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Famous Firsts 1500's, 1600's, 1700's


Famous Firsts 1800's


Famous Firsts 1900's


Famous Firsts 2000's

Famous Firsts of the 1900's


Edmund Barton
1900 --- 1st Prime Minister of Australia.

Charlotte Cooper
1900 --- 1st woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal (for tennis).

1st Nobel Prize winners:
1901 ---
      Literature: Sully Prudhomme (Rene Francois Armand)
      Peace: Jean Henri Dunant & Frederic Passy
      Physics: Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen
      Physiology & Medicine: Emil Adolf Von Behring
      Chemistry: Jacobus Henricus Van't Hoff
1969 ---
      Economics: Ragnar Frisch & Jan Tinbergen

1st female Nobel Prize winners:
1903 ---
      Physics: Marie Sklodowska Curie
1905 ---
      Peace: Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner
1909 ---
      Literature: Selma Ottilia Lovisa LagerlŘf
1911 ---
      Chemistry: Marie Sklodowska Curie
1947 ---
      Physiology & Medicine: Gerty Radnitz Cori

Annie Taylor
1901 --- 1st woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She was aged 64 years at the time.

Vida Goldstein
1902 --- 1st woman in the British Empire to run for a national office. She ran for the Australian Senate when women there got the right to vote in all federal elections.

Martha Washington
blank 1902 --- 1st woman to be pictured on a US postage stamp. The 8-cent stamp was issued in November 1902.

Maurice Garin
1903 --- 1st Tour de France winner.

Alexander Winton
1903 --- set the 1st land speed record in car racing. Set at Daytona Beach, his speed was 68.18 mph.

May Sutton Brandy
1904 --- 1st American woman to win the ladies singles tennis championship at Wimbledon.

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
1905 --- 1st "actual" British prime minister. Until the 18th century, the monarch's most senior minister could hold any of a number of titles; usually either First Lord, Lord Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal, or one of the Secretaries of State. During the late 18th Century, the term "prime minister" came to be used. In 1905, the title was officially recognized by King Edward VII.

Theodore Roosevelt
1906 --- 1st American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It was for helping mediate an end the Russo-Japanese War.

Ferenc Szisz
1906 --- Winner of the 1st Grand Prix held at Le Mans, France. The Romanian driver drove a Renault.

Charles Curtis
1907 --- 1st American Indian to become a US Senator. (Kansas) He resigned in March of 1929 to become President Herbert Hoover's Vice President.

Thomas E. Selfridge
1908 --- 1st airplane fatality. Selfridge, a Lt.in the US Army Signal Corps, was in a group evaluating the Wright plane at Fort Myer, Va. He was up 75 ft. with Orville Wright when the propeller hit a bracing wire and was broken, throwing the plane out of control, killing Selfridge and seriously injuring Wright (Sept. 17).

Baroness Raymonde de la Roche
1910 --- 1st licensed woman pilot. (of France, who learned to fly in 1909, received ticket No. 36 on March 8.)

Alice Wells
1910 --- 1st policewoman in the US. She was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department . She was allowed to design her own uniform and was active in propagating the need for policewomen elsewhere. As a result of her efforts seventeen departments in American were employing policewomen by 1916.

Roald Amundsen - Norwegian explorer
1911 --- 1st man to reach the South Pole, beating out an expedition led by Robert F. Scott.

Marie Sklodowska Curie
1911 --- 1st person ever to win two Nobel Prizes. Her first was in Physics (1903) and the second in Chemistry (1911.)

Ray Harroun
1911 --- 1st winner of the Indianapolis 500 car race. His average speed was 74.59 mph, he finished in 6 hours, 42 minutes, 8 seconds.

Alice Hyde
1911 --- 1st winner of the "Miss World" beauty pageant. She was 17.

Harriet Quimby
1911 --- 1st US woman pilot. (A magazine writer, got ticket No. 37, making her the second licensed female pilot in the world. She was also the 1st woman to fly across the English Channel. She flew from Dover, England and landed at Hardelot, France, in a Blériot monoplane(April 16). She was later killed in a flying accident over Dorchester Bay during a Harvard-Boston aviation meet on July 1, 1912. )

Arthur R. Eldred
1912 --- 1st boy to reach the rank of Eagle Scout -- the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America program. He was of Oceanside, NY.

