Paleoindian Period – 1835
In the interest of neutrality, we have chosen to use the signifiers BCE and CE
(Before the Common Era and Common Era) in place of BC and AD (Before
Christ and Anno Domini-in the year of our Lord.)
ca. 12,000 BCE – ca. 8,000 BCE
- Paleoindian women are important to the survival of their bands, helping men hunt, butcher animals, and dress the hides; they also gather seeds, nuts, and berries for sustaining their families.
- Most Indian peoples are centered around females; some are matrifocal, with the mother's role central to the group, and others are matrilineal, tracing descent through the mother; in matrilocal groups, a man lives with his wife's family after marriage.
ca. 8,000 BCE – ca. 800 CE
- During the Archaic Period, women's importance to the economy increases due to their roles in providing food for family sustenance.
- Some women of the Caddo tribe, in present-day east and northeast Texas, become priest-chiefs (xinesí), thus possessing religious and political authority.
- Caddo women begin to make some of the most renowned ceramic pottery east of the Rocky Mountains.
- Women freely initiate divorce in Indian farming societies.
- Indian women serve their societies as medicine women, using traditional medicine, including spiritual power, to heal the sick, and as professional traders, exchanging food, clothing, and other basic items.
- In the religion of the Apache nation, in present-day south and west Texas, White-Painted Woman and Child of Water are considered the creators of the world.
- Reports by Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca reveal that Indian women serve as mediators and emissaries, helping to establish diplomatic relations with other Indian peoples.
- During annual planting seasons, females of all ages in Hasinai societies (in present-day east Texas) weave cane mats and give them to the caddí (governor) or xinesí (priest-chief) for presentation at the temple fire as a sign of the women's sacred roles in maintaining the community's economic well being.
- The Caddo tribal group of northeastern Texas has a woman chief.
1680 – 1700
- Caddo people dictate terms of interaction with European explorers in establishing diplomatic exchanges, using their customs of hospitality; women join in welcoming the Europeans.
- Indian women wield political power through their strong role in determining whether their people go to war or remain at peace.
- Indian women are important to religious ceremonies for both hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies. Some religious dances are initiated only by women.
- Caddo women can divorce their husbands by simply placing his belongings outside their lodge.
1716 – 1721
- Angelina, a member of the Caddo Nation, serves as a guide, translator, and interpreter for Spanish, French, and other Indian peoples.
- Spanish-Mexican women enter present-day Texas as part of an expedition to establish permanent settlements in East Texas.
- The wealthy Spanish-Mexican heiress Ignacia Xaviera de Echevers provides cattle to help her husband launch Texas's cattle industry.
- The first settlers of San Antonio de Béxar (present-day San Antonio) include six Spanish-Mexican women married to soldiers.
- Women are among the 56 Canary Islanders who establish first permanent civilian settlement in San Antonio. María Robaina Betancour is a leader of settlement.
- Apache women move back and forth between their settlements and those of the Spanish, attempting to negotiate the release of Apache captives.
- An Apache woman is sent to take gifts to Spanish commander Toribio de Urrutia in San Antonio as a sign of her people's goodwill.
- José de Escandón begins establishing settlements along Rio Grande between Laredo and Brownsville.
- Women of the Comanche tribe, in present-day central and west Texas, take on roles as mediators, helping establish a peace process between their people and the Spanish.
- Coahuiltecan-, Tonkawa-, and Karankawa-speaking peoples use the Spanish missions in south Texas as semi-sedentary places of refuge; most Indian peoples using the missions do so on their own terms; their social, economic, and military abilities are keys to maintaining basic mission needs.
- Caddos believe Zacado, female deity of the Caddo, appeared on earth to Caddo ancestors, providing instruction on how to survive.
- South Texas Tejanas receive Spanish land grants.
- Sanate Adíva, a member of the Caddo Nation, has an important role as a caddí (governor), with tanmas (administrative assistants) and connas (shaman priests) in her service.
- Comanches are led into San Antonio de Béxar by a woman bearing a white flag and a cross as an initial step in peace negotiations between her people and the Spanish.
1775 – 1790
- Marriages between Indian women and Spaniards result in mestizaje, meaning that the Tejano community possesses both Indian and European (Spanish) heritage.
- Nacogdoches passes an ordinance outlining punishments for husbands who "shall assent to the prostitution" of their wives.
- San Antonio passes an ordinance requiring "both honorable men and honorable women" to remain home at night.
- The presence of Comanche women in trade parties to San Antonio is a key factor in creating conditions for signing the Comanche Peace Treaty with the Spanish.
- María Josefa Granados owns the largest general store in San Antonio.
- The Laredo lieutenant chief justice issues an ordinance against the mingling of the sexes at the Rio Grande.
- The Wichita-speaking peoples (some 10,000-30,000) relocate from present-day Kansas to northern Texas; matrilineal and matrilocal living patterns and women's farming roles keep them in their villages for many months each year.
- A woman known as "the Indian Maria" travels with her husband, the Comanche Chief Soquina, and 32 women, seven warriors, and 22 children to trade bison hides in the Nacogdoches community.
- Gertrudis de los Santos and her husband Antonio Leal own 10-league grant on which San Augustine is built.
- Doña Rosa María Hinojosa de Ballí of Reynosa, Mexico, and La Feria, Texas, inherits land grants from her husband and father and soon owns ranch land amounting to one-third of the present-day lower Rio Grande Valley. Her property in 1798 includes a mulatta teenager.
- The Spanish census of Texas shows 1,617 male and 1,375 female residents, including 167 female mulattas and 19 female Negroes, some slave, some free.
1800 – 1865
- Slave women work in the fields, cook, clean, wash, iron, spin, sew, weave, and care for white children and also serve as wet nurses and midwives. Others build roads and fences, kill hogs, shell corn, and dig wells.
1800 – 1870
- Indian women farm, butcher buffalo, make their own tools, and trade with other tribes and ethnic groups.
1805 – 1835
- A number of women request military pensions and military allotments for their husbands' Spanish and later Mexican military service.
- Mexican Texas is a haven for runaway and freed slaves from the nearby United States. Felipe Elúa, a former slave from Louisiana, buys the freedom of his wife and their children, and they move to San Antonio.
- Mexico declares independence from Spain.
- María Pérez Cassiano, wife of the governor of Texas, runs affairs of state in his absence, including the review of troops in front of Spanish Governor's Palace in San Antonio.
- María del Carmen Calvillo inherits a Wilson County ranch from her father and runs it with a large work force. Her successful ranch includes 1,500 cattle, 500 goats, sheep, and horses, an irrigation system, a sugar mill, and a granary.
- The alcalde of Laredo denounces common law unions as a menace to the community's well being.
- Black women, men, and children are sold at Galveston's slave market.
- The Spanish government grants Moses Austin permission to settle 300 families in Texas. After his death, his son, Stephen F. Austin, renegotiates the contract with newly independent Mexico. Anglo American men and women begin moving into Texas, bringing their slaves and some free people of color with them.
- Mexico wins independence from Spain and promises citizenship and equal rights for all Mexicans. Texas is part of the state of Coahuila y Texas.
1821 – 1822
- Jane Long, widow of Texas expedition leader James Long, and her young slave woman, Kian, survive a bitter winter on Bolivar Island (across from Galveston).
- The Colonization Law of 1823 promises single men an additional one-quarter league of land if they marry a Tejana and provides that "there shall not be permitted… either purchase or sale of slaves that may be introduced into the empire. The children of such slaves, who are born within the empire, shall be free at fourteen years." This law is soon annulled with the overthrow of Mexican emperor Augustín de Iturbide.
- A new constitutional congress in Mexico decrees that slave trade should be prohibited "forever." Any slaves brought into Mexico in violation are to be freed.
- Doña Patricia de la Garza De León stakes her inheritance to found the town of Victoria with her husband, Martín de León.
- The Constitution of Coahuila y Texas requires a uniform system of public instruction. The new constitution also states that slavery is forbidden and that within six months of its promulgation, slaves can no longer be imported.
- Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas," buys a slave woman for $350.
- After Mexico abolishes slavery, Texas slave owners bring slaves in as lifetime indentured servants.
- Nearly 60 Texas land grants are awarded to Mexican-origin women.
- Ursula de Veramendi marries James Bowie.
- Mary Austin Holley, Stephen F. Austin's cousin, writes the first book in English about the Texas region, Texas.
- Doña Gertrudis Pérez donates money to help establish San Antonio schools.
1833 – 1836
- Doña Patricia de la Garza De León of Victoria is one of Texas's most successful ranchers and livestock owners.
- Josefa Flores de Barker donates 200 acres of land to establish the town of Floresville.
- A free woman of color, Celia Allen of San Felipe, hires William B. Travis to defend her emancipation; she wins her case.
- Minerva, a slave, is an overseer on the Brazoria plantation of John Thomas.
- Tamar Morgan buys her freedom with the proceeds of her own labor and becomes an independent landowner in Brazoria County.
- Frances Trask establishes the first female academy in Texas at Independence.
- One hundred slaves on the Brazos River plot to revolt, divide the cotton farms, and make whites work for them. They are arrested, many are whipped, and a few are executed.
- Anglos and some Tejanos begin the war for independence from Mexico.
1836 – 1860
- Doña Patricia de la Garza De León and some of her family support the Texians in the war for independence from Mexico; nonetheless, they and other Tejanos become victims of anti-Mexican violence.
- Emily West (Morgan), a mulatta, later known as the "Yellow Rose of Texas," allegedly helps Sam Houston's army win the Battle of San Jacinto and Texas independence.
- Texas wins its independence from Mexico. The Provisional Government recognizes among its citizens all free people of color living in Texas as of January 1836. By March, the new constitution forbids them from staying "without the consent of Congress." Those who remain live in fear of banishment.
- The Republic of Texas is established in a meeting in Brazoria at a boarding house operated by Jane Long and Kian.
- A joint resolution of the Texas Congress permits free people of color residing in Texas at the date of the Declaration of Independence to remain in the Republic.
- Sylvia Routh of Houston and her six children are emancipated by James Routh, who leaves them 320 acres of land and money.
- Sally Vince, Harris County, is freed by her master in his will. His brother tries to claim her, but she petitions the court and wins her freedom.
- The home of María Josefa Menchaca and her husband serves as a church, school, and community center in Béxar County.
- Jane McManus Cazneau is a successful impresario, journalist, and war correspondent during the U.S. -Mexican War. Her columns in the New York Sun may have helped swing U.S. public opinion in favor of Texas annexation.
- Frances Cox Henderson, wife of Gov. J. Pinckney Henderson, runs his law office in San Augustine and handles cases when her husband and his partners are out of town.
- Austin passes an ordinance levying a fine of $50 for "any white man or Mexican" found in the company of a "negro."
- The Texas Congress prohibits immigration of free people of color and requires free blacks to remove themselves or be sold into slavery, unless exempted by acts of Congress.
- Some slavewomen strike out against their masters. In Sabine County, Nancy and her daughter Isabella are jailed for the alleged murder of their master. After their escape, a $200 reward is offered for their capture.
- The Mexican Army attacks and occupies San Antonio twice. Mayor Juan Seguín and others of Mexican descent are forced to flee to Mexico for supporting the Texian cause.
- Innkeeper Angelina Eberly of Austin fires a cannon to prevent the state archives from being moved to Washington-on-the-Brazos, thereby helping keep the state capital in Austin.
- Mary A. Levy, the mother of 20 children, buys land in her own name in Houston from Jacob de Córdova.
- Texas joins the Union as the twenty-eighth state.
- The Texas Legislature makes it illegal for any free black to remain in the state without its consent.
- Eleven of the nineteen members of the Colored Church in Galveston (part of the First Baptist Church) are women.
- Norwegian immigrant Elise Waerenskjold settles near Dallas; she writes articles in support of women's property rights and against slavery.
- Emeline, a free woman of color who has been enslaved, hires a law firm and sues her enslaver. A Harris County jury frees her and awards her damages of one dollar.
- The U.S.-Mexican War ends with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. The Rio Grande becomes the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
- The first U.S. women's rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York.
- Family members of Gertrudis de la Garza Falcón file suit to recover land on which Brownsville is located. They win in 1852, but sell the next year.
- Tejana ranchers continue to prosper; many, like Salomé Vela in Hidalgo County, acquire land through dowries and marriages.
- Mary Madison is granted a petition she filed with the Texas Legislature to remain a free woman of color.
- Jane Long owns a plantation worth $10,000.
- The Ursuline Academy, a Catholic girls' school, is founded in San Antonio.
- Melinda Rankin, a Presbyterian missionary, founds Texas's first bilingual school, the Rio Grande Female Institute for Spanish-speaking girls, in Brownsville.
- Slaves account for 27 percent of the Texas population, including 29,461 female slaves; 186 free women of color live in Texas.
- Dr. John and Puss (Silvia) Webber, an interracial couple with eight children, are forced from their Webberville home near Austin by racists.
- Rebecca de Córdova runs the family farm in Seguin in the absence of her husband Jacob, one of Texas's largest land developers.
- Jewish leader and German immigrant Rosanna Osterman of Galveston brings the first rabbi to Texas.
- The widow of Juan Mendiola sells her 15,500-acre land grant in Nueces County to Captain Richard King for $300. It becomes the basis for the King Ranch.
- Jane Elkins, a Dallas slave hired to care for a Mr. Wisdom's children, pleads not guilty to having murdered him. She is hanged, probably the first woman in Texas to be legally hanged.
- Citizens of Austin expel all transient Mexicans who they fear will encourage runaway slaves.
- An Austin overseer whips a slave woman to death with a leather strap. He flees the area.
- Viola Case organizes the Victoria Literary Society for girls of the Victoria Female Academy, possibly the first such group in the state.
- J. D. Nix of Harris County is convicted of assault and battery for cutting a slave woman with a knife; he is fined $25 and sentenced to ten days in jail.
- Two hundred Colorado County slaves organize a revolt, but are discovered. Women may have been among them.
- David Webster of Galveston emancipates his slave Betsy and leaves her his entire estate, including horses, household goods, and twenty-one town lots. Her petition to the legislature to remain in Texas is signed by several dozen white citizens.
- Amelia Barr, later a prolific novelist, opens a seminary for young ladies and is a clerk for Confederate tax assessor in Austin. The seminary operates through 1865.
- Francisca Ramírez and her husband move from Mexico to establish a large ranch in Presidio County.
