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Danica Patrick made history this weekend when she became the first woman to win a pole position for a Sprint Cup NASCAR race. And it's for the granddaddy (or should we now say Grandmother) of all races, the Daytona 500. Got me to thinking. What other "first ladies" are there that we should recognize.
Here's a few I found:
1901, Annie Edson Taylor, a schoolteacher from Michigan, becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
1916, Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1921, American novelist Edith Wharton becomes the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She wins the award for her novel The Age of Innocence.
1926, American Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
1932, Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, traveling from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland in approximately 15 hours.
1932, Hattie Wyatt Caraway, of Arkansas, becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
1960, Jacqueline Cochran become the first woman to break the sound barrier by flying an F-86 over Roger's Dry Lake, California, at the speed of 652.337 miles per hour. Eleven years later, she flies at a speed of 1,429.2 miles per hour, more than twice the speed of sound.
1970, Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
1981, Sandra Day O'Connor is appointed the first female Supreme Court Justice, by President Reagan.
1983, Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.
1984, Geraldine Ferraro is the first woman to run for vice-president on a major party ticket.
1993, Janet Reno becomes the first woman U.S. attorney general.
1997 Madeleine Albright becomes the first female U.S. secretary of state.
1998, during Operation Desert Fox in Iraq, Lt. Kendra Williams, USN, becomes the first U.S. female combat pilot to bomb an enemy target.
1999, Lt. Col. Eileen Collins is the first woman astronaut to command a space shuttle mission.
2007 , Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) becomes the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives.
2010, In February, Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman ever to win an Academy Award as best director. She claimed the Oscar for her 2009 Iraq War movie The Hurt Locker.