MOMS: Who “Did It First” Throughout History of International Women's Day


Moms, as a group, are pretty resourceful and creative and they have to be to raise their kids. And those skills are why it’s no surprise that a lot of moms have come up with life-changing inventions and broken glass ceilings. These are some of the mothers who have crushed boundaries throughout history to be the first to do what they did and deserve to be celebrated.

  • Hattie Caraway - Way back in 1931, this mother from Arkansas became the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • Josephine Cochrane - When you load your dishwasher tonight, thank Josephine, an inventor and mom of two who created the very first one.
  • Marie Curie - This famous scientist had two daughters and became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in 1903 for physics, which she won with her husband, and Curie went on to win the award again - this time on her own for chemistry in 1911.
  • Marie Donovan - Tired of dealing with diaper rash and the inconvenience of using cloth diapers, this mom of three invented the first waterproof disposable diapers back in the 1940s.
  • Aretha Franklin - Hits like “Respect” landed the “Queen of Soul” and mother of four sons in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and she was the first woman to be inducted.
  • Judy Garland - Another legendary singer and mother of three, she broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first female winner of the album of the year at the GRAMMYs.
  • Shirley Ann Jackson - She became the first black woman to earn a PhD from MIT in 1973 and she was the first black woman to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
  • Sandra Day O’Connor - In 1981 she was appointed as the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice and she remained on the Court until retiring in 2006.
  • Sojourner Truth - This abolitionist has made history several times, when she escaped slavery in 1826 with a baby in tow and again in 2009, when she became the first black woman to get her own statue at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Truth was also the first black woman to successfully sue a white man when she went to court to get back her son who was illegally sold to a slave owner.
  • Ruth Wakefield - We end on a sweet note here as Wakefield is the woman who invented chocolate chip cookies. She created the original Toll House cookie recipe while working at the Toll House Inn during the 1930s.

Source:Cafe Mom Photo courtesy of Getty Images