- Mrs. E. Spann of Galveston begins Texas's first literary magazine.
- The Texas Legislature passes a law permitting free blacks the right to enslave themselves voluntarily in order to escape liens and judgments and to avoid expulsion from the state.
- Margaret is arrested for allegedly killing her Liberty County master, Solomon Barrow, by poisoning his bread with arsenic. After being released by a hung jury, she is sold to an unsuspecting new master. Lucy Dougherty murders her Galveston mistress following an argument. On the eve of her execution, she says, "Yes, and I would do it again."
- Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, son of Estéfana Cortina, herself an heir to a large land grant in the lower Rio Grande Valley, leads the Cortina War, a border uprising against a clique of judges and attorneys he accuses of expropriating land from Tejano families.
- Melinda Rankin is fired as director of the Rio Grande Female Seminary in Brownsville because of her Unionist sympathies.
- Helena Landa operates a general store, flour and sawmills, and a cotton gin in New Braunfels while her husband flees from Confederate vigilantes. She uses cowboy spurs to punch holes in dough for matzo used for the Jewish Passover.
- Approximately 180,000 slaves live in Texas, about 30 percent of the population.
- Paula Losoya Taylor and her sister found Del Rio.
- Salomé Ballí Young, widow of John Young, is one of Texas's wealthiest citizens, owning $100,000 in real property and $25,000 in personal property in Cameron County.
- Elizabeth Ramsey, a Matagorda County slave, is freed as the result of a fund-raising campaign conducted by her daughter, Louisa Picquet of Cincinnati, Ohio, from whom she had been separated for some twenty years.
- In Bastrop County, a free black woman and her six children go into voluntary enslavement to avoid being sold for debt and being expelled from the state.
- Harriet McCullough Reynolds of Jackson County, a free woman of color, has 6,000 cattle valued at $3,300.
- In Fannin County, Emma, a slave, and two male slaves are hanged for killing their master.
- Mrs. M. L. Capshaw, a white woman, runs a Houston school for blacks in the African Methodist Church.
1861 – 1899
- The U.S. Civil War begins. Texas secedes from the Union and joins the Confederacy. Women run farms and businesses while men go to war.
- Some Tejanos serve in the Confederate Army, some in the Union Army. A number of women serve the Confederacy, including Sally Scull and Sarah Borginnis (nicknamed "The Great Western"). Rosanna Osterman of Galveston opens her home as a hospital for soldiers of both sides. Slavewomen stay up late at night weaving cloth and sewing clothing for soldiers. Many German immigrants oppose slavery and the Confederate cause.
- Fannie Perry, a slave of the Perry family in Harrison County, writes to her husband, Norfleet Perry, who has accompanied his master to the Civil War battlefront.
- President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Josefa (Chipita) Rodríguez, San Patricio, is hanged for a murder she probably did not commit. Many articles and two operas have been written about her. A resolution by the Texas Legislature absolving her of the crime was signed by Gov. Mark White in 1985.
- The Civil War ends in April. On June 19, "Juneteenth," slaves in Texas learn they are free. In 1866, Texas's government is declared provisional and placed under military control. Republicans gain power in state government.
- The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishes slavery.
- The U.S. Congress creates the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands to help freed slaves, including the establishment of schools.
- Former slavewomen withdraw from fieldwork to be full-time wives and homemakers. Economic necessity soon forces them back into agricultural work.
- The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word start Texas's first hospital in Galveston. Catholic sisters eventually establish 41 hospitals in Texas.
1866 – 68
- Black women flood the Freedmen's Bureau with marital problems such as beatings, infidelity, lack of child support, and breaches of promise. They also file complaints against white men.
- Some freedwomen have little freedom, working for employers in exchange for housing and meals. Louisa Nash signs a domestic service contract with her Liberty County employer to cook, iron, and milk, and not to leave the premises without his permission. He agrees to furnish her and her child with housing, food, and medicines.
- A white Galveston teacher praises the quickness of her black students in a report to the American Missionary Association. A white teacher in a Freedmen's Bureau school in Hempstead praises the enthusiasm of her black pupils. Galveston has several flourishing schools, some controlled by blacks. Matagorda blacks hire a freedwoman as a teacher.
- Black men and women are committed to the state prison in Huntsville for minor offenses. A laundress is sentenced to two years for allegedly stealing a nightgown.
1867 – 1869
- Many Tejanas, like Margarita Villareal and Florencia Benavides, own ranches in Nueces County and other South Texas counties.
- The 14th Amendment to the U. S Constitution is ratified, extending citizenship to blacks.
- The U.S. Congress orders Texas to draw up a constitution that gives blacks full political privileges. At the request of a small group of women, a woman suffrage resolution is introduced at the state constitutional convention but is rejected by a vote of fifty-two to thirteen.
- The constitutional convention appoints a committee to collect evidence on widespread violence. The report indicates 183 major crimes against black women by whites.
- The Ku Klux Klan is active statewide. In Waco, they beat twenty black women, mass rape a freedwoman, and attempt to rape a 7-year-old.
- Mrs. M. L. Capell, a white widow, opens a school for black children in Dallas, but insufficient funds cause it to close.
- White and black Freedmen's Bureau teachers are harassed and threatened. In Circleville near Austin, a female black teacher's school is burned, and she is forced to return to the North.
- Black women in Harris County form two clubs (a Grant and Colfax Club and a Thaddeus Stevens Republican Club) and attend political gatherings in large numbers.
- After the death of her former white owner and lover, Phyllis Oldham petitions for and wins homestead rights to their house and farm in Burleson County.
- Dallas's First Baptist Church is organized by eight women and three men.
1868 – 1869
- Sharecropping largely replaces the gang labor system used under slavery. Some women work as domestics for wages, at an average salary of five dollars a month.
- The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word found Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, which becomes the largest Catholic hospital in the U.S.
- Six of the ten black delegates to the Texas Constitutional Convention support woman suffrage.
- The state's new constitution provides for a system of free public schools, but subsequent legislatures fail to appropriate adequate funds, and money is not equitably distributed between black and white schools.
- In Houston, "80 negro women and 150 negro men" attend a meeting of Radical Republicans in July.
- Caroline Poe, an ex-slave, teaches in a Freedmen's Bureau school in Marshall. In 1871, she becomes a public school teacher and later a leader of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
- Tonkawa women serve as scouts for the U.S. Army in west Texas.
- Tejanos begin to organize sociedades mutualistas (mutual aid societies).
- Black women help establish churches throughout the state. Delilah Harris gives land for the Smith Chapel AME Church in Limestone County. The New Hope Baptist Church in Dallas numbers five women among its founders. Eight women and five men found the Metropolitan AME Church in Austin. Houston women found an orphanage.
- Texas is readmitted to Union.
- The Fifteenth Amendment to U.S. Constitution gives black males the vote but excludes women.
- Rancher Petra Vela de Vidal Kenedy and her husband, Mifflin Kenedy, have assets of $139,000 and real estate valued at $21,000 in Nueces County.
- The Dallas Herald reports that "the washerwomen of Dallas" are plotting to strike.
- Sarah Barnes, a white missionary, founds the first normal school or teacher institute for blacks in Texas, the Barnes Institute in Galveston.
- Lizzie Johnson, a Hays County school teacher, registers her cattle brand. She rides the Chisholm Trail to St. Louis and becomes one of the most successful cattle dealers and real estate investors in Texas.
- Sarah Cockrell builds the first iron bridge across the Trinity River in Dallas.
- The American Woman Suffrage Association petitions the Texas Legislature, asking for the enfranchisement of women.
- Martha Bickler, a clerk for the General Land Office, is the first female state employee.
- Paul Quinn College, the oldest liberal arts college established for African Americans in Texas, is founded in Austin to teach industrial skills to former slaves, both men and women. In 1877 the school moves to Waco. It later becomes a full-fledged university and moves to Dallas in 1990.
- Maud Jeannie Young is the first state botanist and author of the state's first botany textbook.
- A Tonkawa woman called "Texas Tonk" serves as a U.S. Army scout; she rides out with soldiers from Fort Griffin and is later found dead at King's Creek off the Brazos River.
- White Democrats regain control of state government. Authority over education is ceded to the counties.
- Farm men and women join the Grange, a movement to help farm families hurt by economic hardship after the Civil War.
- Viola Case of Victoria starts the Bronte Club, a literary society considered to be the first woman's club in the state.
- Lucy and Albert Parsons of Waco, a mixed couple, flee racism for Chicago. They become activists in the labor movement there. In 1887 Albert Parsons is hanged in Chicago, along with other anarchists, for their alleged role in the Haymarket demonstrations for an eight-hour work day.
- Comanches endure a final defeat at Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, followed by exile to reservations in Oklahoma.
- The inauguration of a Democratic governor in Texas marks the end of Reconstruction.
- The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1875 provides for equal access to public accommodations without regard to race.
- Mrs. G. W. Hyatt of Eldorado submits a suffrage petition to the Texas Constitutional Convention and two delegates introduce suffrage resolutions. The petition and the resolutions are ignored.
- The present Texas Constitution is adopted. It mandates a system of free public, but segregated, schools. Women are omitted from the categories of people eligible to vote.
- The women's literary society in Salado starts a circulating library.
- Millie Anderson wins a suit in federal district court against the Houston & Texas Central Railroad for denying her admission to the first-class "ladies car" reserved for white women.
- Mary Miller, a black woman, sues in federal court after being denied a seat in a Galveston theater. The court finds the owner guilty, fines him $500, then reduces it to one dollar.
- Rebecca Stuart Red founds the Stuart Female Seminary in Austin.
- African American female laundry workers in Galveston strike for higher wages.
- Lydia Starr McPherson, the first Texas woman newspaper publisher, starts the Whitesboro Democrat. In 1879, she begins publishing the Sherman Democrat, a paper still in existence.
- The Farmers Alliance is formed in Lampasas County to address grievances against the agricultural economic system. Female membership is as high as 40 percent in some local chapters. Texas is the only state alliance to elect women to high office.
- Black women try to integrate the ladies' circle of the Sherman opera house. The manager refunds their money rather than grant them entrance.
- Mary Ann "Molly" Goodnight and her husband, Charles Goodnight, and Cornelia and John Adair found the J-A Ranch in the Texas Panhandle.
- Rafaela Hinojosa and her husband move from Mexico to work a 19,000-acre ranch near Falfurrias.
- Prairie View State Normal School opens as a coeducational school for blacks. Women are among its first teachers.
- The Holding Institute, founded in Laredo by Methodists, educates Mexican boys and girls.
- In response to violence and harsh economic conditions, hundreds of blacks from Texas and other southern states leave for Kansas. They are known as the Exodusters.
1870s – 1880s
- Myra Maybelle Shirley Starr, better known as Belle Starr, the "Bandit Queen" of Dallas, allegedly supports herself as a horse thief.
1870s – 1900
- Matilda Boozie Randon, a former slave, and her husband are successful farmers and employers of sharecroppers. They own 1500 acres of land in Washington County.
- The Belton Sanctificationists, a women's religious collective, own and operate hotels and a steam laundry in Belton and Temple.
- Lozen, probably the sister of Apache chief Victorio, is well known as a skilled warrior who serves alongside him; after his death, she serves with Geronimo; she becomes legendary for her extraordinary ability to locate the enemy.
- Tejano families are prosperous sheep owners in the Panhandle.
- The Anglo American form of education is forced upon Indians; Indian girls are taught to cook, clean, and sew in reservation schools; some of the girls, who once lived in Texas, are sent to Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
- Approximately 12 percent of all Texas women are employed; 95 percent of their jobs are in agriculture, domestic service, or teaching. Others are laborers, dressmakers, hotel or restaurant workers, or boardinghouse keepers. Nearly 5,000 are laundresses (quadruple the number in 1870), most of them black women.
- Helen Selina King of Austin, an entomologist, has a study on insects published in Psyche: A Journal of Entomology.
- In Dallas, black girls as young as seven help their mothers take in washing or work as servants in private homes.
- Fannie Breedlove Davis founds the Baptist Woman's Missionary Union, which raises money for Mexican schools and orphanages and sends missionaries to China and Brazil. In 1889, she launches the Texas Baptist Worker in Houston.
- The Texas State Teachers Association is founded in Mexia.
- Emily Brown donates land for the St. Emily United Methodist Church in Chambers County to serve the black community.
- Some black women settle in West Texas; they work as laundresses in towns and at army forts and as domestics for ranch families.
- Adina Emilia De Zavala earns a degree in education from the Sam Houston Normal Institute in Huntsville and in 1884 begins teaching school. She is one of first Tejanas to earn a degree from a Texas college.
- Matilda Lewis founds the Macedonia Baptist Church for blacks in Georgetown.
- Two public schools for blacks, with a number of black female teachers, open in Galveston.
- Mrs. Walter Burton, the wife of a black state senator from Fort Bend County, is thrown from a moving train for refusing to leave the white coach.
- Two Texas chapters of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, one for blacks and one for whites, are founded in Paris, Texas by Frances Willard, national WCTU president. The organization unites women who favor prohibition as a solution to poverty and domestic violence. They soon broaden their agenda to lobby the legislature for reform laws benefiting women, families, and children.
- Texas voters authorize a state university at Austin for blacks, but the legislature never establishes one.
- Mabel Doss Lea, Coleman County, leads the fight to pass a stiff law outlawing fence cutting.
- The University of Texas opens its doors in Austin to white students, male and female. Jessie Andrews of Austin, the first female student, graduates in 1886 and becomes the university's first woman instructor in 1888, in the German department.
- The U.S. Supreme Court declares the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional.
- The Texas State Convention of Negroes denounces a miscegenation law, unequal public schools, treatment of convicts, and segregated public accommodations. The men condemn the "practice of yoking or chaining male and female convicts together."
- Tejanos protest the decision of the lessee of San Pedro Park in San Antonio to deny them access to the dance platform.
- The Colored Teachers State Association of Texas is organized in Austin.
- Helen Marr Kirby is the first woman on the administrative staff of the University of Texas, in charge of women students, a position she holds for the next 35 years. In 1903 she is given the title dean of women, the first woman dean at UT.
- Two black women are forcibly ejected from the "dress circle" for white ladies of a Waco theater and arrested for creating a disturbance.
- Mollie Bailey and her husband, Gus, tour the Bailey Circus through Texas towns. After his death she continues the troupe as the Mollie Bailey Circus until 1918.
