Women's History Month: Learn about iconic figures and moments

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As the country celebrates Women's History Month in March, see photos of some notable people and events. Learn more about the achievements of the first congresswoman and the first female Nobel Prize winner, plus key moments in the women's suffrage movement in the United States and around the world, and the history of the Equal Rights Amendment proposals.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who helped organize the first
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who helped organize the first women's rights convention in the United States in 1848 and became the first president of National Women's Suffrage Association, is shown in an undated photo.

Suffragists led by
(Credit: AP)

Suffragists led by "General" Rosalie Jones march from New York on their way to the Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington, D.C., on the eve of President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration in March 1913.

A line of women rally for women's suffrage
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A line of women rally for women's suffrage and advertise a free rally discussing women's right to vote in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3, 1915.

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To call attention to the struggle for voting
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To call attention to the struggle for voting rights for women, these suffragettes took off from Midland Beach in Staten Island on Dec. 2, 1916, to distribute literature to residents there. The women in the plane are Ida Blair, chairman of the publicity committee of Woman's Suffrage in New York, and Leda Richberg-Hornsby of Chicago.

Suffragettes march for equal rights during a demonstration
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Suffragettes march for equal rights during a demonstration in Washington, D.C., in 1917.

New York suffragists hold a picket demonstration outside
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New York suffragists hold a picket demonstration outside the White House in Washington, D.C., in February 1917.

Chairwoman Alice Paul, second from left, and officers
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Chairwoman Alice Paul, second from left, and officers of the National Woman's Party hold a banner with a Susan B. Anthony quote in front of the NWP headquarters in Washington, D.C., in June 1920. The other suffragettes are Sue White, Mrs. Benigna Green Kalb, Mrs. James Rector, Mary Dubrow and Elizabeth Kalb.

Rebecca Latimer Felton of Cartersville, Ga., is pictured
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Rebecca Latimer Felton of Cartersville, Ga., is pictured on Oct. 7, 1922, more than a month before she would be sworn in as the first female U.S. senator and served for a day. She was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of the late Sen. Thomas E. Watson.

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Polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie works in
(Credit: AP)

Polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie works in a laboratory with her daughter Irene in Paris on April 20, 1927. Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903.

A Turkish woman casts her ballot in an
(Credit: AP)

A Turkish woman casts her ballot in an Istanbul municipal election on Oct. 21, 1930. This was the first time women in Turkey could vote.

Former Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-Mont.), the first woman
(Credit: AP)

Former Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-Mont.), the first woman elected to Congress, is pictured in Washington, D.C., on June 2, 1932.

New York State Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins
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New York State Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins is pictured in her New York City office on Feb. 25, 1933. She was the first woman to hold a cabinet position, serving as U.S. secretary of labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Yvonne B. Fina, one of millions of French
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Yvonne B. Fina, one of millions of French women who voted for the first time in a French national election, casts her ballot on Oct. 21, 1945, near Les Invalides in Paris. Women comprised about 53 percent of the registered voters.

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Members of the Suffragette Fellowship Council and the
(Credit: AP)

Members of the Suffragette Fellowship Council and the Women's Freedom League celebrate the 20th anniversary of the granting of the full franchise to British women in London on Feb. 7, 1949. Pictured, from left, are Ellen Potter, Enid Goulden Bach and Florence Potter.

Anna Rosenberg, assistant secretary of defense, and Senate
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Anna Rosenberg, assistant secretary of defense, and Senate Preparedness Subcommittee Chairman Lyndon Johnson (D-Texas) confer across a table in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 16, 1951.

Women prepare to cast their ballots in a
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Women prepare to cast their ballots in a booth in central Calcutta, India, on Jan. 22, 1952. Many people voted for the first time in their lives in the Indian general elections under a new Indian constitution that granted every adult a vote irrespective of sex or whether they pay taxes.

Doria Shafik, fourth from left, Egypt's suffrage leader,
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Doria Shafik, fourth from left, Egypt's suffrage leader, is shown with other women taking part in a hunger strike to demand the inclusion of women in Egypt's forthcoming constituent assembly on March 13, 1954. Egyptian women were granted the right to vote in 1956.

Half unconscious, a fasting suffragette, Amani Farid, is
(Credit: AP)

Half unconscious, a fasting suffragette, Amani Farid, is carried on a chair to a hospital in Cairo, Egypt, on March 18, 1954. She was one of a group of women headed by Egyptian feminist Doria Shafik who embarked on a hunger strike on March 12, 1954, in a campaign to obtain voting rights for women in the forthcoming Egyptian elections.

An unidentified member of the Women's Liberation Party
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An unidentified member of the Women's Liberation Party drops a brassiere in the trash barrel during a protest of the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 7, 1968.

Betty Friedan, activist and author of
(Credit: AP)

Betty Friedan, activist and author of "The Feminine Mystique," speaks to a group of people in New York on Nov. 21, 1966. Friedan co-founded the National Organization for Women, a women's rights group that supports equality for women in America.

Diane Crump became the first woman to ride
(Credit: AP)

Diane Crump became the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 1970. She's shown after winning in the first race.

