GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Aug. 26 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment becoming part of the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed American women the right to vote.
As we celebrate that anniversary, we’re taking a look at a few Michigan women who have made history in their respective roles or fields.
Abolitionist icon and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth made southwest Michigan her home in the late 18th century. She was invited to Battle Creek by a group of radical abolitionist Quakers, where she decided to relocate. She was the first Black woman to defeat a man in a lawsuit. | More on woodtv.com
EVA MCCALL HAMILTON
Eva McCall Hamilton ran for the Michigan Senate in 1920 and was the first female to hold a seat there. She defeated three men for the Republican nomination and went on to win the 16th district election, which includes Grand Rapids, by beating former State Sen. Harry C. White in a 2-to-1 margin. | More on woodtv.com
CORA REYNOLDS ANDERSON
Cora Reynolds Anderson was the first woman and first Native American to be elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1924, just four years after women recieved the right to vote. Today, the Michigan House of Representatives legislative office building bears her name. (Information: housedems.com)
Born in Michigan, Harriet Quimby was the first American woman to earn her pilot’s license. In 1911, she became the first woman to fly an airplane at night and is in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. (Information: nationalaviation.org)
JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM
Jennifer M. Granholm was the first female governor of the state of Michigan. She served two terms, first elected in 2002 and again in 2006. She was also Michigan’s first female attorney general, elected in 1998. (Information: michigan.gov)
The Supremes were the first and most commercially successful Motown all-female group. Members Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. The group’s biggest hits include “Baby Love” and “Stop in the Name of Love.” (Information: rockhall.com)
Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow is the first woman from Michigan to be elected to the United States Senate. Born in Gladwin, Mich., she is a ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, Energy Committee and Budget Committee. (Information: stabenow.senate.gov)
Journalist Helen Thomas was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and the first female member of the Gridiron Club. She grew up in Detroit and attended Wayne State University. (Information: brittanica.com)