Honoring New Jersey Women this National Women’s History Month
In 1987, the U.S. Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month to honor and celebrate the many contributions that American women have made to the political, social, and cultural evolution of the country. It is strange to think that women’s history is still a relatively new subject in school curriculums and the public consciousness.
In recognition of the incredible strides that women have made in transforming the state of New Jersey over the years, the legal team at Lependorf & Silverstein would like to shine a well-deserved spotlight on some of the extraordinary women from NJ history.
Alice Paul was a key figure in the women’s suffrage movement of the early 20th century. She founded the National Women’s Party in 1916 and her tireless campaigning and picketing helped secure women’s right to vote in America with the passage of the 19th Amendment.
Mary Philbrook was a strong proponent of women’s suffrage as well and supported Alice Paul’s extreme activism. Philbrook became the first female attorney in New Jersey and the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, Rutgers School of Law honors a distinguished individual in public interest law with the Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award.
Dorothea Lange is responsible for many of the iconic photographic images of the U.S. Depression and other major national events, such as the attack on Pearl Harbor and the forced relocation of Japanese Americans during WWII. Her excellence in photography and dedication to exposing the hardships of those less fortunate are still celebrated today.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh is perhaps best known as the wife of famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, but Anne was an accomplished aviator in her own right. She received the Hubbard Gold Medal for completing more than 40,000 miles of exploratory flight over five continents with her husband. She was also the first woman to become a licensed glider pilot in the U.S. and authored 11 published books.
Elizabeth Coleman White is credited with introducing the country to blueberry cultivation. She was born on a cranberry farm in New Lisbon and went on to organize the New Jersey Blueberry Cooperative Association in 1927. She is the first woman to receive the New Jersey Department of Agriculture citation, in addition to numerous medals and awards from horticultural groups in other states.
Of course, there are generations of women deserving of praise each National Women’s History Month. Let us know which extraordinary women you believe have shaped our state and country.
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