1866 Dr. Mary E. Walker was the first and only woman ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for her distinguished battlefield medical service during the US Civil War. After becoming involved in the culturally unpopular suffragette movements at the turn of the 20th century, Dr. Walker was stripped of the medal, with the official reason stated being “to increase the prestige of the grant.” Years later in 1977, President Carter reinstated the validity of the medal.
In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to grant women the right to vote at the federal level. Australia followed suit in 1902, but it was not until 1920, when President Woodrow Wilson advocated for the women’s right as a war measure, that the 19th Amendment granted American women the right to vote.
Considered something of an unsung hero of the civil rights movement, Dorothy Height was one of the earliest and longest-lasting leaders in the fight for equality. Height had been an activist since the New Deal era; she served as the leader of the National Council of Negro Women for four decades and, at the time of her death in 2010, she was the president emerita of that group.
Alice Paul, women's suffragist and one of the protestors who aimed to expose Pres. Wilson's hypocrisy of "making the world safe for democracy" when there was none at home. On the "Night of Terror," 9/ 14/ 1917, 44 workhouse wardens beat the protestors. One was a 73-year-old woman. One was stabbed between the eyes with the broken staff of her banner. Women were dragged by guards twisting their arms and hurled into concrete "punishment cells."