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UMKC Libraries Book Displays

This guide acts as an accompaniment to our monthly book displays on various topics. It features books, ebooks, online resources, and links to related events.

Notable Women Firsts

Date Name Accomplishment
2023 Simone Biles Most decorated gymnast of all time (as of 2023)
2022 Erin Jackson First African American woman to win Olympic gold in speed skating
2022 Michaela Jae Rodriguez  First transgender woman to win a Golden Globe Award
2021 Maia Chaka First African American official in the NFL
2021  Emerald Fennell and Chloe Zhao  First year that two women were nominated in the Academy Award Best Director category
2021 Avril Haines First woman to serve as director of National Intelligence
2021 Kamala Harris First woman, African-American, and Asian-American sworn in as Vice President of the United States
2021  Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson First African American women to win Academy Award for best makeup and hair
2021 Sarah Thomas NFL's first permanent female game official, and the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl
2021 Janet Yellen First woman to serve as Secretary of the Treasury
2020 Sarah McBride  First openly transgender state senator
2019 Sharice Davids  First openly LGBT Native American elected to the US Congress and first openly lesbian person elected to the US Congress from Kansas
2019 Joy Harjo  First Native American United States Poet Laureate
2018 Tammy Duckworth First Senator to give birth while in office
2016 Carla Hayden First woman and first African American to be Librarian of Congress
2015 Kristen Griest & Shaye Haver First women to graduate from the US Army Ranger school
2013 Mazie Hirono First elected female senator from Hawaii, and the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate
2012 Ellen Ochoa First Latinx in space and first Latinx director of the Johnson Space Center
2012 Tammy Duckworth First woman with a disability elected to Congress
2009 Sonia Sotomayor  First Latina Supreme Court Justice
2008 Kathryn Bigelow First woman to win Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker
2008 Cammi Granato First woman to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame
2008 Cammi Granato First woman to be inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame
1998 Cammi Granato First woman to  win gold medal as captain of 1998 U.S. Olympic hockey team
1997 Madeleine Albright First woman to be Secretary of State
1993 Janet Reno First woman to be Attorney General of the U.S.
1987 Aretha Franklin  First woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1987 Wilma Mankiller  First woman elected to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation
1984 Svetlana Savitskaya First woman to walk in space
1983 Sally Ride First American woman in space
1981 Sandra Day O'Connor First female US Supreme Court Justice
1977 Rita Moreno First Latina EGOT winner
1975 Junko Tabei First woman to climb Mt. Everest
1972 Shirley Chisholm First woman and African American to seek the nomination for President of the US from one of the two major political parties
1968 Shirley Chisholm First African American woman in Congress
1967 Betty Mae Tiger Jumper First (and so far the only) female Chief to the Seminole Tribe of Florida
1966 Indira Gandhi  First (and to date, only) female prime minister of India
1966 Bobbi Gibb  First woman to run the entire Boston Marathon
1963 Valentina Tereshkova First woman in space
1962 Rita Moreno  First Latina to win an Oscar
1953 Jackie Cochran First woman to break the sound barrier in flight
1933 Frances Perkins First woman to serve as a Presidential Cabinet Member
1932 Amelia Earhart  First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
1921 Bessie Coleman First woman of African American and Native American descent to hold a pilot's license
1921 Edith Wharton  First woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction
1916 Jeannette Rankin First woman elected to the US House of Representatives
1903 Marie Salomea Skłodowska-Curie First woman to win a Nobel Prize
1879 Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood First woman to argue before the US Supreme Court
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell First female doctor in the United States
1679 Elena Cornaro Piscopia First woman to earn a Doctorate Degree
1650 Anne Bradstreet  First published woman author from America