Collection [online]. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Libraries. Available from:

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union is founded.
See Ohio Memory for numerous sources that document the temperance movement, including the "Women's National Temperance Convention Address and Plan of Work" that was written by Martha McClellan Brown for the 1874 convention.

Camping with the Sioux: Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher [online]. Washington, DC: National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 2001. Available from: Fletcher's account of her six-week venture into Plains Indian territory in 1881. The site also includes an overview of Fletcher's life, a photo gallery, and the text of the folktales that she recorded in her diary.

The American Red Cross is founded by Clara Barton. The Clara Barton National Historic Site provides photographs of Barton, a small collection of primary source documents, and a chronology.

The Chinese Exclusion Act is passed.

Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr found Hull House in Chicago.
Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighborhoods, 1889-1963 [online]. Chicago: Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the College of Architecture and the Arts, the University of Illinois at Chicago, n.d. [cited 14 February 2003]. Available from:

Susan La Flesche Picotte becomes the first Native American woman medical doctor.

National Woman's Suffrage Association Founded

General Federation of Women's Clubs Founded

Ellis Island opens.

Gerhard Sisters' Photographs [online]. In The 1904 World's Fair: Looking Back and Looking Forward. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society, 2004 [cited 26 September 2004]. Available from:

Gordon, Linda. Orphan Train [online]. Interviewed by Fred Nielsen. Talking History, 8 October 2001. Available from:
Gordon discusses her book The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction, in which Mexican-Anglo relations play a central role.

Muller v. Oregon Supreme Court Decision

The Triangle Factory Fire, March 25, 1911 [online]. Ithaca, N.Y.: Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, 1998- . Available from: The "Sources" section includes documents, photographs and illustrations, and audio files of oral histories.

1912 Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927) founded the Girl Scouts of America. A biography of Low appears in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

1914 Margaret Sanger publishes the first issue of The Woman Rebel. See Margaret Sanger and The Woman Rebel [Model Editions Partnership].

Elsie De Wolfe's The House in Good Taste is published. The House in Good Taste is part of the University of Wisconsin's Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture.

Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first American woman elected to the United States Congress. See Jeannette Rankin: Activist for World Peace, Women's Rights, and Democratic Government [Suffragists Oral History Project, UC Berkeley, Regional Oral History Office].

Segment 2: From the Archives: "Ernestine Hara Kettler Recalling Her Imprisonment after the National Woman's Party March on Washington of 1917 (Recorded 1-29-1973)." [online]. Talking History, August 26, 2004. Available from:

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is organized.
See: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom [online]. Swarthmore, PA: Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2000 [cited 3 April 2002]. Available from: This exhibit includes 100 photographs from 1915-1999.

The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution passes.

Triptych: The TriCollege Digital Library [online]. [Haverford, PA : Haverford College Special Collections, 2002- ]. Available from:
Digital collections from Bryn Mawr College Special Collections, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, and Haverford College Special Collections. See the Suffragist Images Collection.

1925 Florence Sabin becomes the first female member of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Library of Medicine offers documents from The Florence R. Sabin Papers as part of its Profiles in Science site.

Mary Breckinridge organizes Frontier Nursing Service to provide health care to remote areas of Eastern Kentucky. See Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project for transcriptions of interviews.


Jessen, Gene Nora. [Interview] [online]. Interviewed by Rebecca Bain. The Fine Print. Nashville Public Radio, July 6 & 7, 2002. Available from:
Jessen is the author of The Powder Puff Derby of 1929: The True Story of the First Women's Cross-Country Air Race.

Amelia Earhart's solo Atlantic flight.
See: The George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers [online]. W. Lafayette: Purdue University Libraries, [2002- ]. Available from:

The National Council of Negro Women is founded by Mary McLeod Bethune.

Billie Holiday first sang "Strange Fruit," a song about lynching in the South, at a New York Club in 1938. See: Margolick, David. Billie Holiday-Strange Fruit [Interview online]. Talking History, 4 February 2002. Available from:

Hendry, Donna. Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit: Using Music to Send a Message [online].

Pecan-Shellers' Strike [The Handbook of Texas Online]

Marian Anderson's Lincoln Memorial concert drew an audience of 75,000. The Marian Anderson Collection of Photographs, 1898-1992 [University of Pennsylvania Library] includes more than 20 photographs from this event.


Frontiers in Civil Rights: Dorothy E. Davis, et al. versus County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia [Digital Classroom, National Archives]

Brown v. Board of Education

The drug company G.D. Searle receives FDA approval to sell "the pill."
See American Experience: The Pill [PBS] for a program transcript, timeline, interviews with women, and much more.

Ackmann, Martha. 'The Mercury 13': Training U.S. Women for Space [Interview online]. Interviewed by Melissa Block. All Things Considered, National Public Radio, 17 June 2003. Available from: [8:19]

President John F. Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women.

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring is published.
Lear, Linda J. [Interview] [online]. Interviewed by Dennis Mihelick. Talking History, 15 April 1999. Available from: Lear, author of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, talks about Carson's life and work.

Horowitz, Daniel. Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique [Interview online]. Interviewed by Lisa Kannenberg. Talking History, 9 December 1999. Available from:

Blewen, John. Oh Freedom Over Me [online]. Saint Paul, MN: Minnesota Public Radio, 2000 [cited 18 June 2002]. Available from: Listen to this engaging program about Freedom Summer. Topics include activist strategies, freedom songs, and Fannie Lou Hamer. The site also includes transcripts of selected interviews and a slideshow of photographs.

See Wednesdays in Mississippi: Civil Rights as Women's Work

Margaret Chase Smith

Black Women at Virginia Tech Oral History Project [online]. Blacksburg: Virginia Tech University Libraries, updated 1 September 1999 [cited 15 November 2000]. Available from:

National Organization for Women (NOW) is established.

The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968 [online]. Providence, RI: Scholarly Technology Group, Brown University, [1998- ]. Available from: Most of the interviewees at least touch upon civil rights. Naomi Craig, an African American, discusses race relations and the assassination of Martin Luther King.

A Few Good Women: Advancing the Cause for Women in the U.S. Government, 1969-1974 [online]. University Park: University Libraries, The Pennsylvania State University, 2003- [cited 11 March 2005]. Available from:

May 4 Collection [Kent State University Libraries]


Shirley Chisholm's 1972 Presidential Campaign [Jo Freeman]

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.

Barbara McClintock wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
See The Barbara McClintock Papers [online]. Profiles in Science. Bethesda, Md.: U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2001 [cited 7 November 2001]. Available from:
McClintock (1902-1992) won the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. This site includes correspondence, lecture notes, and numerous photographs.

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.

Violence Against Women Act of 1994

Dublin, Thomas, and Kathryn Kish Sklar. Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930 [online]. 1997- [cited 4 May 2001]. Available from:
This collection of primary source documents is organized around numerous topical areas. Each editorial project also includes an introduction and an annotated bibliography. The following section includes material about violence against women:

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.

Other Timelines