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Women's History Month

Women's History Month and
International Women's Day March 8th

March is Women's History Month
When we recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women by providing information and educational materials and programs.

The Educational CyberPlayGround (founded by a Karen Ellis) provides many wonderful resources to help you discover the important contributions and achievements made by women throughout our history. We hope you will find information to use all year round and for a lifetime of learning.

Hedy Lamarr invented cell phone technology
Wireless Technology and Hedy Lamarr National Women's History Month: Female Inventor Hedy Lamarr and her Contributions to Wireless Technology

Hedy Lamarr's Invention Finally Comes of Age



 Born Hedwig Eva Kiesler in Vienna, Austria, she was the daughter of Gertrud (Lichtwitz), from Budapest, and Emil Kiesler, a banker from Lviv. Her parents were both from Jewish families.Her inspiration for inventing a radio that broadcast on different frequencies came from watching a player piano paper go around with different holes in the paper. She gave the idea to the US War Department, which led to a radio guiding system for torpedoes that was used in World War II. She had supposedly gained the knowledge from her first husband, Fritz Mandl, an Austrian industrialist and arms dealer who philosophically and financially supported the Nazis. He was abusive and brutal to her, and she finally managed to escape him, and Austria, by drugging her maid.

Was co-inventor (with composer George Antheil) of the earliest known form of the telecommunications method known as "frequency hopping", which used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or to jam. The method received U.S. patent number 2,292,387 on August 11, 1942, under the name "Secret Communications System". Frequency hopping is now widely used in cellular phones and other modern technology. However, neither she nor Antheil profited from this fact, because their patents were allowed to expire decades before the modern wireless boom. She received an award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997 for her pioneering work in spread-spectrum technology.


Forgotten ---- a magical song by John McCutcheon
Honoring Mala La Yousafzai target of the Taliban.



Training For Service, 1926 - AT&T Archive


Oral History



I can remember when I was 13 --
1963 Prediction of the home Computer was Clearly a man's world for Susie Homemaker.



Nastalgic memory of the 1990's "The Kids Guide to the Interent"




Female Inventors: The Wonder Women who were the first computers.

Yes, that is where the name comes from . . . the women who did it by hand, who did the math with pencils and paper! We were the computers, we figured it out by ourselves and we win the smart-epants award.

Male bro-*coders vs. Female Inventors: The Wonder Women who were the first computers.


In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women's History Month. PDF

Before 1970, women's history was rarely the subject of serious study. Since then, almost every college offers women's history courses and most major graduate programs offer doctoral degrees in the field.
The public celebration of women's history in this country began in 1978 as "Women's History Week" in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women's Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women's History Week.

"In 1942, when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. Sixty-five years later their story has finally been told."

More on Top Secret Rosies

Support Equal Pay for Women



End Discrimination against Women and Girls
International Gender Equity Resources

Congress may soon consider the Paycheck Fairness Act (S 766/HR 1338), which would enhance provisions of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and close loopholes in that law and other statutes in order to close the wage gap between men and women workers. Working through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the bill would enhance enforcement of equal pay requirements, provide resources to government agencies for use in training staff to comply with the laws, as well as empower women to negotiate more equitable salaries, contracts, and benefits.
Paycheck Fairness Act S. 766 Clinton (D-NY) H.R. 1338 DeLauro (D-CT) Wage discrimination. Amends the Equal Pay Act to provide for expanded penalties and enhanced enforcement of prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of compensation. Prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who share pay-related information with co-workers. S. 766 was introduced on March 6, 2007, and referred to the Senate HELP Committee. H.R. 1338 was introduced on March 6, 2007, and referred to the House Education and Labor Committee.
American women earn only 77 cents on every dollar earned by men, a figure that adds up to nearly $10,000 in median annual income disparity. The disparity is even greater for minority women. This gender wage gap persists even when relevant career and family attributes are taken into account, suggesting that sex discrimination still plays a role.

Gender pay gap emerges early, study finds 4/23/07
"One year after graduation, a pay gap turned up between women and men who studied the same fields." 




