Celebrating Women’s History Month
Each year in March, we pause to celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the remarkable achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.
Tammy Duckworth: War Hero, Senator, and Voice for the Disabled (1968-)
Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois senator and retired National Guard lieutenant colonel, is responsible for an impressive list of firsts. She’s the first Congress member to be born in Thailand, the first to give birth while in office, the first Asian American woman to represent Illinois in Congress, and the first woman with a disability to be elected to Congress. She lost both of her legs following a helicopter attack in the Iraq War.
“People always want me to hide it in pictures,” she told Vogue in 2018. “I say no! I earned this wheelchair. It’s no different from a medal I wear on my chest. Why would I hide it?”
Florence Griffith Joyner: The World’s Fastest Woman (1959-1998)
A popular figure for both her record-setting athleticism as well as her eclectic personal style, Olympic sprinter Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith Joyner’s is unparalleled in the track and field world. She is still considered the fastest woman of all time for the records she set in 1988 for the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes in Seoul that still stand today. Tragically, her life was cut short at the young age of 38.
Anna May Wong: Hollywood’s First Asian American Movie Star (1905-1961)
Despite dealing with racism that plagued her career, Wong is considered Hollywood’s first-ever Asian American movie star. Her talent earned her roles in over 50 domestic and foreign films, and she was also the first Asian American to star in a TV show, The DuMont Television Network’s The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong. A year before her death in 1961, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As one of the first women depicted on the reverse of the quarter in the 2022-2025 American Women quarters series, she will also be the first Asian American to appear on US currency.