Part 3: Women's History Month

  • Published
  • By 412th Comptroller Squadron
  • EAFB
As we continue to celebrate Women's History Month, a few more facts about women's history for your enrichment. To gain further understanding of the impact these women had in history, a link regarding the fact is provided.

1.  Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on June 18, 1983, aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Ride attended Stanford University, where she earned a PhD in Physics, in 1978. She went to space twice and later worked at the University of California, San Diego, as the Director of the California Space Institute and as a physics professor. In 2001, she started Sally Ride Science to encourage girls and women to pursue Science and Math through educational programs and materials.

2.  In 2011, Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho became the Army's 43rd Surgeon General. She was the first woman and the first nurse appointed as the Army's top medical officer. In this position, she is the Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command and directs the third-largest healthcare system in the U.S. Before being appointed as Surgeon General of the Army, Horoho was the commander of the Army Nurse Corps.

3.  Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Old Horn-Purdy grew up on the Crow Agency reservation in Montana learning stories of her ancestors from her family while attending school off the reservation. Her desire to learn was her main reason for joining the Navy. In 1985, she was one of the first women on her deployed ship, and in 1999, she was among the first women on a combatant ship. She was in engineering but couldn't be called a machinist for three years until the field opened to women.

4.  In 1990, Dr. Antonia Novello was appointed Surgeon General of the U.S., making her the first woman--and the first Hispanic person--to hold the position. She had previously worked for almost two decades at the National Institutes of Health, where she took part in drafting legislation concerning organ transplantation. Novello earned her MD from the University of Puerto Rico and completed her training at the University of Michigan, where she was the first woman named Intern of the Year.

5.  In 1933, Frances Perkins was appointed Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, making her the first female cabinet member in the United States. She held the position for 12 years, longer than anyone had before her. After serving as Secretary of Labor, Perkins served on the U.S. Civil Service Commission under President Truman until 1952. After leaving her government service career, she spent the rest of her life teaching and lecturing. Perkins died in 1965.

6. In 1921,  Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman to earn her pilot's license. At that time, no American school would teach Black women to fly, so Coleman trained in France. After earning her license, Coleman flew in airshows and was known for daring stunts. She refused to fly anywhere that did not admit African-American spectators. Also, she gave speeches encouraging Black students to become pilots. In 1926, Coleman died in an airplane crash during an airshow rehearsal at age 34.