Sewing In Space by Astronaut Karen Nyberg


NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg, a lifelong lover of sewing, is inviting fellow crafters to join her in stitching together a global community space quilt. Nyberg, in the final weeks of her mission, recently shared a star-themed quilt square she was able to complete inside the International Space Station. Now, she's inviting quilters from the public to create their own star-themed quilt squares to help celebrate her mission and passion for the quilting arts. The International Quilt Festival and Nyberg will work together to have the squares stitched together for display at the 40th annual International Quilt Festival in 2014 and other public displays. For Nyberg's complete biography, visit: For more information about Nyberg's personal sewing hobbies visit:

The Best of Systers Blog Posts

The National Register of Historic Places is pleased to promote awareness of and appreciation for the historical accomplishments of American women during Women's History Month.

The National Women's History Project

How girl geeks can get the best tech jobs, Women! Embrace your inner geek.


Sybilla Masters First woman whose invention received a patent (for cleaning and curing corn) - it was granted to her husband 1715
Mary Katherine Goddard First woman postmaster 1775
Betsy Ross First person to be a U.S. flagmaker 1776/77
Hannah Adams First woman to become professional writer 1784
Mary Dixon Kies First U. S. patent issued to a woman. Kies, a Connecticut native, invented a process for weaving straw with silk or thread. First Lady Dolley Madison praised her for boosting the nation's hat industry. Unfortunately, the patent file was destroyed in the great Patent Office fire in 1836. 1809
Lucy Brewer First woman marine 1812
Elizabeth Blackwell First woman to receive a medical degree 1849
Lucretia Coffin Mott Along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton Inaugurated the woman suffrage movement. site 1848
Amelia Jenks Bloomer Publisher/editor of first prominent women's rights newspaper 1849
Harriet Tubman First woman to run underground railroad to help slaves escape 1850
Lucy Hobbs First woman to graduate from dental school 1866
Susan B. Anthony Co-Founder of first US woman's suffrage organization 1869
Arabella Mansfield Babb First woman admitted to the bar 1869
Frances Elizabeth Willard First woman to become a college president (Evanston College) 1871
Victoria Chaflin Woodhull First woman to be presidential candidate 1872
Helen Magill First woman to receive a Ph.D. degree (Boston University) 1877
Belva Ann Lockwood First woman to practice law before U.S. Supreme Court 1879
Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross 1881
Amalie Noether Albert Einstein called her the most “significant” and “creative” female mathematician of all time. Emmy Noether’s theorem united two pillars of physics: symmetry in nature and the universal laws of conservation. 1882
Maud Booth Co-Founder of Salvation Army and Volunteers of America 1887/96
Suzanna Madora Salter First woman mayor (Argonia, Kansas) 1887
Miriam Benjamin The second black woman to receive a patent for an invention she called a Gong and Signal Chair for Hotels. 1888
Mary McLeod Bethune First woman to establish secondary school that became 4-year accredited college 1904
Mary Anderson Patented the windshield wiper. 1905
Blanche Scott First woman to fly an airplane 1910
Jeannette Rankin First woman U.S. House Representative (Montana) 1916
Kate Gleason First woman president of a national bank 1917
Jeannette Rankin First woman in Congress 1917
Florence E. Allen First woman judge 1920
Nellie Tayloe Ross First woman governor of U. S. state (Wyoming) 1925
Katherine Bement Davis First person to conduct national survey of sexual attitudes 1929
Jane Addams First woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize 1931
Hattie Wyatt Caraway First woman elected to U.S. Senate 1932
Amelia Earhart First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 1932
Ruth Bran Owen First woman foreign diplomat 1933
Pearl S. Buck First woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature 1935
Hattie McDaniel First African-American of any gender to win an Academy Award (she won for Best Supporting Actress in the film, Gone with the Wind). 1939
Linda Darnell First woman to sell securities on the New York Stock Curb Exchange 1941
Conchita V. Cintron First U.S. woman bullfighter in Spain 1949
Georgia Nesse Clark First woman treasurer of the United States 1949
Evelyn Hooker, Ph.D. Hooker's research demonstrated that expert clinical judges could not distinguish the projective test protocols of nonclinical homosexual men from a comparable group of heterosexual men, nor were there differences in adjustment ratings, was validated soon thereafter by other investigators. Not until 1973, however, did the American Psychiatric Association delete homosexuality from its diagnostic handbook. 1957
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova First woman to fly in space, aboard Vostok 6. 1963
Stephanie Kwolek

Kevlar was invented by former DuPont chemist Stephanie Kwolek of Wilmington, Del. Soldiers owe their lives to a retired 79-year-old woman in Delaware.

