Female Firsts: 30 Historic ‘Firsts’ for Women

1Joyce Brothers

Joyce Brothers became famous in the 1950s for becoming the first woman to win the game show The $64,000 Question, despite the fact that the show's producers did not want her to win and deliberately gave her questions perceived to be beyond her ability, which she answered correctly anyway.


2Mary Babnik Brown

In 1944, Mary Babnik Brown became the first woman to have her hair used in crosshairs for military aircraft bombsights. The hair had to fit strict criteria such as being blonde, over 22 inches long, and never been treated with chemicals or hot irons.


3Rebecca Latimer Felton

The first woman to serve in the US Senate was Rebecca Latimer Felton in 1922. She was 87 and served for only one day. She championed prison reform, women's rights, and education. She was the last member of Congress to have owned slaves, was a white supremacist and openly supported lynching.


4Setara Hussainzada

Setara Hussainzada became the first woman to ever sing in a TV program in Afghanistan after the fall of Taliban in 2004. For this, she received numerous death threats and has been forced to live in exile.


5Opha May Johnson

Opha May Johnson was the first woman known to have enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. She joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1918, officially becoming the first female Marine.


6Charlotte Reid

In 1969, Charlotte Reid became the first woman to wear pants to Congress. Women were forbidden to wear pants onto the floor until 1993.


7Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall, who played Laverne on Laverne & Shirly, directed Big movie and was the first woman to gross over $100 million at the box office.


8Bayard Wootten

Bayard Wootten was a pioneering documentary photographer from North Carolina. She was the first woman to take an aerial photograph and she was the one who named and created the logo for Pepsi Cola.


9Toni Stone

Toni Stone was the first woman to ever play professional baseball as a regular on a big-league teams with men in Negro leagues. She played second base and maintained a .243 batting average.


10Alice Huyler Ramsey

Alice Huyler Ramsey was the first woman to drive coast-to-coast across the USA in 1909. The 22-year-old housewife and mother completed the 3,800-mile journey from New York to San Francisco in a green Maxwell 30. The 59-day drive took 3-weeks longer than planned and 96% of the route was unpaved.

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