- Henrietta King runs the world's largest ranch, the King Ranch, until 1925. She doubles the size of the ranch to over one million acres and donates land for the towns of Kingsville and Raymondville.
- The Colored Farmers' Alliance is founded throughout the state, with many Texas women and men as members.
- When Adelina Dowdie Cuney, an African American, is denied a seat in first class on a train from Galveston to Houston, she climbs through the window and takes a seat.
- The Mary Allen Seminary for black girls, named after a white Presbyterian, opens in Crockett.
- Eleanor Brackenridge, San Antonio, becomes one of the first women bank directors in the U.S.
- Caroline Poe is elected the state organizer of "colored work" for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
- At the urging of the Texas Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the legislature passes a law keeping juveniles from being incarcerated with adult criminals. Organization members are active in politics, serving on the platform committee of the Texas Prohibition Party at the 1886 and 1890 conventions.
- The Texas Woman's Christian Temperance Union becomes the first in the South and the first women's organization in Texas to endorse woman suffrage. Membership drops and does not rebound until the 1890s.
- Anna Pennybacker publishes the first Texas history textbook.
- Antonia Piñeda de Hernández of San Antonio takes over the management of the Carlos Villalongín Dramatic Company. Her daughter, Concepción, becomes the most prominent female member of the Mexican American stage.
- Lucy Ann Kidd-Key becomes the principal of the North Texas Female College (later Kidd-Key College) in Sherman. She continues in that post until 1916.
- Former slave Dolly Lang, Falls County, signs a sharecropping agreement with Mrs. V. C. Billingsley for the use of 48 acres, agreeing to pay her the first three bales of cotton as rent.
- Willie House is appointed superintendent of schools in Waco, the first female in the South to hold that position.
- The Reverend and Mrs. W. L. Dickson organize an orphanage in Gilmer for black youth; she is the matron.
1880s – 1890s
- Lee Cohen Harby of Galveston and Houston publishes her works in Eastern periodicals and the New Orleans Times-Democrat.
- Four Tejanas in Brownsville own property worth more than $5,000.
- About 14 percent of Texas women hold jobs, 90 percent in agriculture, domestic service, or teaching. Single women begin to move to cities and take jobs as dressmakers, store clerks, office workers, switchboard operators, and saleswomen. Few white married women have jobs outside the home; many black wives work as domestic servants, seamstresses, and laundresses.
- The first Texas nursing school is organized at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.
- Miss L. A. Bowers, a graduate of Fisk University, teaches in Galveston's Central High School for blacks.
- Elizabeth Sthreshley of Austin invents and patents the punctograph, a typewriter for the blind, and sells the state twelve machines for $1,000.
- Sophia Alice Callahan publishes Wynema: A Child of the Forest, probably the first novel written by an American Indian woman; Callahan, who is of Creek and white parentage, spent her early years in Sulphur Springs.
- Maud Cuney Hare, a black student from Galveston, refuses to vacate the dormitory at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
- The Texas Legislature passes a separate railway coach law, the first of a series of Jim Crow laws mandating racial segregation.
- The Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic Lodge women's auxiliary, is founded in Texas.
- Labor activist Lucy Parsons, born in Texas, publishes her newspaper Freedom in Chicago. In 1905, she is a founding member of the International Workers of the World.
- Ellen Lawson Dabbs and Bettie Munn Gay are among Texas representatives to the National Farmers' Alliance convention, which gives birth to the national People's (Populist) Party.
- Mattie B. White establishes the first private school for black girls in Austin.
- German immigrant Olga Kohlberg leads the El Paso Woman's Club to establish the first private kindergarten in Texas. The following year, the women convince the school board to set up the first public kindergarten.
- Eight Dallas teachers organize the Ladies Reading Circle.
- The Dallas Colored High School opens. Construction begins on Houston's first Colored High School.
- Rebecca Henry Hayes of Galveston, an officer of the national woman suffrage organization, forms the Texas Equal Rights Association in Dallas. It is the first statewide woman suffrage organization.
- Night schools are founded in Galveston by Norris Wright Cuney, at the suggestion of his daughter, Maud Cuney Hare, who observed such schools while studying in Boston.
- Helen Stoddard of Fort Worth, a mathematics professor and Woman's Christian Temperance Union president, secures passage of a bill calling for teaching about alcohol and narcotics in the public schools. She is later influential in the passage of anti-cigarette, pure food, and child labor laws.
- National anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells condemns the lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas.
- Elisabet Ney of Austin, originally from Germany, receives a state commission for sculpting Texans Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago World's Fair.)
- The Texas Women's Press Association is founded and hosts the first Women's Congress, a statewide meeting for its members, at the Texas State Fair in Dallas. Women's rights advocate and social activist Isadore Miner Callaway, who writes a Dallas News column under the name Pauline Periwinkle, is a founder of the association.
- Austin women organize the Heart's Ease Circle of King's Daughters and later found a home for elderly black women. The home serves the community for nearly a century.
- Suffragists address all Texas political party conventions. The Dallas News runs a weekly suffrage column.
- The first woman suffrage measure is introduced in the Texas House of Representatives, but is never reported out of committee.
- Female teachers now outnumber males for the first time. The average monthly salary for Texas women teachers is $35.50 and for men, $49.20.
- Olga Kohlberg founds the El Paso Public Library and serves as president of its board for thirty-two years.
1895 – 1897
- Lynchings reach a peak in Texas.
- The Texas Equal Rights Association ceases operation due to member divisiveness and lack of funds.
- The U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson rules that "separate but equal" public facilities are constitutional.
- In Re Ricardo Rodríguez is the first federal civil rights case involving a Mexican-origin individual regarding approval of his application for U.S. citizenship, giving him the right to vote. Rodríguez wins the case.
- The National Association of Colored Women is organized.
- The Texas Federation of Women's Literary Clubs (changed to Texas Federation of Women's Clubs in 1899) is organized. Its members are white, mostly middle class women seeking education and public service. The group makes public libraries their first priority the following year.
- Daisy Emery Allen and Marie Deitzel are the first women to receive medical degrees in Texas.
- Lucy Thurman, president of the Colored Division, National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and national superintendent of Colored Work, organizes fifteen chapters in Texas.
- Maud Cuney Hare, pianist, folklorist, and music scholar, teaches music at the Texas Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute for Colored Youths in Austin.
- The Grand Court, Order of Calanthe, a sororal organization for the richest black women in the U.S. , is founded in Dallas.
- A trained nurse founds the Feagan Hospital to serve Houston blacks.
- Isabella E. Mabson of Galveston files suit in district court against the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway Company for being ejected from the palace car.
- Eliza E. Peterson, Texarkana, is elected president of the state's Thurman Woman's Christian Temperance Union (for black women) and begins organizing "colored" chapters around the state.
- Four Sisters of the Holy Family, a black Catholic order, begin teaching black children home economics at the Holy Rosary School in Galveston and in 1905 incorporate it as the Holy Rosary Industrial School and Orphan's Home.
- Black women are members of Texas lodges of the Invincible Sons and Daughters of Commerce, a national society of black merchants and consumers.
1899 – 1901
- The Phyllis Wheatley Club in Fort Worth becomes the first Texas club to affiliate with the National Association of Colored Women.
1900 – 1945
- Fifteen percent of all Texas women are in the paid labor force.
- The black illiteracy rate drops statewide from 75.4 percent in 1880 to 38.2 percent. Texas leads the South in the number of black high schools.
- Johanna Wilhelm, the "Sheep Queen of West Texas," owns 10,000 sheep in Menard and McCulloch counties, more than any other Texas woman.
- Artist Emma Cherry Richardson and four other women form the Houston Public School Art League to promote art and culture in public schools; it later becomes the Houston Art League, instrumental in the founding of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
- Houston and San Antonio telephone operators strike, protesting long work days.
- The nine Littman sisters of Austin strip tobacco leaves from the stems to make cigars for their father's business.
- Austin women give "chair socials," and "laundry equipment fairs" to help furnish Samuel Huston College for blacks.
1900 – 1910
- Texas ranks third in the number of lynchings, as mobs kill more than 100 blacks.
- Teacher and political activist Juana Gutiérrez de Mendoza begins publishing the newspaper Vésper: Justicia y Libertad in opposition to the Mexican dictatorship of Porforio Díaz.
- Minnie Fisher Cunningham is one of the first women to earn a pharmacy degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
- Mary Wade prints the Dallas Express for black readers.
- Mrs. G. M. Turley is chief of the women's department for the Colored Fair in Dallas.
- A state law requires payment of a poll tax to vote.
- Mrs. L. P. Carlisle becomes the first woman office holder in Texas, appointed to succeed her husband as Hunt County Clerk.
- The Married Ladies Social, Art, and Charity Club is organized in Houston for black women.
- Texas Federation of Women's Clubs president Anna Pennybacker, along with University of Texas librarian Benjamin Wyche, organizes the Texas Library Association, with the goal of establishing a state library commission and a system of free traveling libraries.
- The Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, the Texas Congress of Mothers, and other women's organizations begin more than 15 years of lobbying the legislature for child labor legislation and a married women's property law.
- Alice Dunn Logan, a Texas club leader, is named to the Executive Committee of the National Afro-American Council.
- Woman's Christian Temperance Union leaders spearhead the founding of Texas Industrial Institute in Denton (later Texas Woman's University), the first state college for women. It combines literary education with instruction in the domestic sciences, child care, and practical nursing.
- Helen Stoddard, author of the bill creating the Industrial Institute, along with Eleanor Brackenridge and Birdie Johnson, are the first women in Texas to serve on a university board of regents.
- Annette Finnigan and her sisters, Elizabeth and Katharine, revive the suffrage issue by organizing an equal suffrage league in Houston. Later that year, its leaders organize the Texas Woman Suffrage Association, which becomes the Texas Equal Suffrage Association, a chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
- The Dallas Free Kindergarten and Industrial Association provides facilities for children of immigrants and cotton mill workers and holds classes in domestic science for mothers.
- Twenty-two-year-old Clara Driscoll, daughter of a wealthy South Texas rancher, gives $25,900 to help save the Alamo from commercial exploitation. She later becomes a successful author, politician, diplomat, and benefactor of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs.
- Elizabeth Ring leads the Houston Federation of Women's Clubs' successful campaign for a Houston Carnegie Public Library. Julia Ideson, a graduate of the first library science program at University of Texas at Austin, is named head librarian.
- El Partido Liberal Mexicano, a political party opposing Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz, begins operating in Texas. Poet and political activist Sara Estela Ramírez of Laredo, age 23, becomes one of the party's most important spokespersons because male leaders are under constant surveillance by the U.S. government.
- The Texas Association of Colored Women's Clubs is organized by Mrs. M. E. Y. Moore in Gainesville.
- Josie Briggs Hall of Waxahachie publishes the book Hall's Moral and Mental Capsule for the Economic and Domestic Life of the Negro.
- The Colored Branch of the Rosenberg Library in Galveston opens, the first of its kind in the U.S.
- Florence Butt invests sixty dollars in a grocery business in Kerrville that eventually becomes H.E.B., one of the largest grocery store chains in the country.
- Gussie Oscar conducts the orchestra for vaudeville acts at the Majestic Theater in Waco and later manages the Waco Auditorium.
- Alianza Hispano-Americana, the largest and best-known mutualista (mutual aid society) established to provide insurance and other economic assistance to Mexican-origin individuals in the U.S., spreads from Arizona to Texas. Women join the society in 1913 in response to the woman suffrage movement.
- Dr. Ollie L. Bryan, the first black female graduate of Meharry Dental College in Nashville, Tennessee, opens a practice in Dallas.
- The Austin City Council passes an ordinance requiring streetcar segregation. Black domestics join other workers in a boycott.
- Teacher Laura Pierce organizes the Douglass Club of Austin to study literature and do philanthropic work among black citizens.
- The Colored Institute of Houston, composed primarily of women, stresses the importance of kindergarten, manual training, and good health.
- Mrs. Charles Etta Jones, a black woman, starts as a clerk for the Excelsior Life Insurance Company in Dallas and eventually becomes secretary-treasurer.
- Texas Federation of Women's Club work results in laws establishing a juvenile court, regulation of child adoption, and public kindergartens.
- Dr. Sofie Herzog, a Vienna-trained physician and widowed mother of fourteen, becomes the chief surgeon for the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad in Brazoria County.
- Carrie Marcus Neiman, age 24, is co-founder, with her husband and brother, of Neiman-Marcus department store in Dallas.
- María Elena Zamora O'Shea becomes the school principal in Alice, one of the earliest Tejanas to assume such a position in the state.
- Petronila María Pereida Goodman becomes first female employee at Hertzberg's jewelers in San Antonio; she becomes the owner in 1940s.
- Mary Keys Gibson of Fort Worth, age 53, a former slave, is the first black in the south to receive a nursing certificate from an accredited school, the Chautauqua School of Nursing in Jamestown, New York.
- Texas passes a law abolishing the practice of midwifery without a license, but the law is largely ignored.
- The Houston Ladies Reading Club begins the largest system of traveling libraries in the state, sending boxes of both books and works of art to adult groups and to children in 24 county schools.
- The Dallas YWCA opens a residence and employment service for single women moving to the city.
- Ella Isabelle Tucker and Adella Kelsey Turner are elected to the Dallas school board long before women win the vote.
- Adina De Zavala helps save the Alamo from commercial exploitation and destruction by proving that the long barracks section is the most historically significant part of the structure. She barricades herself there for three days in 1908 to make her case.
- Black teacher Christine Cash wins a dispute with the Camp County superintendent of schools for a longer school year. Later, as an administrator of the Center Point School, she develops a major physical plant, organizes a Parent-Teacher Association, and expands academic and vocational curricula.
ca. 1908 – 1909
- The Colored Women's Hospital Aid Society of Galveston provides patients with clothing, holiday extras, and entertainment.
- Houston women organize mothers' clubs, which furnish schools with pianos, sewing machines, playground equipment, and bookcases. Ella Caruthers Porter of Hillsboro calls the first statewide meeting of mothers' clubs, later named the Parent-Teacher Association.
- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is organized.
- Through the efforts of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs and the Texas State Historical Association, Texas establishes the Texas Library and Historical Commission. Former Texas Federation of Women's Clubs president Mary Terrell of Fort Worth, known as the "Mother of Texas Libraries," is appointed to the first commission.
- The Texas Graduate Nurses' Association persuades the legislature to pass licensing standards.
