The First Female Presidential Candidate Spent Election Day in Jail

Fifty years before women could vote, a woman ran for the top office in the land. The law didn’t allow her to vote, but there was no law against her running for President of the United States of America. An activist for women’s rights, Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927) the first female Presidential candidate spent election day in jail. Early Life Born on September 23, 1838 in Homer, Ohio, Victoria was the seventh of ten children. Her mother, Madame Roxanna “Roxy” Hummel Claflin, was a follower of the spiritualist movement. From early childhood, Victoria believed spirts guided and protected her. Her work as a spiritual clairvoyant and fortune-teller provided income for her impoverished family. Reuben Buckman Claflin, her father and a con man, burned the family’s rotting gristmill and tried to collect on his insurance. ehistory.osu.edu/biographies/victoria-woodhull When the town recognized his arson and fraud, the family left town. Victoria completed only three years of school. The Claflin family medicine show traveled the country, telling fortunes and selling patent medicines. Biographers disagree on Victoria’s early history. One claims her father abused her physically (whippings). Another claims she was a victim of sexual abused by her father. First Marriage When she was fourteen, […]

First Woman of Color Elected to Congress

Women of History are strong women who have marched before us. Patsy Takemoto Mink is one such woman. A political pioneer, Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress. She was an ardent advocate for marginalized groups. She fought for equity, education, environmental causes, and social justice.  Early Life Patsy Takemoto was born on Dec. 6, 1927, in Paia, Hawaii. As a young girl, she first noticed the inequality between people who owned Maui’s plantations and the workers. the haole or white people owned the plantations. The workers were Filipino and Japanese. Inequality and injustice came up close and personal after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her father was detained questioned simply because of his Japanese heritage. She’s been quoted as saying the experience made her realize “that one could not take citizenship and the promise of the U.S. Constitution for granted.” Education and her First First A junior at Maui High School, Mink became the first female class president. She graduated Valedictorian of the class of 1944. She started pre-med at the University of Hawaii. When WWII ended and travel bans to the U.S. Mainland were lifted, she transferred to Wilson College in Pennsylvania. But Wilson didn’t have […]

An Inspiring Woman In Space And On The Ground

From last week’s strong Mohawk woman of the revolutionary war era we’re coming forward hundreds of years. This week’s Women’s History Month spotlight is on an inspiring woman in space and on the ground, Ellen Ochoa. Ms. Ochoa, a Hispanic-American Woman, made history in our lifetime. Engineer, inventor, astronaut, and administrator, she is a champion of and for women. “We do a disservice to society as a whole, if we are not providing the same kinds of encouragement to women to contribute as we do to men.” – Ellen Ochoa Early Life Ochoa’s paternal grandparents immigrated from Sonora, Mexico to Arizona. They later moved to California where Ochoa’s father, Joseph, was born. Ellen Ochoa was born May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Her parents were Joseph and Rosanne (née Deardorf) Ochoa. She loved math and science in school, even if other kids looked down on her for that. She played the flute and wanted to be a musician. Like many of us, she watched the moon landing. She was eleven. It never occurred to her to want to be an astronaut. There were no female astronauts then. Education Ochoa’s parents divorced while she attended  Grossmont High School in El Cajon. She graduated […]