The Statue of Liberty was the backdrop as
(Credit: AP)

The Statue of Liberty was the backdrop as nearly 100 women from various women's liberation groups demonstrated on Liberty Island on Aug. 10, 1970. Participants aimed to show support for the proposed Equal Rights Amendment that was before Congress. Shortly after noon, park rangers made the women remove the banner from the base of the statue.

Women's rights supporters march along Fifth Avenue in
(Credit: AP)

Women's rights supporters march along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1970 during a nationwide day of demonstrations for the women's liberation movement.

An estimated 10,000 marchers descend on the Capitol
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An estimated 10,000 marchers descend on the Capitol building in Springfield, Ill., to show support for states' ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment on May 16, 1976.

Some of the women's rights leaders pass a
(Credit: AP / Greg Smith)

Some of the women's rights leaders pass a torch that was carried by foot from New York to Houston for the November 1977 National Women's Conference. Among the marchers were, from left, tennis star Billie Jean King, in blue shirt and tan pants; former Rep. Bella Abzug, wearing one of her trademark hats; and writer-activist Betty Friedan, in a red coat.

Singer Bette Midler with actor Jack Nicholson at
(Credit: AP)

Singer Bette Midler with actor Jack Nicholson at an Equal Rights Amendment gathering at Joan Hackett's home in Beverly Hills, Calif., in March 1978.

Janet Guthrie is all smiles as her pit
(Credit: AP)

Janet Guthrie is all smiles as her pit crew swarms around her after the Indy 500-mile race in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday, May 28, 1978. Guthrie is the first woman racer to finish the Memorial Day classic race.

Leading supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment march
(Credit: AP / Dennis Cook)

Leading supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment march in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, July 9, 1978, urge Congress to extend the time for ratification of the ERA. From left: Gloria Steinem, Dick Gregory, Betty Friedan, Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-N.Y.), Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Margaret Heckler (R-Mass.).

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) laughs with a group
(Credit: AP / Dennis Cook)

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) laughs with a group June 26, 1979, at a Washington reception sponsored by the National Organization of Women as a fund-raiser for the ratification effort of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Bella Abzug, center with hat, in a pro-equal
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Bella Abzug, center with hat, in a pro-equal rights demonstration on New York's Fifth Avenue, Aug. 26, 1980. About 5,000 marchers made their way down Fifth Avenue chanting pro-equal rights slogans to mark the 60th anniversary of women receiving the right to vote.

Women's rights activist Gloria Steinem, left, joins former
(Credit: AP / John Duricka)

Women's rights activist Gloria Steinem, left, joins former Congresswoman Bella Abzug, center, and actress Mary Tyler Moore, right, during a meeting of women's rights leaders on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 4, 1981.

First Lady Betty Ford, center, poses at an
(Credit: AP / Randy Rasmussen)

First Lady Betty Ford, center, poses at an ERA NOW luncheon, June 11, 1981. The group, left to right, included actors Georg Stanford Brown, Linda Lavin, Jean Stapleton and Tyne Daly; Mrs. Ford; National Organization for Women president Eleanor Smeal; actors Alan Alda and Valerie Harper; and singer Helen Reddy.

Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the
(Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite)

Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, waves after her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate to the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, 1981. Standing with O'Connor, from left to right, are Attorney General William French Smith; Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.); Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.); Vice President George Bush; and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).

Equal Rights Amendment supporters voice their disapproval of
(Credit: AP)

Equal Rights Amendment supporters voice their disapproval of the 22-16 vote against the amendment in the Florida Senate as they streamed out of the capitol for a demonstration and shouted "vote them out" in response to the Senate vote on June 21, 1982.

Nearly 200 women and men march through New
(Credit: AP / Nancy Kaye)

Nearly 200 women and men march through New York City's Times Square on April 9, 1984, protesting pornography. The women marched to various peep-show parlors and X-rated theaters in the area, speaking out against what they called the indignity toward women in pornographic films and publications.

American actresses Marlo Thomas, center, Whoopi Goldberg, second
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American actresses Marlo Thomas, center, Whoopi Goldberg, second from right, and Cybill Shepherd, far right, participate in an abortion rights march in Washington, D.C., April 10, 1989.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), right, speaks on Capitol
(Credit: AP / Jacquelyn Martin)

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), right, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 2011, where she announced the re-introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Members of the Russian radical feminist group Pussy
(Credit: AP / Sergey Ponomarev)

Members of the Russian radical feminist group Pussy Riot give an interview to the Associated Press in a break during their rehearsal in Moscow, Friday, Feb., 17, 2012. Members of the group stage performances against the policies conducted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar waves before competing in
(Credit: AP / Martin Meissner)

Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar waves before competing in a women's 800-meter heat during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on Aug. 8, 2012. Attar was the first Saudi woman to compete in athletics during the Olympics.

In this Tuesday, April 16, 2013 photo, Loba
(Credit: AP / Maya Alleruzzo)

In this Tuesday, April 16, 2013 photo, Loba el-Helw, the Middle East's only female lion tamer, practices her routine at Egypt's National Circus in Cairo on April 16, 2013.

Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), center, holds up
(Credit: AP / Eric Gay)

Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), center, holds up two fingers to signal a "No" vote as the session where she tried to filibuster an abortion bill draws to a close, in Austin, Texas, on June 25, 2013.

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who
(Credit: AP / Susan Walsh)

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating education for girls, speaks during a celebration of International Day of the Girl at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, 2013.

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