- The San Antonio Light and Gazette calls Andrea Villarreal the "Mexican Joan of Arc" because of her stalwart defense of the people's political rights.
- Dr. Mary Smith Moore, a black woman, advertises her services as a physician and surgeon at the Hubbard Sanitarium in Galveston.
- The percentage of Texas women in the paid workforce jumps to 21 percent. In the major cities, about 30 percent of all women work. More than half of black women are paid workers, half of them in agriculture and one-third in domestic service. Some women, black and white, are business owners or work in a profession.
- Leonor Villegas de Magnón establishes one of the first bilingual kindergartens for Tejano children in Laredo during segregation.
- Hortense Sparks Ward, Houston, is the first woman admitted to the Texas Bar.
- Sara Estela Ramírez of Laredo, poet, activist, and political philosopher, calls women to action in her poem "Surge!"
- Andrea and Teresa Villarreal found the feminist newspaper La Mujer Moderna in San Antonio.
- Amelia Doppelmayer of Marshall bottles and sells her homemade remedy, "Amelia Doppelmayer's Rescue Liniment, Good for Man or Beast."
- Nurse A. Louise Dietrich builds her own maternity hospital in El Paso.
- Wiley College in Marshall establishes a Young Women's Christian Association branch, possibly the first in the state for blacks.
- The Women's Progressive Club for black women is founded in San Antonio.
1910 – 1920
- The Mexican Revolution takes place, resulting in thousands of refugees fleeing into Texas.
- Jovita Idar is elected president of the Liga Femenil Mexicanista in Laredo, organized at El Primer Congreso Mexicanista, the first statewide Mexican American civil rights meeting. The Liga supports education for women. Women open escuelitas for Tejano youth.
- The Priscilla Art Club, Dallas's oldest black women's club, is organized.
- Elizabeth Howard West is named the state's first archivist.
- Baptist teacher Eliza Davis, Taylor, helps found a mission school in Liberia.
- Jessie Daniel Ames and her mother, Laura Maria Daniel, own and operate the telephone company in Georgetown.
- Katherine Stinson, San Antonio, becomes the fourth female pilot licensed in the U.S. She sets distance and endurance records and helps make San Antonio an aviation center.
- Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, tours Texas, reviving interest in woman suffrage. As a result, local suffrage leagues form in Houston, Galveston, Dallas, and San Antonio. (Austin had formed one in 1908).
- Adina De Zavala, San Antonio, founds the Texas Historical and Landmarks Association.
- Delta Sigma Theta, a service sorority for black women, is founded at Howard University in Washington, DC. Myra Davis Hemmings of San Antonio is elected its president. Other Texas founders include Jessie McGuire Dent, Zephyr Chisom Carter, Wertie Blackwell Weaver, and Frederica Chase Dodd. At the time Hemmings is also president of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Greek-named sorority for black women.
- Dr. Mary Gearing begins a home economics program for the University of Texas. She becomes the first female chair of a department in 1917, serving for thirty-one years.
- Anna Pennybacker is elected president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs; she visits every state in the union, plus Alaska and Cuba.
1912 – 1919
- Dr. Mary Sophie Young, a botany instructor, is in charge of the herbarium at the University of Texas at Austin. She pioneers plant classification in the Austin and Trans-Pecos areas of the state.
- Nurse May Smith sets up a baby clinic on the lawn of Dallas's Parkland Hospital. In 1929, she raises money for a children's hospital, the forerunner of the Children's Medical Center.
- Texas suffragists hold their first state convention. Eleanor Brackenridge of San Antonio is elected state president and revitalizes the Texas Woman Suffrage Association, which grows to 2,500 members in one year.
- Texas women join women from all over the United States to march for suffrage in Washington, D.C., on the eve of Woodrow Wilson's inauguration.
- Houston attorney Hortense Ward leads the successful effort to pass the Married Women's Property Act, which gives married women partial control over both separate and community property.
- Leonor Villegas de Magnón, Laredo, recruits Jovita Idar to form La Cruz Blanca to nurse the wounded of the Mexican Revolution.
- Ellie A. Walls (Montgomery) of Houston is the first black woman in the U.S. to earn a degree in social work from the New York School of Philanthropy (later New York School of Social Work).
- Bessie A. Johnson, the wife of a physician, organizes the Progressive Club in Wichita County. The Colored Women's Progressive Club is organized in Galveston.
- One-half of the graduates of Prairie View College are women.
- Maud Cuney Hare's biography of her father, a major Texas Republican political leader, is published: Norris Wright Cuney: A Tribune of the Black People.
- Katharine and Marjorie Stinson and other family members operate the Stinson School of Flying in San Antonio.
- San Antonio clubwomen secure a provision in the city school charter requiring that women have three seats on the school board.
- Philanthropist Ima Hogg helps found the Houston Symphony. She later establishes the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and donates the Winedale Historical Center in Round Top to the University of Texas as an outdoor museum and music center.
- Jarvis Christian Institute for black youth opens in Hawkins, the result of the work of Mary Alphins, state organizer for the Negro Disciples of Christ, working with the Christian Woman's Board of Missions.
- World War I begins in Europe.
- Marjorie Stinson of San Antonio, age 17, becomes the youngest woman in the world to earn a pilot's license. In 1915 and 1916, she trains eighty male pilots for service in World War I.
- Journalist Jovita Idar bars the door when the Texas Rangers attempt to close down El Progreso, a Laredo newspaper for which she writes.
1914 – 1919
- Women's domestic union locals operate in Houston and Galveston.
- The Texas legislature approves the compulsory school attendance law, at the urging of a coalition of women's groups.
- Minnie Fisher Cunningham of Galveston is elected president of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association; she becomes a national woman suffrage leader and heads the association through the winning of suffrage.
- The woman suffrage bill, calling for a state constitutional amendment, is approved in committee, but defeated in the Texas House. The Senate takes no action on a suffrage bill.
- Seamstress and suffragist Eva Goldsmith of the Houston chapter of the United Garment Workers of America, the only woman officer of the Texas State Federation of Labor, lobbies successfully for the passage of a maximum nine-hour workday for women.
- The Texas Division of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage is formed with Mrs. James B. Wells of Brownsville as president.
- Soldaderas in the Mexican Revolution engage in gun running, spying, fighting, providing medical assistance, and cooking. Hundreds traveling with the federales are incarcerated at Presidio and Marfa.
- Women are founding members of the Houston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
- Dr. Ray Karchmer Daily, an ophthalmologist, is the only female physician among the founders of the Houston Academy of Medicine.
- Adele Looscan of Houston is named president of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) and holds the office until 1925. The author of articles on Texas history, Looscan was a charter member of the TSHA and the Texas Women's Press Association and a founder of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Ladies Reading Club of Houston.
- Etta, Florina, and Loula Lasker of Galveston attend the New York School of Philanthropy. Etta receives her degree in social work and heads the Home Service Bureau in New York City.
- Mary Evelyn Hunter organizes the Prairie View Agricultural Extension Service for black women and begins home demonstration programs. She is the first extension agent in Texas to work with black women. Edna Trigg organizes a similar program for white women.
- The number of local Texas Equal Suffrage Association affiliates grows rapidly. Journalist Jane Y. McCallum, Austin, leads a statewide public relations campaign for the vote for women.
- The Texas chapter of the National Woman's Party is formed.
- The Plan de San Diego (Texas), a revolutionary manifesto, calls for armed struggle by Tejanos, African Americans, and Japanese Americans to liberate the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Colorado from the U.S. and create a free society composed of people of color.
- Mrs. B. J. Covington, wife of a prominent physician, organizes the Ladies Symphony Orchestra in Houston in which she and her daughter, Jessie Covington Dent, play the violin.
- A black club leader makes a fund-raising appeal for a Negro Orphan's Home at a regional meeting in Abilene of the all-white Texas Federation of Women's Clubs.
- Houston black business women include boarding house operators, a cement block manufacturer, a clothes cleaner, manicurists, a midwife, nurses, and restaurant owners. Estella B. Jackson is the executive manager of A. G. Perkins and Co., a law, land and loan business, and the first black female notary public in Houston.
- Carrie E. Adams, who operates a day nursery in Beaumont, is elected president of the Texas Association of Colored Women's Clubs.
- Mrs. C. H. Graves founds the Graves Hospital for blacks in Temple, which operates until the 1950s.
- The lynching of Jesse Washington, an African American from Waco found guilty of the murder of Lucy Fryer in nearby Robinson, leads the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to demand a federal anti-lynching law. The crusade is delayed until 1919 due to America's involvement in World War I.
- Mrs. L. A. Pinkney appeals to the Galveston Relief Association regarding the need for an old age home for blacks.
- A Houston policeman's pistol-whipping of a black woman and racial harassment of black soldiers stationed at Houston's Camp Logan lead to a riot. Four whites are killed, and a number of black soldiers are court-martialed and executed.
- The U.S. enters World War I. Women support the war effort by selling war bonds, planting victory gardens, practicing food conservation, and working with the Red Cross.
- Albertine Hall Yeager of Galveston and her husband, Charlie, provide day care in their home for children of black mothers working in war industries.
- The Texas Federation of Colored Women's Clubs endorses woman suffrage. Galveston women organize the Negro Women Voters' League.
- A state constitutional amendment bill for woman suffrage wins a majority vote in the House, but not the two-thirds necessary to pass. Bills to allow women to vote in primary elections are not voted on by either house.
- Olga Beatriz Torres, El Paso, publishes Memorias de Mi Viaje, a memoir about her experiences as an immigrant.
- Governor Jim Ferguson, a foe of woman suffrage, is impeached with the help of suffragists.
- Women are one-third of the founding members of the Dallas branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Christia Adair and other black women work with white women in Kingsville on petitions demanding the vote in the Democratic primary election.
- The Texas Equal Suffrage Association leads a successful campaign to gain women's right to vote in Democratic Party primary elections for state offices; 386,000 women register in seventeen days.
- More than 1,500 black women register in Harris County, but are refused in Dallas and other counties. They go to court in Beaumont, but the case is dismissed. Christia Adair and her friends in Kingsville appear at polls but are not allowed to vote in the primary although they had worked with white women to win this right.
- With the support of women voters, Dr. Annie Webb Blanton is elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, becoming the first woman elected to statewide office in Texas.
- Nellie Gray Robertson of Hood County is elected the first female county attorney in Texas, defeating her male opponent by a vote of 446 to 2.
- Mrs. B. J. Covington organizes the Blue Triangle Branch Young Women's Christian Association for blacks in Houston.
- Mrs. E. P. Sampson, on behalf of the El Paso Colored Woman's Club, applies for membership to the Texas Equal Suffrage Association. The matter is referred to the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which refers it back to the state. The final decision is not known.
- Nurses at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas set up tents on hospital grounds to nurse victims of the influenza epidemic.
- Elizabeth Howard West is named state librarian, the first woman to head a Texas state agency. She starts the county library system and initiates services to minorities and to the blind.
- World War I ends.
- A mass meeting of black men in LaGrange endorses woman suffrage.
- Texas voters reject, by 25,000 votes, the state constitutional amendment to allow women to vote in all Texas elections. Anti-suffragists campaign on a platform that claims votes for women will mean socialism and black domination of the South.
- The Texas legislature approves the national constitutional amendment for woman suffrage, making Texas the ninth state and first Southern state to approve national woman suffrage.
- The Texas League of Women Voters is organized and Jessie Daniel Ames is named its first president; the Texas Equal Suffrage Association is dissolved. Texan Minnie Fisher Cunningham serves as executive secretary of the national League of Women Voters.
- El Paso Tejana laundry workers strike, protesting dismal wages and atrocious working conditions.
- Minnie Lee Maffett of Dallas, a physician and surgeon, is named first president of the Texas Federation of Business and Professional Women. She later serves as president of the national organization (1939-44).
- Sociedades Mutualistas (mutual aid societies) expand greatly in the Tejano communities of Corpus Christi, El Paso, and San Antonio. One-third of the groups allow women to join, and the remainder form female auxiliaries.
- Major blues and jazz performers of the day appear at Ella B. Moore's Park Theatre and Hattie Burleson's dance hall in Dallas.
- The Third Ward Civic Club in Houston is organized; members include the "washerwoman, the maid,… the cook,… the teacher."
- Beulah "Sippie" Wallace of Houston, the "Texas Nightingale," records many blues hits. Arizona J. Dranes is among the earliest Texas female gospel artists to earn wide recognition, recording with Okey records in Chicago.
- Dorothy Renick is the first female "regular" reporter for the Waco Times-Herald.
- The Commission on Interracial Cooperation is founded, with an equal number of black and white women and men. Throughout the 1920s, the Women's Division of the Texas Council of the Commission is active around the state, with Georgetown suffragist Jessie Daniel Ames serving as council director.
- The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution becomes official with the ratification by the Tennessee state legislature. Texas women are henceforth allowed to vote in elections at all levels.
- Eva Carillo de García, a nurse and social worker, publishes with her husband, Dr. Alberto García, El Vanguardia, probably the first Spanish-language newspaper in Austin.
- Tejanas establish the Cruz Azul Mexicana in San Antonio to help women and the poor.
- The prohibition amendment to the U.S. Constitution takes effect.
- Women are twenty percent of the U.S. workforce, 18 percent of the paid labor force in Texas. In major Texas cities, 30-35 percent of women are paid workers.
- Texas leads the nation in lynchings (eleven). The Ku Klux Klan is very active in Texas during this period.
- Black women vote for the first time in Texas. Three Houston women run for office on the "Black and Tan" ticket of the Republican Party (state representative, Harris County clerk, and school superintendent). Mrs. R. L. Yocome, unsuccessful candidate for state representative, may be first Texas woman to run for a legislative position.
- Christia Adair, civil rights activist and suffragist, becomes a Democrat after Republican presidential candidate Warren G. Harding, appearing in Kingsville, refuses to shake hands with black schoolchildren.
- The Ladies Reading Circle of Dallas establishes a home for young working girls.
- Maternal and Infant Health Program legislation is passed by the Texas legislature.
- Beatriz Escalona Pérez begins her theatrical career at the Teatro Colón in El Paso.
- The National Woman's Party introduces the idea of a federal Equal Rights Amendment.
- Bessie Coleman of Atlanta and Waxahachie, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois, earns a pilot's license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in France, becoming the first black female pilot in the U.S.
- More than 500 Ku Klux Klansmen march down Congress Avenue in Austin, carrying signs reading "Good Negroes Need Have No Fear" and "White Supremacy."
