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APRIL

April 2, 1917

Jeannette Rankin of Montana is formally seated in the U.S. House of Representatives as the first woman elected to Congress.

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April 3, 1995

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman to preside over the Court, sitting in for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist who was out of town.


April 4, 1887

The first woman mayor was elected in the U.S. as Susanna M. Salter became mayor of Argonia, Kansas.

April 4, 1928

Birth of the mighty Dr Maya Angelou, American author, poet, actress, and director, recipient of many honors, including three Grammy Awards, The National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and nominations for a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award.


April 7, 1987

Opening of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., the first museum devoted to women artists.

April 7, 1141 

Empress Matilda begins her short reign as first female ruler of England. She is sometimes called Maude or “Lady of the English.”


April 20, 1939

Billie Holiday records the Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit”, a poem written by Abel Meeropol exposing American racism and lynching of African Americans.


April 21,1816 

Birth of Charlotte Brontë, English author and poet, eldest of the three Brontë sisters who were authors, known for her novel Jane Eyre (d. 1855)


April 22, 1899

Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” was published in Chicago. The Awaking celebrates of one the first women writers to accept passion as a subject for a serious fiction piece, opening up a space for female writers to discuss sexual emancipation in mainstream literature.


April 25, 1980

14 women attempted to join the official ANZAC Day marches to commemorate women who had been raped or killed in wars and were subsequently arrested, however were successful in creating awareness.