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Belva Lockwood and the “Legal Disabilities” of Early Women Lawyers

Today, November 30, marks the 140th anniversary of Belva Lockwood becoming the first woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1880. The following commemorative post is by Allison Buser, a summer intern with the Digital Resources Division of the Law Library of Congress. She is a current student of history and library & […]

From the Serial Set: Susan B. Anthony and the National Woman Suffrage Association

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the Library of Congress is digitally hosting the exhibit, Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote, through September 2020. As digitization of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set is underway, various bills related to suffrage throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries emerge. These give […]

Mary Church Terrell, Suffragist and Civil Rights Activist

Mary Eliza Church Terrell (1863-1954) worked for women’s suffrage and civil rights for African Americans throughout her career, achieving some of her biggest victories at the very end of her long life. Mary Eliza Church was born to well-off parents in Memphis. Her father was supposedly the first African-American millionaire and her mother had a […]

Maggie Kuhn and Age Discrimination Law

Saturday, August 3, 2019 was the 114th anniversary of Maggie Kuhn’s birth. She was born to a financial executive and a stay-at-home mother (with a business school degree), both of whom valued education. Her grandmother had raised her mother and aunt while running the family store after Ms. Kuhn’s grandfather had died when the children […]

Celebrating International Women’s Day and Averil Deverell, Ireland’s First Female Barrister

In 2015, Kelly Buchanan compiled a series of posts to celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day with contributions from foreign law specialists, analysts, and interns at the Law Library of Congress. The final post in the series, Women and History: Lawyers and Judges, features the stories of the first women lawyers and judges from 19 different […]

Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Lawyer, Educator, Suffragist

Washington, D.C. is a nexus for high achievers, accomplished folks, and never-satisfied attention-seekers. In the wash of history, some of Washington’s brighter lights get lost—especially those whose history gets lost because of intersectionality. Mary Ann Shadd Cary is a prime example; she was a polymath whose unswerving quest for equality made her less popular than […]

100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Germany

On November 30, 1918—100 years ago today—women in Germany gained the right to vote and stand for election. With the enactment of the Electoral Act (Reichswahlgesetz), the newly formed Council of People’s Representatives—the provisional government—fulfilled its promise made on November 12, 1918, to allow active and passive female suffrage. November 12, 1918, is therefore generally seen as the birth […]