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A Few Good Women: Advancing the Cause of Women in Government, 1969-74


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1961 President John F. Kennedy establishes a Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt)

1962 President John F. Kennedy stipulates that all women and men in the federal government must receive equal consideration for employment

1963 Presidential Commission report, American Women. President John F. Kennedy creates an Interdepartmental Committee on the Status of Women. Executive Order 11126 establishes the Citizen's Advisory Council on the Status of Women

Congress passes Equal Pay Act

Feminine Mystique (Betty Friedan) published

1964 Civil Rights Act passed. Title VII forbids job discrimination on the basis of sex

Margaret Chase Smith runs for president. Receives 27 votes at the Republican National Convention

Mary Brooks, Julie and Tricia Nixon, Catherine and Melinda Bedell, and others standing in front of a bus

 A writer and assistant commentator with the National Broadcasting Company (1944-1946), Bedell was women's editor at station KIT (1948-1957). She served as member of the Washington State Legislature (1952-1958) and was later elected from Washington to the U.S. House of Representatives (1959-1971). She was appointed by President Nixon to the United States International Trade Commission (1971-1981) and was appointed special consultant to the president on the 50 States Project (1982). After leaving government service, Bedell was the president of her own firm, Bedell Associates.

"Voteswagon" sendoff, September 25, 1968. left to right: Mary Brooks, Julie and Tricia Nixon, Catherine and Melinda Bedell

1965 Patsy Takemoto Mink, Democrat from Hawaii, became the first woman of Asian Pacific descent in the House of Representatives

1966 National Organization for Women established

1967 Executive Order 11375 -- prohibits sex discrimination by federal contractors or subcontractors

National Organization for Women adopts a "Bill of Rights for Women"

1968 Shirley Chisholm, New York Democrat, becomes the first African-American woman to serve in Congress

Women's Equity Action League Formed -- Alternative to NOW, urges "responsible rebellion." 12/01

1969 Nixon inaugurated (01/20)

Executive Order 11478 requires Affirmative Action programs in federal employment 08/08

"A Matter of Simple Justice" report by Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities transmitted to the President 12/15. Released publicly for the following year.

1970 NOW organizes "Women's Strike for Equality" Rallies and demonstrations in more than 90 cities, 40 states. 8/26

1971 Equal Rights Amendment passes House (10/2/1971) Phyllis Schlafly forms new anti-ERA organization, StopERA PA amends State Constitution to include ERA

1972 Senate approves the ERA. Ratified by 22 states by the end of the year.

Education Amendment of 1971 (Title IX) forbids sex discrimination in Higher Education

Ms. Magazine launched (Gloria Steinem)

National Women's Political Caucus formed in Washington D.C.

1973 Women's Equality Day passed by Congress, signed by President

1974 Women's Campaign Fund formed

1975 Carla Anderson Hills named Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs. 3rd woman in a cabinet-level position.

President Ford signing documents in front of a large group

Former U.S. representative from Maryland (1985-1995), The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley entered government service in the Nixon administration as Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. Prior to this appointment, she was maritime editor for the Baltimore Sun, producer of local television news programs in Baltimore and Philadelphia, and author of over 800 profiles of trade and shipping businesses. After leaving government service, she established an international trade and business consulting practice.