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Celebrating Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month!

Join us all month long on our district website, as well as Facebook and Twitter, as we highlight and celebrate some of the women who have broken glass ceilings, women who have forged new pathways for girls around the world, and those who continue to defy the odds. 

Did You Know?

Did you know that Florence Blanchfield was the first woman to hold U.S. military rank?

Lt. Col. Florence Aby Blanchfield attended nursing school in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, before joining the Army in 1917. After tours in several countries and serving in combat hospitals, Blanchfield became a staff officer for the U.S. Surgeon General in 1935. By 1943, she was named supervisor of the Army Nurse Corps. Under Blanchfield, the Army Nurse Corps grew from 1,000 to 57,000. After receiving the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945, Blanchfield became the first woman to receive a regular Army commission. In 1947 her historic rank was “pinned on” by President Eisenhower.   

Did you know Lisa Densmore was the first woman to summit Mount Vinson?

With an elevation of 16,066 feet, Antarctica’s highest mountain Mount Vinson, is located in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains. The most remote of the Seven Summits, Mount Vinson is more than 750 miles from the South Pole. As one of the coldest mountains in Antarctica, temperatures average minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1988, U.S. climber Lisa Densmore became the first woman to summit Mount Vinson.

Did you know Katherine Johnson was one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist?

Katherine Johnson’s work in mathematics and orbital mechanics helped pioneer space travel. One of her biggest contributions while working for NASA was helping calculate the trajectory of America’s first human spaceflight in 1961. In 2015, Obama bestowed the Medal of Freedom to Johnson, a STEM role model helping students envision themselves as STEM professionals.

Did you know Radcliffe College student Henrietta Leavitt was hired as a “computer,” a term used to describe female astronomers employed to analyze data for Harvard University?

Henrietta Swan Leavitt was an American astronomer known for discovering the relationship between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variables. This discovery is one of the cornerstones of modern astronomical science.

Did you know Mary Kies was the first woman to receive a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office?

Mary Kies was an American inventor, who in 1809 became the first woman granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Her invention, a new strategy for weaving straw with silk and thread, revolutionized the nation’s hat making industry. Her efforts were praised by First Lady Dolley Madison for amplifying US manufacturing. 

Did you know Kentanji Brown Jackson is the first African-American woman nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court?

Ketanji Brown Jackson is an American attorney and jurist serving as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2021.