Muriel Siebert First woman to own seat on the New York Stock Exchange 1967
Janice Lee York Romary First woman to carry U.S. flag at the Olympic Games 1968
Marie Brown The first video home security system was patented (patent #3,482,037) on December 2, 1969 to Marie Brown. The system used television surveillance. 1969
Mary Clarke First woman to be named major general in U.S. Army 1978
Ella Grasso First woman govenor to be re-elected (Connecticut) 1978
Sandra Day O'Connor First woman a justice of the U. S. Supreme Court 1981
Sally Kristen Ride First American woman to reach outer space. 1983
Joan Benoit (Samuelson) First woman to win an Olympic marathon 1984
Penny Harrington First woman police chief of major U. S. city (Portland, OR) 1985
Ann Bancroft First woman to walk to North Pole 1986
Christa McAuliffe First woman citizen passenger on a space mission 1986
Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O. First African American woman to be appointed dean of an American medical school. 1993
Lt. Col. Eileen Collins First American woman to pilot a Space Shuttle 1995
Madeleine K. Albright First woman Secretary of State and highest ranking woman in the U.S. government 1997
Hillary Rodham Clinton Only First Lady ever elected to the United States Senate 2000
Halle Berry First African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar 2002
Condoleezza Rice First African-American woman to be appointed Secretary of State 2005
Nancy Pelosi First woman to become Speaker of the House 2007
Hillary Clinton Second women to run for President of the United States 2008

Muiti Processor Computing 1924

First Computer Programmers Inspire Documentary
Decline in Numbers of Women in Computer Science Threatens U.S.
Competitiveness, Say Experts By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES Dec. 4, 2007 (ABCNews)
During World War II the Army ran out of male mathematicians and turned to six women to program the world's first computer - ENIAC. Historian Kathy Kleiman (left) has recorded oral histories of these women - now in their 80s - in her upcoming documentary film, "Invisible Computers."  ...At 83, Betty Jean Jennings Bartik -- a devoted bridge player and grandmother of five -- had a secret past that was invisible to many who knew her.Her grandson Alex knew her story. He stormed out of school one day when his teacher refused to believe his gray-haired granny was a computer pioneer who had calculated firing tables and ballistic trajectories during World War II. The boy's parents had to explain to the teacher that Bartik and five other women had, indeed, legally hacked one of the world's first computers, converting it into a stored machine and eventually helping to usher in the digital age.

The Book of Household Management published 1859-1861 by Isabella Beeton in 24 monthly parts. Find "information for the mistress, housekeeper, cook, kitchen-maid, butler, footman, coachman, valet, upper and under house-maids, ladys-maid, maid-of-all-work, laundry-maid, nurse and nurse-maid, ... also, sanitary, medical, & legal memoranda; with a history of the origin, properties, and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort." Also includes recipes. From the University of Adelaide Library.


Amara Angelica is on the National Space Society Board of Directors
A radio amateur operator (KF6TEJ)
She is editor of internationally renowned techno-futurist Ray Kurzweil's web site ( and newsletter, Accelerating Intelligence. She has a background in aerospace engineering, having held positions at Grumman Aerospace as human factors engineer on the Lunar Module and in mission and operations analysis for electronic warfare and electronic intelligence systems.
Amara has an extensive background as a technology and science journalist, writing for InfoWorld, TechWeek, Computerworld, Broadcast Management/Engineering, The Futurist, CoEvolution Quarterly, and other publications. She also has a background in public relations and advertising, especially in writing technology/science white papers. She is the author of “Communicating with the Universe,” in the book, Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge (2008). She also has experience as a book editor (Ray Kurzweil's two recent books), inventor, radio producer/engineer/host, video scriptwriter/producer, electronic synthesizer musician/composer, webmaster, and web programmer.
 Amara has been a strong supporter of space settlements since the early 70s, working with NSS Board of Governors member Barbara Marx Hubbard, NSS Board of Directors member Stan Rosen, and other space futurists, and with the World Future Society. She is also a member of the Space Development Steering Committee, working closely with noted author and NSS Board of Governors member Howard Bloom, NSS Senior VP Mark Hopkins, and other leaders in strategy and promotion.

500 Years of Women in Art and Film

Music: Bach's Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 performed by Yo-Yo Ma

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