A timeline of key events before, during, and after the passage in 1972 of the landmark U.S. law known as Title IX:
1836: Georgia Women’s College is the first women’s college to open in the United States
1917: Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to Congress.
1920: american women win the right to vote.
1936: A federal appeals court actually says doctors can prescribe birth control to women.
1947: The first report of the Truman Commission calls for more equitable access to higher education, including an end to racial and religious discrimination.
1953: Toni Stone becomes the first woman to regularly play professional baseball (Negro Leagues).
1954: US Supreme Court says ‘separate educational institutions are inherently unequal’ in landmark Brown v. Board of Education of the Topeka decision.
1960: Wilma Rudolph becomes the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals. The black sprinter star becomes a prominent civil rights activist.
1963: The Commission on the Status of Women, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, finds widespread discrimination against women in the United States and urges federal courts that “the principle of equality be firmly established in constitutional doctrine” . Congress passes Equal Pay Act.
1964: The Civil Rights Act includes sex as one of the things employers cannot discriminate against. It also establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hawaii’s Patsy Mink becomes first woman of color elected to U.S. House; she then co-authored Title IX, the Early Childhood Education Act and the Equal Women in Education Act.
1965: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides federal funding to K-12 schools with low-income student populations. President Lyndon Johnson also signs the Higher Education Act of 1965 which gives students access to loans, scholarships and other programs.
1966: The National Women’s Organization is established, calling for women to have “full participation in mainstream American society…in a truly equal partnership with men.”
1967: Aretha Franklin covers Otis Redding’s 1965 hit, “Respect, ” and it quickly becomes a feminist anthem.
1969: New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm becomes the first black woman in Congress. She later becomes the first woman to seek the presidential nomination.
1971: The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) is founded to govern collegiate women’s athletics and administer national championships.
1972: Congress passes Title IX, which is enacted by President Richard Nixon. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, because of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits, or be discriminated against in connection with any program or activity of education with federal financial assistance.” Congress also passes the Equal Rights Amendment, but it never gets the 38 state approval needed to become law.
1973: The Supreme Court renders its opinion Roe v. Wade establishing the right to abortion. Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets in “The Battle of the Sexes” tennis exhibition match.
1974: The Women’s Education Equity Act provides grants and contracts to help with “gender-neutral programs,” as well as to help institutions meet Title IX requirements.
1975: President Gerald Ford signs Title IX Athletics Regulationswhich gives athletics departments up to three years to implement, after noting that “it was the intention of Congress, for whatever reason for interpretation, to include athletics.”
1976: The NCAA challenges the legality of Title IX regarding athletics in a lawsuit that is dismissed two years later.
1977: Three female Yale students, two graduates and one male faculty member become the first to sue for sexual harassment under Title IX (Alexander v. Yale). He would fail on appeal.
1979: Ann Meyers becomes the first woman to sign an NBA contract (Indiana Pacers, $500,000). She had been the first woman to receive a basketball scholarship from UCLA.
1979: US officials have implemented the important three-pronged test for Title IX compliance in athletics.
1980: Oversight of Title IX is performed by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
nineteen eighty one : Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court.
1982: Louisiana Tech defeats Cheyney State for the first NCAA women’s basketball title. Two months later, the AIAW folded, placing top women’s collegiate sports entirely under the umbrella of the NCAA. Cheryl Miller scores 105 points in a high school game for launch one of the greatest careers in basketball history.
1984: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first woman to earn a vice-presidential nomination from a major political party. The United States wins its first Olympic gold medal in women’s basketball.
1987: Pat Summitt wins first of eight national women’s basketball titles at Tennessee.
1988: Congress overturns President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, mandating the application of Title IX to any school receiving federal funds.
1994: The Athletics Equity Disclosure Act is passed. Under Title IX, schools with federal financial aid and athletics programs must provide annual gender equity information, including roster sizes and certain budgets.
1995: Connecticut wins first of 11 national titles under coach Geno Auriemma.
1996: The female athletes win a lawsuit and force Brown to restore funding for women’s gymnastics and volleyball after saying the school violated Title IX by turning both teams into donor-funded entities. The NBA clears the way for the Women’s National Basketball Association to begin play the following year.
1999: Brandi Chastain penalty gives USA victory over China in the World Cup final, reinvigorating women’s sport in the United States
2001: Ashley Martin becomes the first woman to play and score in a Division I football game as a placekicker for Jacksonville State.
2008: Danica Patrick wins the Japan 300 to become the first female winner at the highest level of American open-wheel racing.
2014 : Becky Hamon becomes the first full-time assistant coach in NBA history.
2015 : United States’ 5-2 victory against Japan in the final of the Women’s World Cup became the most-watched football game in American television history.
2016: Citing Title IX, the Obama administration says transgender students in public schools should be allowed to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity, the advice has been cancelled by the Trump administration. hillary clinton becomes the first woman to win a major party nomination for president.
2017: Serena Williams wins her 23rd Grand Slam titlesecond all time.
2021: Report tears NCAA apart for failing to live up to commitment to gender equality prioritizing its lucrative Division I men’s basketball tournament “above all else,” including the women’s championships.
2022: Dawn Staley of South Carolina becomes the first black Division I basketball coach, male or female, to win more than one national championship. The United States women’s national soccer team reaches a stage agreement to be paid equally to the men’s national team.