Timeline: Women in Sports
From Mt. Olympus to Cooperstown, N.Y.
by Chris Frantz
|776 b.c.|| |
No girls allowed at the first Olympics, but the Games of Hera, featuring footraces for women, are held every four years.
Mary Queen of Scots is said to be the first woman to play golf in Scotland. She scandalizes the country when she plays golf a few days after her husband Lord Darnley's murder.
Feisty Sarah Kemble Knight undertakes a solo horseback journey from Boston to New York.Top
The first women's golf tournament is held at Musselburgh, Scotland.
Amelia Jenks Bloomer recommends the practical pants that would bear her name.
Catherine Beecher publishes the first exercise manual for women.Top
Wellesley College opens and requires physical education as part of the curriculum.
Annie Oakley beats her future husband, champion marksman Frank Butler, at a shooting competition.
The women's singles competition begins at Wimbledon. Maud Watson is the first champion.
Lena Jordan becomes the first person to perform a triple somersault on the trapeze.
Women compete in the Paris Olympics in golf, tennis, and croquet.
Annie Taylor is the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.Top
Since there was no women's competition, figure skater Madge Syers of Britain enters the men's world championships and places second. In 1908, she would win the first women's Olympic gold medal.
The American Athletic Union (AAU) allows women to register for the national swimming championships.
Lucy Diggs Slowe becomes the first African-American woman to win a national title in any sport when she wins the first women's title at the American Tennis Association (ATA) national tournament.
The AAU opens track and field events to women.Top
Figure skating is the only sport open to women at the first Winter Olympic Games.
Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel.
Women finally compete in Olympic track and field events.Top
Virne Mitchell, pitcher, becomes the first woman in professional baseball. She strikes out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrigin an exhibition game. Baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis bans women from the sport later that year.
Babe Didrikson wins the team championship singlehandedly at the AAU national track and field meet.
Conchita Cintron of Chile begins her bullfighting career in Mexico.Top
The All American Girls' Baseball League was formed to fill ballparks emptied by baseball players going to war.
Swimmer Ann Curtis is the first woman to win the Sullivan Award.
Barbara Washburn becomes the first woman to climb Mount McKinley.Top
Alice Coachman is the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She grabs her gold in the high jump.
Patty Berg and others found the Ladies' Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
12-year-old Kathryn Johnson becomes the first girl to play Little League Baseball in Corning, N.Y.
Women and men compete together in Olympic equestrian events.
Maureen Connolly becomes the first woman to win a Grand Slam—all four major tennis championships.Top
The first LPGA Championship is held.
Althea Gibson is the first black person to win a tennis Grand Slam title when she wins the French Championship (the future French Open).Top
Althea Gibson becomes the top-ranked women's tennis player with Wimbledon and U.S. Championships under her belt.
Patty Berg hits a hole-in-one in the U.S. Women's Open. She's the first woman to score an ace in a United States Golf Association tournament.
- More from Women's History Month