Louis D. Brandeis
1916 --- 1st Jewish member of the US Supreme Court. (Appointed by President Wilson)

Jeannette Rankin
1916 --- 1st woman elected to US congress. (Montana) Only legislator to vote against both WW I and WW II.

Loretta Walsh
blank 1917 --- 1st female Yeoman (F) in the US Navy.

1st Pulitzer Winners
1917 ---
       Biography: Laura E. Richards, H. Elliott, and Florence Hall
       History: Jean Jules Jusserand
       Reporting: Herbert B. Swope

1st female Pulitzer Winners:
1921 ---
      Fiction: Edith Wharton for "The Age of Innocence."
1923 ---
      Poetry: Edna St. Vincent Millay for "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver."
1983 ---
      Music: Ellen Taafe Zwilich

Rosika Schwimmer
1918 --- the world's 1st woman ambassador. She was appointed the Hungarian ambassador to Switzerland.

Charles Hamilton Houston
blank 1919 --- 1st African American Editor of the Harvard Law Review

Lucy Slowe
1920 --- 1st African American woman tennis champion in the US. She won the women's singles title at a tournament in Baltimore.

Ethelda "Thel" Bleibtrey - swimmer
1920 --- 1st US woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics. (Margaret Abbott was awarded a porcelain bowl, not a gold medal, in 1900.)

Bessie Coleman
1921 --- 1st US African American female pilot, but earned her license in France. Was killed April 30, 1926, in a flying accident.

Margaret Gorman
1921 --- 1st Miss America. She was 16 and 30-25-32.

Henry Sullivan
1923 --- 1st American to swim across the English Channel.

Clifton Reginald Wharton, Sr.
1924 --- 1st African American to pass US Foreign Service exam.

Nellie Taylor Ross
1925 --- 1st female state governor. (Wyoming)

Gertrude Ederle
1926 --- 1st American woman to swim the English Channel. It took her 14 hours and 39 minutes. (She broke the existing men's record.)

Al Jolson
1927 --- lead role in the 1st talking motion picture, "The Jazz Singer."

Charles Lindbergh
1927 --- 1st man to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Norma Talmadge
1927 --- 1st footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater (now Mann's Chinese Theater.)

Janet Gaynor
1928 --- 1st Oscar winner for Best Actress.

Emil Jannings
1928 --- 1st Oscar winner for Best Actor.

Ellen Church
1930 --- 1st airline hostess. She served passengers flying between San Francisco, California and Cheyenne, Wyoming on United Airlines.

Laura Ingalls
blank 1930 --- 1st woman to make a solo transcontinental flight across the United States.

Sinclair Lewis
1930 --- 1st American recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature.

Jane Addams
1931 --- 1st American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Jackie Mitchell - baseball pitcher
1931 --- 1st woman in organized baseball. She was signed by the Chattanooga Baseball Club at the age of 19.

Hattie Caraway
1932 --- 1st woman elected to US Senate.

Amelia Earhart
1932 --- 1st transatlantic solo flight by a woman. (traveling from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland in approximately 15 hours)

Frances Perkins
1933 --- 1st woman in US Presidential Cabinet. (Secretary of Labor under FDR.)

Marie, Cecile, Yvonne, Emilie and Annette Dionne
1934 --- 1st quintuplets to survive infancy. They were born near Callender, Ontario to Oliva and Elzire Dionne.

Horton Smith
1934 --- won the 1st Masters Golf Tournament under the magnolia trees of Augusta National in Georgia.

Lettie Pate Whitehead
1934 --- 1st American woman to serve as a director of a major corporation, The Coca-Cola Company.

Wallis Warfield Simpson
1936 --- 1st Time magazine "Woman of the Year."

Jane Matilda Bolin
1939 --- 1st African American woman judge. (New York City)

Gene Cox
1939 --- 1st girl page in US House of Representatives.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
1939 --- 1st US president to speak on television. (Spoke at the opening session of the New York World's Fair on April 30, 1939.)

Hattie McDaniel
1940 --- 1st African American actress to win an Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Mammy in "Gone with the Wind".

Booker T. Washington
1940 --- 1st African American to be pictured on a US postage stamp. His likeness was issued on a 10-cent stamp.

Annie G. Fox
1941 --- 1st woman to receive the US Purple Heart Medal. She was wounded while serving at Hickam Field during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 7 1941.

Glenn Miller
1941 --- Received the 1st gold record ever awarded to a recording artist.

Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini
1946 --- Canonized by Pope Pius XII.. She is the first US citizen (she was born in Italy) to become a saint.