- Black women graduate as nurses from the "colored hospital" in Galveston, part of the University of Texas Medical Branch.
- Former suffragist Jane Y. McCallum organizes the Joint Legislative Council, called the "Petticoat Lobby." One of Texas's most successful public interest lobbies, it combines the efforts of women's groups to drive progressive legislation through the Texas Legislature.
- Dallas attorney Edith Wilmans becomes the first woman elected to the Texas Legislature (House of Representatives). She is the only woman member during her one term, 1923-1925.
- Ynes Mexía de Reygades, a naturalist and botanist and the daughter of José Antonio Mexía, who founded Mexía, Texas, makes her first group expedition. (Mexía spent her childhood in Limestone County.) By the 1930s, she had collected approximately 145,000 specimens in Mexico, Alaska, and South America.
- Mrs. M. R. McKinney, a Corsicana nurse, writes national club leader Mary Church Terrell about deplorable health conditions, the inadequate hospital for blacks, and the need to build a modern hospital.
- Annie Maie Mathis, Austin, is the first black maternity and infancy nurse for the Texas Bureau of Child Hygiene.
- Josephine Lucchese of San Antonio launches an international career as an opera singer, performing until 1957.
- The Texas Legislature passes a White Primary law barring blacks from voting in party primary elections.
- Rachel Garza earns a master's degree at University of Texas, possibly the first Tejana to do so.
- Black residents of Quakertown in Denton are forced from their homes by city leaders who wish to build a park near Texas State College for Women (later Texas Woman's University).
- Dr. Thelma Patten-Law, aunt of Barbara Jordan, opens a medical practice in Houston.
- Ethel Ransom, a Texas clubwoman, is state director of the National Anti-Lynching Crusaders, which was organized in 1922.
- Miriam A. Ferguson, running on an anti-Ku Klux Klan ticket, is the first woman elected Governor of Texas. She drives an anti-mask bill through the legislature to combat Klan practices.
- Gov. Miriam A. Ferguson appoints Emma Meharg as Texas's first female secretary of state.
- Congress establishes the United States Border Patrol to prevent smuggling and illegal immigration into the United States. The agency starts operations in El Paso with a budget of $1 million and a staff of 450 officers.
- The Texas Supreme Court rules that a married woman's identity is subsumed within that of her husband's.
- No women serve in the 39th Legislature.
- Emily Edwards and the women of the San Antonio Conservation Society save the city's downtown river from becoming a drainage ditch, launching a widespread historic preservation movement in Texas.
- Gladys Yoakum Wright co-writes lyrics to "Texas, Our Texas," which is adopted as the state song in 1929 by the Texas Legislature.
- Anita Nañez opens a beauty parlor in her home, the first woman-operated business in "Little Mexico" in Dallas.
- Monette Moore, a Gainesville pianist, records with the Choo Choo Jazzers in New York, launching a fifty-year career.
1925 – 1931
- Texan Barbara Inez "Tad" Lucas wins the trick riding championship at Cheyenne, Wyoming, rodeo each year.
- Dorothy Scarborough of Waco, who taught the first college journalism course in Texas at Baylor University, publishes her novel The Wind anonymously to avoid the wrath of West Texans.
- Jeffie Conner, a Waco home demonstration agent, helps children prevent the spread of germs; she works with them to make 1,200 drinking cups from tin cans, thus making sure they avoid sharing common ladles.
- The Dallas Interracial Committee under the auspices of the Texas Commission on Interracial Cooperation organizes a kindergarten, a mothers' club, a room registry, and an employment bureau.
- Mrs. L. A. Pinkney is publicity chair for the National Legislative Council of Colored Women, which supports a national anti-lynching bill and a child labor amendment.
- Texas has its first year without a lynching.
- A special three-person All-Woman Supreme Court is appointed by Governor Pat M. Neff because all three presiding male justices are members of the fraternal organization involved in the case to be heard, and a conflict of interest is feared. Hortense Ward serves as chief justice; Hattie L. Henenberg of Dallas and Ruth V. Brazzil of Galveston are justices.
- Enid Justin founds the Nocona Boot Company in Montague County, Texas.
- Edna Gladney opens the Texas Children's Home in Forth Worth and runs it until 1960. Later called the Edna Gladney Home, it was Texas's first agency to provide services for unwed mothers and adoptive homes for children.
- Rosella Werlin is a journalist covering the red light district in Galveston and working as a travel editor.
- Margie Neal, a Carthage newspaper publisher, is the first woman elected to the Texas Senate. She is the only female legislator during her first term, and the only female senator throughout her four terms (1927 – 1935). No other woman will be elected to the Texas Senate until 1946.
- The Texas branch of American Association of University Women forms in Dallas. Jessie Daniel Ames is elected its first president.
- Adelaida Cuellar begins a homemade tamale business in Dallas. Her business later becomes El Chico restaurant chain.
- Gwendolyn Bennett of Giddings is a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance; she is an assistant to the editor of Opportunity magazine and publishes short stories in Ebony and Topaz and drawings in the Crisis and Messenger.
- Observance of Negro History Week begins. In 1976, it becomes Black History Month.
- Jessie Daniel Ames, a white leader of the Texas Commission on Interracial Cooperation, speaks to white women's organizations across the state and lobbies legislators on behalf of a school for delinquent black girls.
- Responding to pressure by Texas Association of Colored Women's Clubs and a few white allies, the Texas Legislature authorizes a state training school for delinquent black girls, but funding is not provided until 1941, when Gov. W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel finally signs the appropriations bill for construction of the school.
- Jane Y. McCallum, Austin, is appointed Texas Secretary of State by Governor Dan Moody. During her term, she recovers and restores an original copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
- Consuelo Herrera Méndez is hired to teach in Austin schools, becoming one of the first Tejanas to teach in a major school system in the state.
- The League of Women Voters and other women's groups in Texas win a state statute giving wives authority to dispose of community property.
- Artemisia Bowden, a black woman, becomes president of St. Philip's College in San Antonio and thus Texas's first female college president.
- Black Austin women found the Community Welfare Association and later organize a neighborhood playground and a nursery school and help found the Carver Branch Library.
- The Dallas Business and Professional Women's Club estimates that Dallas women are working in more than 125 occupations, trades, and professions.
- Oveta Culp, Texas House of Representatives parliamentarian, codifies the state's banking laws.
- Josefina María Niggli, San Antonio, publishes her first book, a collection of poetry entitled Mexican Silhouettes. She later writes plays produced for the stage and publishes two novels, including Mexican Village, which is made into the Hollywood film Sombrero.
- Lydia Mendoza, Houston, known as la alondra de la frontera ("the lark of the border"), makes her first recording as a member of her family-based Cuarteto Carta Blanca. During her fifty-year career, Mendoza will receive wide recognition, becoming in 1982 the first Texan to win the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage fellowship. In 1999 President Bill Clinton presents her with the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony.
- The Maria Morgan Young Women's Christian Association opens in Dallas through the joint efforts of black and white women.
- Maud A. B. Fuller of Austin is elected president of the Woman's Baptist Convention of America and holds the office for forty years. She founds women's and youth groups.
- Minnie Fisher Cunningham becomes first Texas woman to run for the United States Senate.
- The League of United Latin American Citizens, the longest active civil rights organization for U.S. citizens of Mexican descent, is founded in Corpus Christi.
- The Salvatierra v. Del Rio Independent School District school desegregation suit is the first official court challenge to the segregation of Mexican descent students in public schools.
- Ruby and Leon Richardson found the black community newspaper, Houston Defender.
- Annie Webb Blanton founds Delta Kappa Gamma, an international sorority for women in education.
- State Representative Laura Negley of San Antonio sponsors a successful married persons' property rights bill that defines rent and revenues from separate properties of a married couple as community property.
- The Stock market crashes in October, ushering in the years of the Great Depression.
- Anita Brenner of San Antonio and Mexico writes books and is a foreign correspondent, covering the Spanish Civil War for the New York Times and The Nation.
- Black Presbyterian women in Houston organize scouting for black girls, the first such effort in the South.
- Christia Adair is the first black woman elected to the general board of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
- Thousands of people of Mexican descent are repatriated without due process.
- Alicia de Lozano founds the Sociedad de la Beneficencia Mexicana in San Antonio, which establishes a clinic.
- Tejanas in Houston and San Antonio establish numerous social clubs whose mission is to uplift the entire Tejano populace economically, culturally, and socially.
- Manuela Gonzáles gets a job as a library aide in Cotulla under the New Deal National Youth Administration program. Gonzáles, who became a lifelong friend of Lyndon B. Johnson (national director of the NYA), also tutors poor children as part of the escuelita movement created by Tejanas to educate poor Mexican-origin children during segregation.
- Clara Driscoll manages her family's extensive land and petroleum properties, doubling the value of the holdings, and is president of the Corpus Christi Bank and Trust. She also builds a lavish hotel there.
- One-third of Texas women are in the work force, most confined to "women's work," such as domestic service, clerical, retail sales, teaching, and nursing.
- Mary Elizabeth Branch becomes president of Austin's Tillotson College. She later wins accreditation for the institution, thus becoming the first black female president of a senior college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
- Former Texas suffrage leader Jessie Daniel Ames founds the Association of [white] Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Jovita González earns a Master of Arts from University of Texas. Her thesis, "Social Life in Cameron, Starr, and Zapata Counties," becomes a classic of Mexican American studies and is published in 2006 as Life Along the Border: A Landmark Tejana Thesis. In 1931, she becomes the first Tejana to serve as president of the Texas Folklore Society.
- Estelle Massey Riddle Osborne of Palestine is the first black nurse to earn a master's degree in nursing at Columbia University and later is the first black nurse elected to the board of the American Nurses Association.
- Dolores Burton Linton founds a school for poor black San Antonio children in an abandoned dance hall.
- San Antonio women open the Ella Austin Orphanage for black youth.
- Singer Marian Anderson performs in Waco, where she stays with Dr. George and Jeffie Conner. Because of segregation, Anderson stays with host families when she visits Texas cities.
- Myra and J. W. Hemmings launch community theater productions at the Second Baptist Church in San Antonio. The Houston Negro Little Theatre begins.
- Tejanas organize League of United Latin American Citizens women's auxiliaries.
- Women lobbyists gain passage of the Texas Division of Child Welfare Act.
- Mildred "Babe" Didrikson, Beaumont, wins three Olympic medals, setting two world records.
- Miriam A. Ferguson is reelected governor.
- A federal Women's Bureau survey notes that in San Antonio Tejanas earn far less than Anglo working women. They work ten to 15 hours a day for as little as two to five cents an hour. Tejana pecan shellers earn $2. 65 a week compared with Anglo women's wages of $4.15 per week.
- Carolina Malpica Munguía hosts the San Antonio radio program, La Estrella. She helps establish the family printing business, Munguía Printers.
- Erma Jewell Hughes founds the Hughes Business College in Houston for blacks.
- The San Antonio School Board votes to dismiss all married teachers with husbands earning more than $2,000.
- Tejanas, who were approximately 90 percent of the Finck Cigar Company workers in San Antonio, go on strike.
- María L. de Hernández and her husband establish La Liga de Defensa Pro-Escolar in San Antonio to focus attention on education of Mexican-descent children.
- María Elena Zamora O'Shea of South Texas publishes El Mesquite, a fictionalized history of Mexicans in this region of the state.
- Manuela Solis Sager organizes Tejano and Tejana field hands into unions and as strikers in Laredo onion fields.
- Inez Prosser from Yoakum and Austin is one of the first black women to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.
- Houston's Colored Carnegie Library opens.
- Public health nurse Annie Maie Mathis, possibly the first African American on the staff of the Texas State Board of Health, conducts a survey of health conditions among Houston County blacks that reveals major health problems. She organizes adult health classes, clinics, and classes for midwives.
- State representatives Helen Moore and Sarah T. Hughes propose a bill to legalize jury service for women, but it fails. Hughes is voted the most valuable member of the legislature during her second term. She resigns when Governor James Allred appoints her the state's first female district court judge.
- Citing low legislative pay, State Senator Margie Neal moves to Washington, D.C., to work for the National Recovery Administration.
- Charlotte Graham and other Dallas garment workers strike leaders are jailed.
- Drusilla Tandy Nixon organizes the black Girl Reserves of the Young Women's Christian Association in El Paso. Juliette Ross Johnson establishes a Girl Scout troop for blacks in Austin.
- Houston's Black Women for Social Change protest injustices against citizens.
- Kate Ripley and her husband, George, friends of birth control crusader Margaret Sanger, found Texas's first family planning and birth control center in Dallas.
- In Dallas, the Progressive Citizens League renames itself the Progressive Voters League to emphasize the importance of voting by black citizens. Minnie Flanagan and Marzel Hill begin a voter registration campaign for the league.
- María Belén Ortega, an opera singer from Dallas, appears at Texas Centennial State Fair.
- Dr. Connie Yerwood is the first black physician employed by the Texas Department of Health.
- The Texas Centennial celebration at the State Fair of Texas includes a Hall of Negro Life, with work by women among the exhibits.
- Texans Dr. Mary Elizabeth Branch and Jeffie O. A. Conner serve on the Black Advisory Board to the Texas National Youth Administration.
- Maud Cuney Hare's Negro Musicians and Their Work is published.
- The national office of Business & Professional Women supports the Equal Rights Amendment. The Texas chapter will not do so for another twenty years.
- Alice Dickerson Montemayor, Laredo, becomes the first Tejana elected Second Vice-President General of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the highest office held by a woman in the organization to that date.
- The Blue Triangle Young Women's Christian Association is organized in Waco by Corine Bolin.
- The National Association of Colored Women meets in Fort Worth.
- Barbara Goodall, a Chicago attorney originally from Corsicana, may have been the first black woman from Texas to be admitted to a bar association.
- Ollie Lee McMillan Mason is the first black nurse at Dallas's Parkland Hospital.
- No women serve in the 45th Texas Legislature.
- Emma Tenayuca leads a strike of 8,000-10,000 San Antonio pecan shellers, mostly Tejanas, to protest meager earnings and sweatshop conditions. It is the largest labor walkout in Texas history up to this time.
- The Catechist Missionary Sisters of St. John Bosco are organized in Roma to serve Mexican public school children.
- Black women's organizations work for the passage of a federal anti-lynching bill.
- Helen Plummer is a consulting paleontologist for the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology.
