Girls can become just about anything they dream and work to achieve today, thanks to the amazing women that were pioneers in occupations once believed to be “for men only”. The following are just a few examples of female first’s that made a difference in our world and paved the way for the rest of us.
Female jockey, Wantha Davis was well known to have won over 1,000 races in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, including a famous 1949, six furlong match-race against Johnny Longden at Agua Caliente. Even though Davis was always in demand as a training jockey, her applications for a license were turned down in state after state. Twelve years after Davis retired, the modern era of female jockeys began as Kathy Kusner successfully sued the Maryland Racing Commission for a jockey’s license in 1968 under the Civil Rights Act. In late 1968, Penny Ann Early became the first licensed female thoroughbred jockey in the US, and entered three races at Churchill Downs in November, but the male jockeys announced that they would boycott the events if she raced. On February 7, 1969, Diane Crump was the first female rider to ride in a Thoroughbred race in the United States at the Hialeah Park Race Track in Florida. Others soon followed suit and over the years American women jockeys have proven their ability. Rosie Napravnik leads all female jockeys with 93 wins and $4.6 million in purse money, as of May 2012, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Marie Owens, born in Canada, was the first female Police officer in the United States. She was hired, in 1891, in Chicago, Illinois. The first American-born female Police officer in the United States was Alice Stebbins Wells. She was hired in 1910 in Los Angeles, California. Wells was previously a minister in Kansas and she joined the Los Angeles Police Department after petitioning the mayer, police commissoner and city council in order to better aid other women and children who were victims of crime.
Female astronauts were commonplace by the 1980′s, but the first woman to fly into space in was in 1963. Her name was Valentina Tereshkova from the Soviet Union (Russia). She flew the mission Vostok 6 (June 16, 1963). Before being recruited as a cosmonaut, she was a textile assembly worker and an amateur parachutist. The first American woman in space was Sally Ride with the mission STS-7 in June of 1983. She was also the youngest American astronaut, at age 32.