Female firsts that paved the way for Hillary Clinton’s nomination

Chapman W.

With Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate, she is the first woman to be nominated as a candidate for one of the two major parties. No matter the results of the election, this is a historic moment, which was led up to by the many female firsts that came before her.

In 1883, Colorado became the second state where women obtained the right to vote preceded only by Wyoming in 1880. The following year, three women were elected to serve in the Colorado House of Representatives: Clara Cressingham, Carrie C. Holly and Frances S. Klock. All three were the first women to be elected to a state elected office.


Along with these pioneers, Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming was the first female Governor in 1925, and Minnie Davenport Craig was the first female speaker of a State House of Representatives in 1933.

Jeannette Rankin was the first female elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1917; Hattie Wyatt Caraway was the first female United States Senator in 1931; and Nancy Pelosi, who is the highest-ranking female politician in American history, was the first female House of Representatives Party Whip, Party Leader and Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

During her speech at the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton spoke about this moment as putting “the biggest crack in the glass ceiling yet.” She spoke directly to young girls who might be watching, telling them that although she may become the first female president, any one of them could be next.

Although we won’t know until November whether Hillary Clinton will be the first woman to become the President of the United States, her nomination will go down in history books as an inspiration for women everywhere.

Collegian Social Managing Editor Chapman W. Croskell can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @Nescwick.