1938 – 1945
- Marguerite Marks of Dallas is president of the Texas Committee on the Cause and Cure of War.
- Esther Machuca, a major organizer for women in the League of United Latin American Citizens, produces the May 1939 edition of LULAC News, the first of only two issues the organization will publish to focus entirely on the history and contributions of its women members.
- World War II begins in Europe.
- Etta Moten, a singer from Weimar, wins the Town Hall Endowment Series award in New York City.
- Lulu B. White becomes acting president of the Houston Branch, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Later, as a fieldworker and membership director, she is the first full-time salaried executive secretary of the organization and builds the Houston branch to the largest in the South. In the 1930s and 1940s, White and her co-worker, Juanita Craft of Dallas, organize dozens of branches throughout the state.
- Three Dallas sisters, Elsie, Edna, and Louise Frankfurt, found the Page Boy Company to manufacture fashionable maternity clothes.
- Consuelo Herrera Méndez and her husband found the Zavala School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) in Austin. She translates the state PTA newsletter into Spanish and writes articles for it.
- Anna Dupree, a Houston beautician and philanthropist, provides seed money for a home for aged blacks. She donates $20,000 to establish an orphanage in Houston, the Negro Child Center, built ca. 1944.
- The Kilgore College Rangerettes launch and perfect half-time shows at football games.
- Edna Carter, a charter member of the San Antonio chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, leads a campaign of selective buying to gain more and better jobs for blacks.
- María Luna, owner of the Luna Tortilla Factory, is the only female charter member of Dallas's Little Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
- Jovita González de Mireles and her husband, Edmundo Mireles, establish the state's first public school bilingual program in Corpus Christi.
- Eighty-five percent of Texas libraries owe their founding to the efforts of women's clubs.
- The nation experiences its first year with no lynchings.
- Ruth Fred becomes the director of Houston's Jewish Family Service and serves until 1977.
- Fermina Guerra earns a master's degree from the University of Texas, making her one of the first Tejanas to do so; her thesis is about Mexican and Spanish folklore in Southwest Texas.
1941 – 1945
- Ada Bell DeMent of Mineral Wells is president of the National Association of Colored Women.
- U.S. enters World War II following the December 7th Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
- Elizabeth "Tex" Williams, Houston, is a photographer and photo lab technician for the U.S. Air Force. In 1949, she is the first black woman to graduate from the Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, Photo Division School and is first in her class.
- Drusilla Tandy Nixon opens her home in El Paso to black servicemen, leading to the establishment of a United Service Organization (USO) chapter.
- With the nation's declaration of war, women enter the armed forces, work in defense factories as assembly line workers and riveters, and perform other jobs formerly done by men.
1942 – 1944
- More than 1,000 women complete flight training in Houston and at Avenger Field, Sweetwater, to become Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). Other Texas women serve in the Navy as Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and in the Women's Army Corps (WAC).
1942 – 1945
- During World War II, the Bracero Program recruits 4.5 million Mexican workers for U.S. farms; they stay for the next twenty years.
- Albertine Hall Yeager and her husband run a day care center in Galveston for children of mothers in war industries.
- Col. Oveta Culp Hobby, Houston, commands the Women's Army Corps.
- Etta Moten of Weimar sings the role of Bess on Broadway in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.
- Thelma Paige Richardson, a teacher, files a lawsuit against the Dallas school district, seeking equal pay for black teachers. The action is settled out of court the following year with a judgment that grants pay raises to black teachers and leads to similar actions in Galveston and Houston.
- Black Texas women are sworn in as part of the first inductees of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps to train at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, in 1943. The oldest recruit is Mary Bingham August Anderson, Houston, who joins at age 41. Black women also join the Army and Navy Nurses Corps.
- Yvonne Chouteau, born in Fort Worth of Cherokee and Shawnee ancestry, joins the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the age of fourteen and is a soloist two years later.
- In Smith v. Allwright the U.S. Supreme Court outlaws Texas' "white primaries." By 1947, black voter registration in the state triples.
- Minnie Fisher Cunningham runs for governor against incumbent Coke Stevenson in a Democratic Party fight between liberals and conservatives over support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She comes in second among nine candidates.
- Prairie View College's Co-Eds, an all-woman band, sweeps to national acclaim.
- Traveling by train from San Francisco to her home in Palestine, Texas, Dorothy Robinson is excluded from the dining car, while German prisoners-of-war are allowed to eat there.
- Minnie Fisher Cunningham and Jane Y. McCallum form the Women's Committee for Educational Freedom to demand reinstatement for University of Texas President Homer P. Rainey, who was fired by the conservative board of regents.
- María L. de Hernández, San Antonio, publishes México y los cuatro poderes que dirigen al pueblo.
- Maud Fuller of Austin secures land for a mission in Liberia.
- World War II ends. Many women leave factories and return to work as fulltime homemakers.
1946 – 2000
- Sarah T. Hughes, state district court judge and former state representative, loses her campaign for the U.S. Congress to a conservative Dallas businessman who characterizes her as a "left-wing political terrorist."
- The U.S. Senate debates the Equal Rights Amendment seriously for the first time, but fails to generate the majority required to send the amendment to the states for ratification.
- Eve Currie is an instructor in Spanish and speech at the University of Texas, one of the first Tejanas ever employed to teach at the university.
- Lulu B. White is elected state director of branches for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
- Young Women's Christian Association chapters in Texas are integrated.
- Black women picket the White House, protesting lynching.
1946 – 1950s
- Protestant women achieve greater acceptance as ordained ministers in the Methodist, United Church of Christ, and Disciples of Christ denominations.
- Modern Woman: The Lost Sex, by Ferdinand Lundberg and Marynia Farnham, invoking Freudian psychology, declares that women, particularly feminists, are neurotics responsible for many of the country's problems: "The more educated a woman is, the
greater chance there is of sexual disorder."
- Margo Jones, who directed early works by playwrights Tennessee Williams and William Inge, promotes the concept of theater-in-the-round in Dallas. Her book, Theater-in-the-Round, inspires the establishment of professional community theaters around the U.S.
- Hattie Henenberg, a former justice of Texas's All-Woman Supreme Court, organizes and directs the Dallas Bar Association.
- Mrs. Eddie Hayes McDonald of Houston is elected president of the Adult Commission of the National Conference on Christian Education, the first woman and first black to hold this position.
- Houston College in Houston is reorganized as Texas State University for Negroes (later Texas Southern University). This action is the legislature's response to the demand by blacks for admission to the University of Texas.
- Dr. Hector García, Corpus Christi, founds the America G. I. Forum of Texas, a civil rights organization for Latinos. Women help raise funds through tamaladas (tamale sales) and later lead voter-registration drives and become lobbyists for equal-opportunity legislation.
- Lucille Bishop Smith, a home economics teacher at Prairie View College, creates Lucille's All Purpose Hot Roll Mix, the first in the U.S.
- Edith Irby Jones is the first black admitted to the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. She later opens a practice in Houston.
- Estelle Massey Osborne of Palestine is elected to the board of the American Nurses Association, the same year it admits black nurses.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader Lulu B. White is called before the House Un-American Activities Committee. She is labeled a Communist for supporting the presidential candidacy of socialist Henry Wallace.
- Ellie Walls Montgomery is the first female president of the Colored Teachers State Association of Texas.
- State representative Neveille Colson of Navasota becomes a state senator and the first woman to serve in each chamber of the Texas Legislature. She serves ten years in the House and another eighteen years in the Senate.
- Jovita González and Edmundo Mireles, Corpus Christi, publish El español elemental, a series of Spanish-language books for six grade levels, thus breaking new ground by incorporating Mexican-American heritage into education.
- Esther Phillips, Houston, tours the South with Johnny Otis's rhythm and blues show.
- The Harris County Council of Organizations is founded to protect African Americans' victory over the white primary.
- Christia Adair becomes secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Houston.
- Christia Adair, Houston, leads campaigns to integrate department store fitting rooms, the airport, and the library, joining hundreds of other black women and men throughout the state fighting for equality in public accommodations.
- Virginia Carrington DeWitty, Austin, conducts choirs for the National Baptist Convention of America.
- Popular magazines like Collier's and Ladies' Home Journal call activism dangerous and urge women to devote themselves to home and family.
- Zelma Watson George, a Hearne native, stars in two Gian-Carlo Menotti operas in New York, The Medium and The Consul.
- The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Sweatt v. Painter that segregation in higher education is unconstitutional. It orders racial integration at the University of Texas Law School. Heman Marion Sweatt becomes the first black person to enroll there.
- Women make up 30 percent of the U.S. workforce. In Texas, 26. 8 percent of all women are paid workers.
- Elzira Marie Shelton and her husband are the first black couple to buy a house in South Dallas. Although a bomb is thrown at the house, the Sheltons refuse to move.
- Pianist Viola Dixon becomes the first black Texan to play with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. A female gospel group, the Chariottes, begins its career in Austin and later records for Houston's Duke Records. Evelyn Johnson begins managing the Buffalo Booking Agency, specializing in blues, soul, and rhythm and blues.
- Llerena Friend, historian and librarian, becomes the founding director of the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas. She remains director until 1969.
- Domestic workers receive coverage under Social Security.
- Bette Graham of Dallas, a single mother and former secretary, invents Liquid Paper typewriter correcting fluid in her kitchen, using a Mixmaster.
- Dr. Thelma Patten-Law organizes the first Texas chapter of the Links, a service organization for black women, in Houston.
- Both Republicans and Democrats nominate women for vice president at their national conventions. Neither nominee joins her party's ticket.
- Among southern black women, 87 percent have never voted.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower adds women to his administration, including Texan Oveta Culp Hobby as the first Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
- Alicia de Lozano, the widow of Ignacio Lozano, assisted by Leonides González, takes over management of La Prensa, a major San Antonio newspaper.
- Annie Harris, president of the Houston branch, National Council of Negro Women, addresses the city council to condemn police brutality against a pregnant black woman.
- Del Mar College in Corpus Christi is one of the first in the South to integrate.
- Clotilde García, Corpus Christi, becomes at age 37 one of the first Tejanas to earn a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She graduates near the top of her class despite setbacks and lack of encouragement from school officials.
- Women gain the right to serve on Texas juries, largely through the efforts of the Texas League of Women Voters.
- In Brown v. Board of Education the U.S. Supreme Court rules that "separate but equal" public schools are unconstitutional.
- Hermine Tobolowsky, Dallas attorney and legal counsel to the Business and Professional Women organization, and later the group's Texas president, begins an eighteen-year fight to pass the state Equal Legal Rights Amendment.
- Charlye O. Farris of Wichita Falls, a 1953 graduate of the Howard University Law School, becomes the first black woman admitted to the State Bar of Texas.
- The Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation on buses involving interstate travel. Rosa Parks refuses to vacate her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
- Students from Dallas's Lincoln High School, led by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People youth director Juanita Craft, protest racial segregation at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.
- Dr. Connie Yerwood is president of the Lone Star State Medical Association (for blacks).
- Lillie Marie Alonzo, Nina McGowan, two attorneys, and a Houston Informer reporter are arrested for attempting to eat in the Harris County Courthouse cafeteria.
- The Attorney General of Texas tries to outlaw the Texas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on charges of barratry (stirring up lawsuits and quarrels), putting Christia Adair, Houston National Association for the Advancement of Colored People executive secretary, on the stand for seventeen days.
- A lawsuit is filed in federal court asking that black students Beneva Williams and Delores Ross be admitted to white public schools nearest their Houston homes.
- Although the University of Texas integrates its classes for undergraduates, blacks are barred from varsity athletics and dormitories.
- Hattie Briscoe receives her law degree from St. Mary's University in San Antonio; she is probably the first black woman to receive a law degree from a Texas university.
- The American G. I. Forum Women's Auxiliary is founded in Texas and the following year holds an important women's leadership conference.
- The League of United Latin America Citizens organizes the Little School of the 400 to teach Spanish-speaking children basic English words. The program is an early model for Head Start, the federal preschool program begun in the 1960s.
- Norma Zúñiga Benavides wins seat on Laredo school board, possibly the first Tejana in Texas elected to public office.
- Frances Blake Wallace and Jeffie Conner become supervisors of black schools for Harris and McLennan counties, respectively.
- Juanita Craft of Dallas is elected director of branches for the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She eventually organizes 182 branches.
- Barbara Conrad, Pittsburg, is forced from her operatic role opposite a white male at the University of Texas because she is black. She goes on to an international operatic career.
- The Texas Business & Professional Women supports the Equal Rights Amendment.
- Hattie Mae White is the first black woman in Texas elected to public office and the first black since Reconstruction when she wins a seat on the Houston school board.
- The Equal Legal Rights Amendment is introduced in the Texas Legislature for the first time but fails.
- Florence Phelps and Mable Chandler organize women to make Dallas department stores allow black women to use dressing rooms to try on clothes.
- Lucille Crawford is the founding president of the Black Austin Democrats. Lenora Rolla, Fort Worth, helps organize chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
- Sit-ins in support of the civil rights movement spread to several Texas cities. Ruth Jefferson, Dallas, organizes a sit-in by welfare rights mothers when the state welfare department reduces the monthly payment for her and her five children from $135 to $123.
- Tejanas are active in "Viva Kennedy, Viva Johnson" clubs during the presidential campaign. The movement leads to the formation of Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organizations.
- Lillian K. Bradley becomes the first black woman to earn a doctorate (in mathematics) from the University of Texas at Austin.
- State Rep. Maud Isaaks, El Paso, co-sponsors a state constitutional amendment supporting equal legal rights for women. It fails to pass, but her efforts receive national attention.
- Adelfa Callejo receives a law degree from Southern Methodist University, likely making her the first Tejana attorney in Dallas.
- President John F. Kennedy creates the President's Commission on the Status of Women; it supports equal legal rights for women without taking a position on the Equal Rights Amendment.
- State District Judge Sarah T. Hughes is appointed to the federal bench, the first Texas woman to serve.
- Black women are admitted to Texas Woman's University.
- Frances Sanger Mossiker, Dallas, is the first woman to win the Carr P. Collins Award for nonfiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. She is honored for her book about Marie Antoinette, The Queen's Necklace.
- Dr. Zelma George of Hearne receives the Dag Hammerskjold Award for her work as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations.
- Dr. Pauline Mack chairs the Texas Woman's University Research Institute until 1983.
- Mary Ann Goode from Galveston and Zona Perrett from San Antonio become the first black secretaries at the Texas Legislature.
