Extraordinary Local Women of History

Source: Chicago Public Library, Cleveland Hall Branch Archives

Despite a few snowy days, spring has officially arrived and March is almost over. Let's wrap up Women's History Month by highlighting the contributions of two Chicago women. Vivian G. Harsh The first African American branch head at the Chicago Public Library and an early leader in the movement to preserve African American history, Vivian Gordon Harsh was often described as […]

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Local Heroines: Pioneering Chicago Women

Florence Kelley

Women today enjoy universal suffrage, the right to hold public office, and equal opportunities in education and employment. From our 21st century perspective it's easy to forget that this wasn't always the case. You may not know the names of the local women at the forefront of these struggles, but they had a prominent role in fighting for […]

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Girls Can Do Anything! Female STEM Pioneers

girl climbing on lava bed

March is Women's History Month, a perfect time to celebrate women's contributions to the sciences. You never know where keeping your eyes open, and a nature journal handy, will lead. Here are some female heroes beyond Marie Curie who demonstrate the power of observation and imagination. Women were not historically encouraged to pursue the sciences. The pioneering naturalists […]

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Ilene Cooper Q & A

U.S. Capital Building

Celebrate Women's History Month and get to know March's Author of the Month, Ilene Cooper, as she talks about the inspiration behind her latest book, A Woman in the House (and Senate), how she got her start in writing and her love of books. Where did you get your idea for this book? I have always been […]

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Author of the Month Ilene Cooper

Photo of author Ilene Cooper

Can you guess how many women were members of Congress for the first 128 years the United States was a country? Not one! It was not until 1917 that a woman was elected to the House of Representatives. Do you know how many serve today? A Woman in the House (and Senate), the latest from […]

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Rachel Carson, Woman for the Earth

Rachel Carson

In 1962, biologist Rachel Carson was dying of cancer as she launched a war against the deadly pesticides industry. Supported by her soul mate, a married woman named Dorothy Freeman, Carson poured the last energy of her life into Silent Spring, a book that shook the nation, caused the U.S. government to take immediate action and launched the modern environmental movement. […]

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Celebrate Women’s History Month with CPL

Celebrating Diversity

Join us in celebrating Women’s History Month in March. We're hosting a wide range of programs and events to highlight the contributions and achievements of women. At our featured program, Women Building Chicago, Mary Ann Johnson, president of the Chicago Area Women’s History Council, presents a journey through decades of Chicago history alongside remarkable 20th century […]

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Just In Time For Your Women’s History Month Homework Assignment

Use the Person Search feature in the Biography in Context online resource to compile a list of notable people by occupation (Yes, “feminist” is listed as an occupation).  You can limit your list by nationality, ethnicity, gender, date of birth or date of death. My search (occupation - feminist and nationality - american) produced over 100 names, including Betty Friedan, Margaret Sanger, […]

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Explore Claudette Colvin at West Chicago Avenue Branch

In celebration of Women's History Month, children at the West Chicago Avenue Branch will explore who Claudette Colvin is and what role she played in the civil rights movement. Join us for this event at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 22. Participants will take a quiz about Claudette's life, and the winner will receive a women's […]

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The History of Women

In celebration of Women's History Month here are some books about awesome women contributing to our world throughout the years. Gail Collins, most likely known as a New York Times op-ed columinst, wrote America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. It covers four centuries' worth of women's lives. The chapters pair women's roles […]

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