1872 – Victoria C. Woodhull, Free Love advocate, passionate suffragist, and the first woman to open a brokerage firm on Wall Street, was nominated by the Equal Rights Party for the Presidency of the United States. The Party broke more barriers by nominating abolitionist Frederick Douglass as her Vice President. The formidable pair of ‘firsts’ didn’t prevail on Election Day but signaled to the nation two truths: racism and sexism must be uprooted together and equality is inevitable.
1919– Ella Grasso was born. After becoming the first female Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives and serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, she became the first woman elected Governor in her own right, in 1974. Three women had served before her, as surrogates for husbands deceased or otherwise disposed. As of this date, 31 women have served as Governor.
2010 – President Barack Obama announces current Solicitor General Elena Kagan as his nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. If confirmed, she will be the fourth woman to ever serve on the high court. As of 2010, 111 justices have served on the Court. If Kagan makes it through confirmation and takes the bench, women will have filled 1.8% of historically available slots on the Court.
Also on this date:
1840 – Elizabeth Cady, then 25, married Henry Brewer Stanton. Already acutely aware of the imbalance of power in the marital contract, she insisted the word ‘obey’ be rem0ved from the ceremony.
Quote of the day:
I now announce myself as a candidate for the Presidency. I anticipate criticism; but however unfavorable I trust that my sincerity will not be called into question. – Victoria Woodhull