- Black Texans join thousands of citizens in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, highlighted by Martin Luther King's speech, "I Have a Dream."
- Women enroll at Texas A&M University for the first time.
- The Federal Equal Pay Act requires that women and men be paid equally for performing the same job.
- The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique serves as a lightning rod for a widespread mood of personal dissatisfaction among white middle-class women.
- Madalyn Murray O'Hair of Austin is the principal in the successful U.S. Supreme Court case to prohibit prayer in public schools.
- President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes administers the oath of office to Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson aboard Air Force One at Love Field.
- Yolanda Garza Boozer of San Antonio is the personal secretary to President Lyndon B. Johnson, the first Tejana to hold such a post.
- Virginia Múzquiz of Crystal City becomes the first Tejana to run for state representative but loses. In 1972 she is elected Zavala County Clerk on La Raza Unida Party ticket.
- The Texas Association of Colored Women's Clubs changes its name to the Texas Association of Women's Clubs.
- Carolyn White becomes the first black employee at Houston's City Hall.
- The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlaws the poll tax as a requirement for voting for president, vice president, presidential electors, and members of the U.S. Congress.
- Congress passes the U.S. Civil Rights Act, outlawing racial discrimination in public accommodations and employment.
- With the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, black women begin voting in larger percentages than black men or white women. Vilma Martinez, originally from San Antonio, plays a key role in the law's passage.
- Farm workers march from Rio Grande Valley to Austin to protest working conditions and to demand increased salaries; this is a catalyst for the Chicano movement in Texas.
- Virginia Stull becomes the first black woman to graduate with a degree in medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
- The black Teachers State Association of Texas merges with the formerly all-white Texas State Teachers Association.
- Barbara Jordan is the first African American woman elected to the Texas Legislature and the first African American elected to the Texas Senate in the twentieth century; she is the only female senator throughout her two terms (1967-1973).
- Betty Friedan organizes the National Organization for Women.
- The Mexican American Youth Organization is founded in San Antonio.
- The Mexican American Legal and Educational and Defense Fund is founded in Texas.
- John Connally establishes Texas's first Governor's Committee on the Status of Women. Among its twenty members are two black women, Jeffie O. A. Conner of Waco and Ada Anderson of Austin.
- Julia Scott Reed writes a column, "Open Line," in the Dallas Morning News, probably the first by a black woman for a major southwestern daily.
- Dallas attorney Louise Raggio spearheads the reform of property rights laws to benefit Texas women, leading to the passage of the Married Women's Property Rights Act. For first time, women can buy and sell their own real property and securities.
- Kay Bailey is admitted to Texas Bar, but because most law firms do not hire women, she changes professions and becomes first female television reporter in Houston. She covers the Texas Legislature.
- Consuelo (Chelo) González Amezcua of Del Rio gains recognition for her Texas filigree art.
- Frances "Sissy" Farenthold, Corpus Christi, is elected to the Texas House; she is the only female representative during her two terms (1969-1973).
- Wilhelmina Delco is the first African American to win election to the Austin school board.
- Severita Lara is a major leader of the Crystal City high school students' walkout to protest discrimination against Tejanos in the city's schools.
- Anita MartÃnez , Dallas, is the first Tejana elected to a city council in Texas.
- The Presidential Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities urges President Richard M. Nixon to persuade the U.S. Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
- Le Oneita Holland files the first lawsuit in the Dallas area under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
- Shirley Marks of Tyler is admitted to Harvard Medical School and becomes the second black female student to graduate there. She later practices psychiatry at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Houston.
- After becoming widowed, Ninfa Laurenzo takes over Rio Grande Food Products in Houston and turns it into a multi-million-dollar operation. She later establishes Ninfa's, a highly successful Mexican restaurant chain.
- This period marks the beginning of Chicana feminism and a proliferation of women's publications, including poetry and political analysis.
- Ada Simond writes the semi-autobiographical series "Mae Dee—Let's Pretend" about an African American girl growing up in Austin around 1900.
- Tigua women in Ysleta begin to serve on the tribal council.
- Aida Barrera creates and produces Carrascolendas, the nation's first national bilingual educational television program for Spanish-speaking children. Her work on the series brings her and Austin's local public television station (housed on the University of Texas campus) international awards.
- Some urban blacks begin celebrating Ramadan, an annual Islamic devotional period, and Kwanzaa, ceremonies to celebrate pan-African heritage and unity.
- One in every 25 high school girls goes out for sports in U.S.
- The first hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment since 1956 are held after the National Organization for Women disrupts U.S. Senate proceedings.
- The U.S. Women's Bureau celebrates its fiftieth anniversary; the Labor Department reverses its opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment.
- Women help found La Raza Unida, a new political party. They also establish Mujeres Por La Raza, a women's caucus, within the party.
- The National Women's Political Caucus and the Texas Women's Political Caucus are founded. State Rep. Frances "Sissy" Farenthold of Corpus Christi is the national group's first chair.
- State Sen. Barbara Jordan and State Rep. Frances "Sissy" Farenthold co-sponsor the Texas Equal Legal Rights Amendment.
- State Rep. Frances "Sissy" Farenthold calls for the investigation of the Sharpstown bank scandal involving top Texas office holders. Lobbyists label her and twenty-nine supporters the "Dirty Thirty."
- Barbara Jordan is the first African American woman from a Southern state elected to the U.S. Congress, and the first African American member of Congress from Texas.
- Six women are elected to the Texas legislature (one to the Senate and five to the House), the most ever; they include two Republicans, Betty Andujar and Kay Bailey; two black women, Senfronia Thompson and Eddie Bernice Johnson; and two Anglo women, Sarah Weddington and Chris Miller.
- State Rep. Frances "Sissy" Farenthold runs unsuccessfully for governor; she is the first woman in U.S. history nominated for vice president and voted upon at the Democratic National Convention.
- At the Republican National Convention Anne Armstrong becomes the first woman in the history of either major party to give a keynote speech. She becomes co-chair of the Republican National Committee and a counselor to President Richard M. Nixon.
- Alma Canales runs for lieutenant governor on La Raza Unida ticket.
- The percentage of female delegates to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions increases dramatically, to 40 and 30 percent, respectively.
- Phyllis Schlafly forms the national group Stop ERA to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment.
- Texas voters, by a four-to-one majority, approve the Equal Legal Rights Amendment to the state constitution.
- Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972 to the U.S. Constitution bans sex discrimination in education programs at all levels in the U.S.
- Las Hermanas, an organization for lay and religious Catholic women, is founded in Houston.
- The Black Performing Arts Theatre in Houston sponsors a benefit performance featuring actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee; Dee serves as national chair of the Black Women's Unity Drive for the National Council of Negro Women.
- Following the death of Carter Wesley, his wife, Doris Wesley, continues publishing the Houston Informer, an African American community newspaper.
- Flutist Bobbie Humphrey, Dallas, is the first female instrumentalist to record for the Blue Note jazz label.
- Houston native J. E. Franklin has her play Black Girl adapted for a feature film. She is a director at the New Federal Theatre in New York City.
- The Mexican American Republicans of Texas is founded, amid growing interest in the party's social conservatism and concern that the Democratic Party takes Tejanos for granted.
1972 – 1974
- A protracted strike of Tejana garment workers in El Paso leads to the winning of union representation and a national boycott.
- In Roe v. Wade, argued by Austin attorney Sarah Weddington, the U.S. Supreme Court establishes a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
- The Equal Rights Amendment passes both houses of Congress with wide margins of support.
- The Texas Legislature ratifies the national Equal Rights Amendment.
- Through the efforts of State Rep. Sarah Weddington, Texas passes the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, prohibiting discrimination based on gender, race, national origin, and age. Women can obtain credit in their own names for first time.
- Lucy Patterson is first black woman elected to the Dallas City Council.
- The Texas chapter of the National Organization for Women is founded, and local chapters spread across the state.
- Vilma MartÃnez becomes president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal and Educational and Defense Fund.
- Barbara James becomes the first black woman to chair Dallas's Central Young Men's Christian Association.
- Congress passes the Women's Educational Equity Act to foster the development of nonsexist teaching materials.
- Tejanas establish the Chicana Research and Learning Center in Austin to sponsor bilingual-bicultural projects, including publications and consciousness raising workshops for women. Two years later, the center publishes the ground-breaking La Mujer Chicana, An Annotated Bibliography.
- The federal minimum wage law extends minimum wage benefits to 1. 5 million domestic workers.
- Frances "Sissy" Farenthold runs for governor a second time and is defeated.
- Barbara Jordan makes an impassioned speech about the U.S. Constitution before the House Judiciary Committee considering the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon.
- Communities Organized for Public Service is organized by the Tejano community in San Antonio under the Industrial Areas Foundation banner; six of the first seven presidents are Tejanas: Beatrice Gallego, Carmen Badillo, Beatrice Cortes, Sonia Hernández, Helen Ayala, and Rachel Salazar.
- Dr. Lorene Rogers, a chemist and nutritionist, is appointed interim president of the University of Texas at Austin, later serving as president from 1975 to 1979, the first woman to head a major state university.
- Kathlyn Gilliam, a black woman, is elected to the Dallas school board.
- María Jiménez and Orelia Hisbrook Cole run for state representative on La Raza Unida ticket.
- Vilma Martínez, originally from San Antonio, wins a case before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals guaranteeing the right to bilingual education for non-English speaking children.
- The Chicana Rights Project of the Mexican American Legal and Educational and Defense Fund begins. In 1976 the Project begins monitoring the impact of the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act on Mexican American women in San Antonio.
- The Mexican American Business and Professional Women is organized.
- Judith Craven is the first black woman to graduate from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.
- Former Prairie View home economics professor Lucille Bishop Smith founds a family corporation, Lucille B. Smith's Fine Foods, at age 82 to market the hot roll mix and other products she has developed.
- Lila Cockrell of San Antonio becomes the first woman elected mayor of a large city in Texas.
- The state's anti-feminists try to pass a state resolution to rescind the Equal Rights Amendment introduced in the legislature, but a coalition of pro-Equal Rights Amendment groups defeats it.
- Estela Portillo Trambley, a nationally known Tejana novelist and playwright from El Paso, wins the Premio Quinto Sol, becoming the first woman and the last person to receive the prestigious national award for her short story collection Rain of Scorpions.
- The United Nations declares 1975 the International Year of the Woman; Texas women attend the international conference in Mexico City. The conference outlines a ten-year plan to improve women's lives and leads to the United Nation's Decade for Women.
- Dr. Gloria Scott, Houston, becomes first black president of the Girl Scouts of America.
- Irma Rangel of Kingsville becomes the first Tejana elected to the Texas Legislature (House of Representatives).
- Ann Richards is elected Travis County Commissioner.
- Under the leadership of Barbara Jordan, Congress expands the Voting Rights Act to include Spanish speakers in the Southwest, including Texas.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader Juanita Craft is elected to the Dallas City Council.
- Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas chairs the Texas House Committee on Labor, the first woman to chair a major House committee.
- Selma Wells is the first black and first woman appointed to the Texas State Board of Pardons and Paroles.
- Eddie Bernice Johnson is appointed by President Jimmy Carter to be a regional director for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
- Barbara Jordan is the first African American and the first woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.
- Dr. Mary Evelyn Blagg Huey is the first woman appointed president of Texas Woman's University, the largest woman's university in the U.S.
- Azie Taylor Morton, a native of Dale, Texas, is appointed U.S. Treasurer.
- Anne Armstrong is appointed ambassador to Great Britain, the first Texas woman to hold an ambassadorship.
- Betty Lockhart founds the Dallas Committee on Household Employment to increase benefits for domestic workers.
- Lucía Madrid opens a library in her family's store in Redford, near the Rio Grande, to serve the local community.
- Journalist Liz Carpenter of Austin, former assistant to Vice President Lyndon Johnson and press secretary to Lady Bird Johnson, becomes chair of the newly formed ERA America, an organization devoted to ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
- Debra Yvonne López-Fix, Elgin, is first woman of Mexican descent to enter West Point. In 1998, she becomes a lieutenant colonel.
- Rosie Jiménez, a scholarship student six months away from earning her teaching certificate, dies in McAllen from an illegal abortion. She is the first victim in the nation of the Hyde Amendment, which cut off Medicaid program funding of safe abortions.
- Jewel Prestage, the first black woman to receive a Ph. D. degree in political science in the U.S. (University of Iowa, 1954), becomes a member of the Judicial Council of the national Democratic Party and dean of the Benjamin Banneker Honors College at Prairie View A&M University.
- Adelyn Bernstein and Doris Lasher help found the Houston Area Women's Center, one of many resource and educational centers set up in wake of the 1970s women's movement.
- A Houston park is named for civic and civil rights leader Christia Adair.
- Dr. Gloria Scott presides over the International Women's Year National Conference in Houston, hosting 2,000 delegates and 18,000 observers.
- Owahah Anderson of the Choctaw serves as co-chairperson of the Texas delegation during the National Women's Conference in Houston.
- Carole Keeton McClellan is elected Austin's first woman mayor.
- The number of women in the Texas Legislature reaches double digits (fourteen) for the first time.
- The national Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to treat pregnancy and childbirth like other short-term medical conditions.
- Women begin becoming astronauts for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- Unemployment compensation becomes effective for household workers.
- After her death, Alma Gunter, a retired nurse from Palestine who depicted her African American heritage in art, achieves statewide fame as a naïve painter. In 1981, her Dinner on the Ground appears in the touring exhibit Texas Women—A Celebration of History.
- The Texas Council on Family Violence is founded.
- State Rep. Sarah Weddington becomes an advisor on women's issues to President Jimmy Carter.
- The Texas Foundation for Women's Resources launches the Texas Women's History Project, the first comprehensive effort to research and promote women's history in Texas.
- Rebecca Reyes is first Tejana ordained a minister in the Presbyterian church.
- Stella Youngblood of Houston becomes the first black woman from Texas to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.
- Plástica Chicana, an international conference in Austin, brings together artists from various disciplines, as well as art history critics, to discuss the historical importance of Chicano art. Mujeres Artistas del Suroeste (Women Artists of the Southwest) and the League of United Chicano Artists sponsor the event.
- The effort begun in 1921 to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing equal legal rights for women, fails when time runs out for ratification by the states.
- Bette Graham, Dallas, sells her Liquid Paper Corporation for $47. 5 million.
