March is Women's History Month in our country, a time set aside when we honor the women who have impacted our history and every aspect of our society since the founding of this nation. This year, 2013, is particularly significant because 100 years ago, on March 3, 1913, a group of over 5,000 women marched in Washington, D.C. to demand their right to vote.
The march was the start of a movement that eventually led to passage of the nineteenth amendment, giving women their voting rights. This civil rights parade took place the day before the presidential inauguration of Woodrow Wilson and was the first time the capital was used as a backdrop.
This month The National Women's History Project has declared the theme for 2013 to be “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics." The popularity of Women's History Month has grown as more people have become aware of the many contributions women have made to our country.
The Library of Virginia, in keeping with the national theme has chosen to honor eight outstanding Virginia women, past and present, for the impact they have made on Virginia's history. From the first woman elected to the Senate of Virginia, to the first African-American woman to serve on the Virginia Supreme Court, these women were trailblazers in their respective fields.
Library of Virginia Women in History: 2013
Mary C. Alexander, from Lynchburg, Va. One of the first women to be a licensed pilot in Virginia. She ran an air service between Norfolk and Washington, D.C. during the 1930's.
Louise A. Reeves Archer, an educator from Vienna, was an inspiration to her students because of her dedication to learning and to teaching.
Elizabeth Ambler Brent Carrington, helped to establish the Female Humane Society in Richmond for orphans during the late 1700's. This was at a time when women did not dabble in public affairs.
Ann Compton, from Roanoke became the first woman White House correspondent for a major news network, a position she still holds today.
JoAnn Falletta, out of Norfolk comes an advocate of contemporary music, and an orchestra conductor who is innovative in her approach to the way we hear and feel the music.
Cleo Elaine Powell, while encouraging our youth to embrace diversity and respect the law, Judge Powell is the first African-American woman to serve on the Virginia Supreme Court.
Elizabeth Inez Parks Pruitt, a physician's assistant living on Tangier Island, has brought medical care to an isolated community that might not have access to medical care otherwise.
Eva Mae Fleming Scott, a pharmacist in Amelia County is the first woman elected to serve in the Senate of Virginia.
All these women, past and present deserve our accolades as well as our respect. They went the extra mile in pursuing their dreams, and in turn were able to leave a very large footprint for other women to follow.