Saturday, March 13, 2010

Women's History Month - Female Firsts


Riding a Horse in the Kentucky Derby: Diane Crump

Amidst a media frenzy and surrounded by a police escort, 20 year old Diane Crump arrived at Hialeah Racetrack in February 1969 to make history as the first female jockey in a pari-mutuel race. After a winning year, she broke the same barrier by riding in the Kentucky Derby the following May. Not until an injury forced her to hang up her tack in 1990 did Crump step down from the saddle.

Traveling Into Space: Sally Ride

Women had been trying to enter the astronaut program since the 1960's, when NASA required them to wear high heels and hose during qualifying tests. Eventually, by 1983, astrophysicist Sally Ride broke the gender barrier, traveling as a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

Spinning Disks for a Major Radio Station: Alison Steele

In 1966, Steele went on the air at WNEW in New York City, where she became the first female radio disk jockey. Known as "the nightbird," Steele proved herself a knowledgeable promoter of progressive rock and her show remained one of the most popular radio programs until 1979.

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