As a female-founded and operated business, women’s history is close to our hearts here at Crowned.
We all know women are amazing creatures of great brilliance and over-flowing fonts of ingenuity. This fact hasn’t been illuminated as brightly as it could have been throughout the annals of history, but thankfully the light is being shown on so many brave women who have put themselves out there way before it was accepted, now more than ever.
This Women’s History Month, we want to highlight a few amazing American “female firsts” who have made inspiring contributions to our history and inspire our paths forward. While we’re forever grateful and look with awe upon these female firsts, we look forward to a future with a few less as hopefully, it will become normal for women to have a seat at the table in generations to come. Without these incredible, strong, intelligent women, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican from Montana. Her career serving the public started in her 20s when she moved from her home of Montana to San Francisco to become a social worker. She got her degree in New York City at New York School of Philanthropy (now Columbia University School of Social Work) and was active in both social work and the suffrage movement. She was the first woman to address the Montana legislature, arguing in support of enfranchisement for women in her home state.
A life-long pacifist, suffragist, civil and women’s rights advocate, she held office first in 1916 and again in 1940. As a pacifist, she opposed declaring war and helped to cement the 19th Amendment to the constitution, ensuring a woman’s right to vote. Her career spanned six decades and helped to raise women’s voices.
Ellen Ochoa is an American engineer and the first female Mexican-American astronaut. She currently serves as the second female director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. As an astronaut, she spent 9 days aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Ochoa was named Vice-Chair of the National Science Board for the 2018-2020 term.
Ochoa is quite decorated in her achievements. Her many awards include NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal (2015), Exceptional Service Medal (1997), Outstanding Leadership Medal (1995) and Space Flight Medals (2002, 1999, 1994, 1993). Ochoa was recognized in Hispanic Executive’s 2017 Best of the Boardroom issue for her work as a board director for Johnson Space Center. In 2018, she was inducted into the International Air and Space Hall of Fame.
She’s also a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the National Academy of Inventors. She has had many schools named after her, including one in our founder’s town of Pasco, Washington —The Ochoa Middle School!
In 1993, Toni Morrison became the first female African-American Nobel Prize winner in literature. She was a professor, editor, essayist, and novelist from Ohio whose novels included “Beloved,” “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula,” “Song of Solomon,” “Tar Baby,” “Jazz,” “Paradise,” “Gold Help the Child,” “Home,” “A Mercy” and “Love.”
In the 1960s, she had another first as the first black female fiction editor at Random House. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2012 by President Barack Obama. The list of awards that Morrison received is vast, and her work includes best sellers in print and screen adaptations. She was able to illustrate the complexities of interpersonal relationships and gave a voice to the Black experience in America. Her writings are American treasures.
Thanks for celebrating Women’s History Month with us! We can’t wait to see what amazing things women will bring to the world next, and are forever grateful for all the strides made in the past.
Written by: Betty Bair