Lone Star State Women
|
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

My recent trip to Houston had me wondering about women who changed America who had ties to Texas - the Lone Star State. And, I was not disappointed when I went looking. Let's discover them together. Match the woman with Lone Star State ties with her contribution:

____ 1. The first African-American woman elected to the Texas State Legislature.
____ 2. She organized pecan workers' strikes in San Antonio, Texas.
____ 3. A former Ambassador and philanthropist who grew up in Dallas and founded the Women and Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
____ 4. The first woman elected Governor of the State of Texas in her own right.
____ 5. The first female professor of engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

A. Emma Tenayuca
B. Edith Clarke
C. Barbara Jordan
D. Ann Richards
E. Swanee Hunt

Edith Clarke became the first woman to receive an electrical engineering degree from MIT when she received her masters in 1918. Her career at General Electric spanned from 1919 to 1945 where she wrote the books that provide the analysis techniques for evaluation of the electric transmission system. Her patent for a graphical calculator, awarded while she worked at GE, has been recognized by her induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1947, Clarke became the first female professor of engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

Labor organizer, community activist and school teacher Emma Tenayuca was born in San Antonio in 1916. One of eleven children, she joined a picket line of female workers protesting employment conditions at a cigar company when she was 17 and got arrested. By her early twenties, she was active in labor organizing as well as the Communist Party and, in 1938, was a leader in the strike protesting working conditions in the pecan production industry around San Antonio. Her Communist Party affiliation led to her becoming a persona non grata. She left labor organizing and became a school teacher active in the Latino community for the rest of her life.

The first African-American congresswoman elected from the Deep South, Barbara Jordan spent her life breaking down barriers. Encouraged by her parents to strive for academic excellence, she was a debater and orator in high school. She set up her law practice in Texas after graduating from the Boston University Law School. In 1966, on her third try, Jordan became the first African-American woman elected to the Texas State Legislature and, in 1972, became the first African-American president pro tempore of the state senate. Also, in 1972, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Her reputation was built through the televised coverage of the Watergate hearings. After her retirement from Congress, she served as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Jordan, whose statue is in the Austin, Texas airport, has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

A one-term governor of Texas, Ann Richards had been involved for years in state and local politics before moving into the Governor's Mansion in 1991. Although not the first woman governor of Texas, she was the first woman elected in her own right. When she was elected state Treasurer in 1982, she became the first woman elected to state office in 50 years. While governor, she worked to get more women and minorities elected to state boards and commissions and succeeded in getting insurance reform enacted.

Former Ambassador Swanee Hunt grew up in Dallas. A true Renaissance woman, Hunt has also served as a pastor, founded the Hunt Alternatives Fund, founded the Women and Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is a photographer and composer. Hunt, whose mission is to achieve gender parity especially as a means to end war and alleviate poverty, has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These women with ties to the Lone Star State of Texas are profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I am proud to acknowledge their enduring accomplishments.

(Answers 1-C, 2-A, 3-E, 4-D, 5-B )

Before You Go

Popular in the Community