- Gabrielle K. McDonald, Houston, becomes the first black female federal judge in Texas, and the third in the U.S.
- Kathlyn Gilliam is the first woman and first black elected president of the Dallas School Board.
- Ruby Williams co-founds Austin's Black Arts Alliance.
- Women are 43 percent of U.S. workforce.
- Sissy Spacek, Quitman, wins an Oscar for her role as country singer Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter.
- Ellen J. Lewis is the first woman to serve as rabbi in Texas at Dallas's Temple Emanu-El.
- Black women become judges: Joan Winn is appointed judge of a district court in Dallas. Harriet Murphy becomes an Austin municipal judge and, in 1988, the presiding judge. Alice Bonner of Houston becomes judge of the 80th State District Court.
- Texas women legislators, relatively new to the Legislature and reluctant to form their own caucus, meet informally as the "Ladies' Marching, Chowder, Terrorist, and Quasi-Judicial Society" and print their own stationery.
- Artist Carmen Lomas Garza of Kingsville begins receiving national recognition.
- A new generation of black writers and poets such as Harryette Mullen and Hermine Pinson achieve recognition and publication.
1980s – 1990s
- Marsha Gómez of Choctaw and Mexican descent is a notable sculptor and potter, and works as a peace activist in Austin; she creates numerous commissioned works, including one series entitled Madre del Mundo.
- Fifty percent of Texas women with children under six years old are employed; sixty percent of mothers with children age 6-16 are in the workforce. Most common occupations are secretary, sales clerk, bookkeeper, waitress, cashier, domestic, teacher, nurse, typists and nursing aide. One-third are in clerical positions.
- National Women's History Week is established.
- During Rebecca Flores's tenure as state director of the United Farm Workers Union, agricultural workers win important legislative guarantees, including toilets in the fields, unemployment compensation, and the elimination of the short-handled hoe.
- Sandra Day O'Connor, a native of El Paso, becomes the first woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
- Zina Garrison, Houston, age seventeen, is the first black player to win the junior singles tennis championship in Wimbledon, England.
- Kathy Whitmire is elected the first female mayor of Houston.
- María Berriozabal is elected to San Antonio City Council, becoming the first Tejana to win such a position in the city. She is reelected several times, ultimately serving for ten years.
- Texas Women—A Celebration of History, the first major exhibition of Texas women's history, sponsored by the Texas Foundation for Women's Resources, opens in San Antonio. It tours the state for two years and is permanently housed at Texas Woman's University, Denton.
- The remains of a Paleoindian woman are found near present-day Leander, Texas; called Leanne by the archaeologists who find her body, she is believed to have lived in the area approximately 11,000 years ago.
- Ann Richards is first female elected State Treasurer in Texas and first woman elected to a statewide office in more than fifty years.
- Mary Helen Berlanga, a Corpus Christi attorney, is elected to the State Board of Education.
- Lady Bird Johnson founds the National Wildflower Research Center in Austin, dedicated to study, preserve, and re-establish North American native plants in planned landscapes.
- Cynthia Pérez, Lidia Pérez, María Elena Martínez and other women found La Peña, an Austin arts organization.
- The U.S. Congress passes an extension of the Voting Rights Act to assure continued federal protection of African Americans, Mexican Americans, and other minorities.
- Ruby Sondock, a Houston district judge since 1977, becomes the first female justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
- Mary Kay Cosmetics is Texas's top performer on the New York Stock Exchange with 200,000 female beauty consultants.
- The National Political Congress of Black Women is founded.
- Elma Salinas of Laredo is the first Tejana in the nation to be appointed to a district court bench; she is elected to a full term in 1984.
- Carole Keeton Rylander, Austin, is the first woman appointed to State Board of Insurance.
- Leadership Texas is founded by the Texas Foundation for Women's Resources as the nation's first statewide women's leadership development program.
- Anne Lundy is the music director and founder of the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra in Houston, specializing in the work of black composers.
- Selena Quintanilla Pérez of Corpus Christi wins the Tejano Music Award and again the next three years.
- The National Political Congress of Black Women is founded because the Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale fails to interview a black woman as a vice-presidential running mate.
- After the death of black artist Naomi Polk of Houston, her paintings become known across the state.
- Clara J. McLaughlin is the first black woman in the U.S. to own a national television network affiliate, the East Texas Television Network in Longview.
- Geraldine Ferraro is the vice presidential candidate on the Democratic Party ticket.
- The Governor's Commission for Women establishes the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in Austin to recognize outstanding accomplishments by Texas women.
- Leslie Benítez of Austin is the first Tejana in the U.S. to be appointed by a governor as chief legal counsel.
- Myra McDaniel of Austin is appointed the first African American Secretary of State in Texas by Governor Mark White.
- Fifty-six percent of Texas women are employed. They earn 64 percent of a man's median income.
- Cora Cordona and Jeff Hurst co-found Teatro Dallas, the first major professional bilingual theater in Dallas to present plays by Latino playwrights about the Latino experience.
- Texas women participate in United Nations End-of-Decade Conference in Nairobi; University of Texas Regent Beryl Milburn serves as an official delegate.
- Women and World Issues, an Austin interracial group, sponsors a bi-national conference, "Women and Food Production: A Texas-Mexico Dialogue."
- Bishop College in Dallas honors "Thirty Texas Women of Courage" in conjunction with the "Woman of Courage" exhibition sponsored by the Schlesinger Library of Radcliffe College.
- Kathlyn Gilliam organizes the Political Congress of African American Women in Dallas with 300 members.
- The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously that sexual harassment constitutes illegal job discrimination, and upholds affirmative action on basis of race and gender.
- Judith Zaffirini, Laredo, becomes the first Tejana elected to the Texas Senate.
- Dr. Juliet García is the first Tejana in the U.S. to become the president of a college or university, Texas Southmost College in Brownsville. In 1992, she is appointed president of the University of Texas at Brownsville.
- Debbie Allen, a native of Houston, wins an Emmy for her role in the television series Fame. Phylicia Rashad, her sister, is widely known for her role as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show.
- Three women are elected to the Texas Senate, the first time more than one woman serves concurrently: Cyndi Taylor Krier (San Antonio), Judith Zaffirini (Laredo), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (Dallas).
- The Museum of African American Life and Culture in Dallas sponsors a touring exhibition, "Black Texas Women–They Showed the Way."
- Dominique de Menil of Houston, philanthropist and art collector, opens the Menil Collection museum to house 10,000 art objects. She and her husband John are benefactors of Rice University, the University of St. Thomas, the Rothko Chapel, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
- Sociologist and historian Ruthe Winegarten of Austin, curator of the exhibit, Texas Women—A Celebration of History, publishes Texas Women: A Pictorial History from Indians to Astronauts. She eventually writes 20 works on Texas and women's history.
- National Women's History Month (March) is established.
- Annette Strauss is elected Dallas's first female mayor.
- The Hispanic Women's Network of Texas is organized to improve the status of Tejanas and other Latinas.
- Naomi Carrier, Houston, collaborates with Ruthe Winegarten in adapting Winegarten's I Am Annie Mae as a musical. It premieres at St. Edward's University in Austin, produced by Women and Their Work.
- Some 3,000 demonstrators join food workers at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, mainly black female members of the Texas State Employees Union, demanding back pay and a union contract. The university finally accedes to their demands.
- Texas State Treasurer Ann Richards delivers the keynote address at Democratic National Convention.
- Dionne Bagsby wins election as Tarrant County commissioner, the first black woman in Texas to hold such a position.
- Vassar Miller is named Poet Laureate of Texas. Overcoming the effects of cerebral palsy, Miller became a prominent writer and poet and advocate for people with disabilities. A Pultizer Prize finalist in 1961, she was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1997.
- Tejanas found such civic organizations as People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources (PODER) in Austin and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio.
- Ann Richards is elected the Governor of Texas. During her term, she appoints women as forty-seven percent of her staff and more women and minorities to positions on state boards and commissions than two previous governors combined.
- Approximately 150 women are Texas mayors.
- Kay Bailey Hutchison is elected State Treasurer, becoming the first Republican woman elected to statewide office in Texas.
- Marcelite J. Harris, Houston, is first African American woman to hold the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force.
- Alicia Chacón is first female elected El Paso County Judge.
- Following the closing of the Levi-Strauss garment plant in San Antonio, Tejanas who are laid off organize Fuerza Unida, a group committed to improving the conditions of laborers worldwide.
- The African American Women's Hall of Fame, coordinated by the Austin chapter of National Women of Achievement, inducts 24 nominees.
- Marguerite Ross Barnett becomes president of the University of Houston, the first African American and the eighth president of the university's central campus.
- Toni Luckett wins election as the first African American student body president at the University of Texas at Austin.
- The first statewide conference on the history of women in Texas is held in Austin.
- Winsome Jean organizes Sojourner's Trust in Austin, an organization of black women, to raise funds for political candidates and to identify potential black female candidates for appointments to governmental boards and commissions.
- Gov. Ann Richards appoints Willie Lee Gay, Houston, as the first African American on the Texas Historical Commission, and Allison Leland, Houston, to the Texas A&M University Board of Regents.
- State Rep. Wilhelmina Delco, Austin, becomes the first female and first African American Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House of Representatives.
- Thirteen thousand garment workers in El Paso win paid vacations and health insurance in the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union strike.
- Nelda Wells Spears is the first African American woman in Texas elected county tax assessor-collector (in a Travis County special election). She wins a full term in 1992.
- Cassandra Thomas of Houston is president of the National Coalition Against Sexual Harassment and director of the Houston Area Women's Center Rape Crisis Program.
- Women run 414,179 ventures, bringing in 33% of the state's total sales and receipts, amounting to $35. 3 billion.
- More women than ever before—six senators and forty-seven representatives—are elected to the U.S. Congress.
- The average weekly wage for a college-educated U.S. male is $973; for college-educated female, it is $642. This represents a 31 percent increase for women since 1979.
- Rose Spector, San Antonio, is the first woman elected to the Texas Supreme Court.
- Dr. Mae C. Jemison, Houston, is the first African American woman in space, serving as a science mission specialist on NASA's space shuttle Endeavor.
- Guadalupe Rangel becomes the first Tejana member of the Texas A&M University Board of Regents.
- Kay Bailey Hutchison wins a special election to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first female U.S. Senator from Texas.
- Two black women, Dr. Dorcas Bowles and Dr. Barbara White, are deans of schools of social work – Bowles at the University of Texas at Arlington and White at the University of Texas at Austin.
- Gov. Ann Richards loses a bid for a second term to George W. Bush.
- Priscilla Owen is elected to the Texas Supreme Court.
- Janie Barrera establishes ACCION Texas, a nonprofit lending agency that provides low-interest loans as small as $500 to small business owners; women are the primary beneficiaries of the loans.
- Texas First Lady Laura Bush and Liz Carpenter speak at the 75th anniversary celebration of passage of the 19th Amendment, the woman suffrage amendment to U.S. Constitution.
- Meg Guerra co-founds LareDOS, a Laredo newspaper.
- Texas women participate in the United Nations End-of-Decade conference on women in Beijing, China.
- Linda Chávez-Thompson, San Antonio, is elected executive vice president of the national AFL-CIO, the first person of color elected to an executive office of the union and the highest-ranking woman in labor.
- The Texas Legislature grants women and men the right to alimony for the first time.
- Dr. Ruth Simmons, a native of rural Houston County, becomes president of Smith College in Northampton, Mass., one of the famed "Seven Sisters" women's colleges.
- Dallas District Judge Carolyn Wright is sworn in as a justice on the state's Fifth Court of Civil Appeals. She is the first African American female justice on the appellate court in this seven-county district.
- The nation mourns the death of former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.
- There are 241 women judges in Texas, including two on the Texas Supreme Court, Rose Spector and Priscilla Owen.
- Thirty-three women are members of the Texas Legislature, thirty in the House and three in the Senate.
- Laura Bush, the First Lady of Texas, organizes the first Texas Book Festival to promote Texas authors and literacy.
- Glenda Kay Joe, Houston, founds the Council of Asian American Organizations, representing 250,000 Asian Americans.
- Christy Haubegger, Houston, founds Latina, a nationally distributed lifestyle magazine.
- The "Power Pipeline," a national mentoring program for young women leaders, is established by the Foundation for Women's Resources.
- One-third of all small businesses in Texas are owned by women.
- Sheryl Swoopes, Lubbock, is a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic basketball team and the U.S. women's national team. She signs a $2-million contract as the first female athlete to have a brand-name sneaker style named after her (Air Swoopes).
- Astronaut Shannon Lucid, Houston, breaks the record for the longest American stay in space; she receives the Congressional Space Medal of Honor from President Bill Clinton.
- Hopwood v. State of Texas case bans consideration of race in Texas college admissions.
- Among the top 50 women business owners featured by Working Woman magazine in its May issue are Texans Liz Minyard and Gretchen Minyard Williams, co-chairs of Minyard Food Stores, Coppell; Dian Graves Owen, co-founder and chair of Owen Healthcare, Houston; and Nancy MacKenzie, president of U.S. Gas Transportation.
- Baylor graduate Marjorie Morris Scardino becomes the first female chief executive of a FTSE 100 company (the top 100 capitalized companies on the London Stock Exchange) when she is appointed Chief Executive Officer of Pearson PLC. In 2002 she is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and in 2007 she is ranked 17th on the Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
- The Texas Legislature has thirty-three women serving in both chambers, more than ever before but not yet twenty percent of the total. By the end of the 75th Legislature's first year (1997), eighty-six women had served since 1923.
- State District Judge Hilda Tagle is nominated by President Bill Clinton to a federal Southern District judgeship. The first Tejana to serve on the federal bench in Texas, she is confirmed in 1998.
- Former state representative Susan Combs of Austin is elected Texas's first female agriculture commissioner.
- Elizabeth "Betty" García Flores is elected mayor of Laredo in a special election, becoming the first Tejana to head a major city in Texas. Later that year, she wins a four-year term.
1998 – 2001
- María Echaveste serves as the White House deputy chief of staff during the administration of President Bill Clinton, making her one of the first Tejanas to attain such a high rank in a president's administration.
- LaRue Martin Parker is elected first woman chairperson of the Caddo nation, presiding over an all-woman council who call themselves the "Caddo grandmothers."
- Lydia Camarillo, a native of El Paso, is named chief executive of the Democratic National Convention.
- The Women's Museum, established by the Foundation for Women's Resources, opens in Dallas.