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Ladies Trailblazers in Illinois


Friday, March 1st marked the primary day of Ladies’s Historical past Month. It is a month stuffed with celebrations that honor the previous, current, and future of girls in our world.

The Starting of Ladies’s Historical past Month

Annually we have fun March as Ladies’s Historical past Month, however how did this honorary month start? The roots of Ladies’s Historical past Month will be traced again to the primary ever Ladies’s Historical past Week celebration in 1978. Organized by the Schooling Process Pressure of Sonoma County Fee on the Standing of Ladies in Santa Rosa, California, this honorary week was supposed to be a celebration of girls’s contributions to American historical past. The next yr, ladies throughout the nation adopted swimsuit and started planning their very own Ladies’s Historical past Week celebrations.

Ladies’s activist teams started lobbying for a Nationwide Ladies’s Historical past Week to be acknowledged by the federal authorities. Their efforts had been profitable and President Jimmy Carter established the week of March 2-8 of 1980 as Ladies’s Historical past Week. This success was adopted by a bipartisan effort led by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Consultant Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) who co-sponsored a Joint Congressional Decision designating the week of March 7, 1982 as Ladies’s Historical past Week. This decision grew to become a yearly affair till 1987, when the Nationwide Ladies’s Historical past Mission (NWHA) was in a position to persuade Congress to start celebrating Ladies’s Historical past Month. Since 1988, each Presidents and Congress have handed resolutions naming March as Ladies’s Historical past Month.

Ladies Leaders from Illinois

Illinois historical past has been stuffed with trailblazing ladies who’ve left their mark on the state. One of many first ladies to depart their mark on Illinois was Lottie Holman O’Neil, who was the primary lady ever elected to the Illinois Normal Meeting. In 1922, she was elected to the Illinois Home of Representatives as a Republican. In 1950, Lottie was elected to the Illinois State Senate, and remained on this place till she retired in 1963 at age 84. Throughout her time in workplace, Lottie labored to curb state spending, enhance state assist to kids with disabilities, and advocate for equal rights for ladies, together with the proper for ladies to serve on juries.

One other trailblazing lady from the state of Illinois was Ruth Hanna McCormick, who served within the U.S. Home of Representatives. She was elected in 1928 and have become the primary lady to ever serve on the Home Committee on Naval Affairs. Ruth was most well-known for her energetic function in ladies’s suffrage, even serving as chairman of the Congressional Committee for the Nationwide American Lady Suffrage Affiliation and chairman of the primary lady’s govt committee of the RNC.

A newer lady to make historical past in Illinois is the primary lady to ever maintain the workplace of Lieutenant Governor, Corinne Wooden. In 1996, Corinne was elected to the Illinois Home of Representatives the place she served for one time period earlier than she was elected as Lieutenant Governor in 1998. She is most well-known for introducing Scott’s Regulation, which requires drivers to modify lanes when passing emergency autos with their lights on, and a tax return initiative for breast most cancers analysis, referred to as A Verify for a Treatment.

Bringing us to ladies who’re presently making historical past, Illinois Republican Home Chief Tony McCombie made historical past in 2023 as the primary lady ever elected to steer the Home Republican caucus. First elected to the Illinois Home of Representatives in 2017, Chief McCombie has been referred to as a staunch supporter of fiscal accountability, ethics reform, and empowering different ladies in politics and management roles.

The Way forward for Ladies’s Historical past Month

As part of Chief McCombie’s continued initiative to advertise ladies in management, the Illinois Home Republican Caucus is internet hosting its annual Rising Ladies Chief’s occasion on Tuesday, March fifth. Today-long occasion is stuffed with seminars and networking alternatives for up and coming ladies who wish to develop their abilities.

Keep tuned to The Caucus Weblog for updates and pictures of this yr’s Rising Ladies Chief’s occasion!

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