Young Man in a Hurry
His era has long passed, but the name Isaac Stevens can still be heard from the coastal towns of Washington State to the arid plains of Idaho. Cast as both a brilliant war hero and a slick negotiator with a brazen approach, the complex Stevens is a well-studied and controversial figure in Pacific Northwest history.
The exhibit explores the fascinating life of Washington’s first Territorial Governor through rare maps, images, detailed illustrations and artifacts.
While the exhibit is no longer on display at the Secretary of State’s office, watch the Traveling Exhibits Schedule to see where it will be next.
MOVING FORWARD, LOOKING BACK:
Office of the Secretary of State, Legislative Building, Olympia, Washington
Washington’s First Women in Government
"The history of this nation… could not have been
without the contribution of women."
- Catherine May
When Congresswoman Catherine May faced a chamber full of men to persuade the sitting
president to appoint more bright women, she’d come a long way from producing the
Betty Crocker Show for NBC. When a pre-school teacher heard a demeaning quip from
a sitting legislator that she’d never make a difference "as just a mom in tennis
shoes," Patty Murray made a run for the U.S. Senate and won.
Since 1913, fourteen pathfinders have pushed the limits, stood for election, and
won offices never before held by women. Their landmark elections show progressive
Washington – a unique state that empowered women with the fundamental right to vote
a decade before the nation; the only state with a sitting female Governor and two
women in the U.S. Senate.
But the gender gap remains. Washington has yet to elect a female Speaker of the
House, Lieutenant Governor, State Auditor, or State Treasurer. No American woman
has claimed the presidency or vice presidency. In 2006, the U.S. had awarded only
14 of its 100 Senate seats to women.
Many of these officeholders, now at the height of their power, remember a world
that judged and denied based on gender --- when colleges turned them away at the
door – when voters held women to a different standard, and when issues related to
childcare were considered wholly a "woman’s problem." Moving Forward, Looking Back
celebrates 100 years of the women’s vote in Washington and the journey that continues
See photos of the exhibit launch.
Biographies of Washington's First Women in Government:
- Frances Axtell, First State Representative,
- Nena Jolidon Croake, First State Representative,
- Josephine Preston, First Superintendent
of Public Instruction, 1913-1929
- Reba Hurn, First State Senator, 1923-1931
- Bertha Knight Landes, First Mayor of
a major U.S. city, 1926-1928
- Belle Reeves, First Secretary of State, 1938-1948
- Catherine May Bedell, First U.S. Representative,
- Dixy Lee Ray, First Governor, 1977-1981
- Jeannette Hayner, First Senate Majority
- Carolyn Dimmick, First Supreme Court Justice,
- Jennifer Belcher, First Public Lands Commissioner,
- Deborah Senn, First Insurance Commissioner,
- Christine Gregoire, First Attorney General,
- Patty Murray, First U.S. Senator, 1993-Present
First Washington Women in Law March 22 - April 30, 2010
Temple of Justice, Olympia, Washington
Celebrating this year's Centennial of Women's Suffrage in Washington State, the
Washington State Supreme Court, the Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission,
and the Washington State Heritage Center present the First Washington Women in Law
exhibit. The exhibit recognizes Washington women who have held significant positions
in the law in our State over the past 100 years. From Reba Hurn, first woman to
be admitted to the Bar in Washington in 1913 to the first female majority on the
State Supreme Court in 2003, this exhibit recognizes the ground-breaking achievements
of women as leaders in the law profession over the years.