William Henry Hastie
blank 1946 --- 1st African American US Federal Judge.

Trygve Lie - Norwegian socialist
1946 --- 1st Secretary General of United Nations.

Chuck Yeager
1947 --- 1st person to break the sound barrier by flying faster than the speed of sound. (On October 14, 1947, he flew a Bell X-1 rocket at 670 mph in level flight.)

Dick Button
1948 --- 1st American to become World Figure Skating Champion.

Eugenia Anderson
1949 --- 1st US woman appointed ambassador to a foreign country. (Ambassador to Denmark)

Gwendolyn Brooks
1949 --- 1st African American woman to win a Pulitzer prize.

Ralph Bunche
1950 --- 1st African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Charles Cooper
1950 --- 1st African American player in NBA (Fort Wayne Indiana Celtics).

Florence Chadwick
1951 --- 1st woman to have swum across the English Channel in each direction.

George (Christine) Jorgenson
1952 --- recipient of the world's 1st sex-change operation.
Danish artist Einar Wegener underwent a sex change operation in Berlin March 5, 1930. He assumed the identity of Lili Elbe, and had ovaries implanted. It is speculated that Wegener was actually a hermaphrodite, and the credit for first sex change usually is given to Christine Jorgenson.

Patricia McCormick
1952 --- 1st professional woman bullfighter. She got herself two bulls in the contest held in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Lucille Ball
1953 --- appeared on the cover of the 1st TV Guide (April).

Jacqueline Cochrane
1953 --- 1st woman to fly faster than speed of sound. (She piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour.)

Tenley Albright
1953 --- 1st American to win the Women's World Figure Skating Championship. She was 17-years old when she won the competition in Davos, Switzerland.

Elizabeth II
1953 --- 1st monarch to have a televised coronation.

Sir Edmund Hillary
1953 --- 1st recorded climb of Mt. Everest.

Sir Roger Bannister
1954 --- 1st person recorded to run a mile race in under four minutes. He broke the four minute barrier at Imey Road, Oxford on the 6 May. His time was 3 minutes 59.4 seconds.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr
1954 --- 1st first African American general in the US Air Force

Marian Anderson
1955 --- 1st African American singer at the Metropolitan Opera. She appeared as Ulrica in Verdi's "The Masked Ball."

Nat King Cole
blank 1955 --- 1st African American US Television host, "The Nat King Cole Show"

Don Larsen
blank 1956 --- pitched the 1st and only perfect game in a World Series, for the New York Yankees.

Althea Gibson
1957 --- 1st African American tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title.

Laika, the dog
1957 --- 1st living creature to orbit the earth. Aboard the Soviet satellite, Sputnik 2.

Julia Child
1958 --- 1st woman designated a full-fledged "Chef."

William O'Ree
1958 --- 1st African American hockey player in the NHL. (Boston Bruins)

Ruth Carol Taylor
1958 --- 1st African American woman to become a stewardess (now, flight attendant) by making her initial flight this day on Mohawk Airlines from Ithaca, NY to New York City.

Clifton R Wharton
1958 --- 1st African American US foreign minister. (Romania)

Hiram L. Fong
1959 --- 1st Chinese-American in US Senate. (Hawaii)

Daniel K. Inouye
1959 --- 1st Japanese-American in US House of Representatives. (Hawaii)

Sirimavo Bandaraneike
1960 --- 1st woman to be elected the head of state. She became the president of Sri Lanka. (Following her were Indira Gandhi of India in 1966 and Golda Meir of Israel in 1969.)

Harry Belafonte
1960 --- 1st African American performer to win a major Emmy award; he was awarded Best Performance in a Variety Show for his TV special "Tonight with Belafonte."

Oveta Culp Hobby
1960 --- 1st woman to serve as US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. She is also the first director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), and the first woman to receive the US Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Wilma Rudolph
1960 --- 1st American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics, on September 7.

Antonio Abertondo
1961 --- 1st person to swim the English Channel non-stop in both directions.

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin
1961 --- 1st human in space, 1st human to orbit Earth.

Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr.
1961 --- 1st American in space; (Freedom 7). 2nd human in space; member of original Mercury 7.

Janet G. Travell
1961 --- 1st woman to hold the post of Personal Physician to the President. (Appointed by Kennedy)

Roy Claxton Acuff
1962 --- 1st living person admitted to Country Music Hall of Fame.

Joan Crawford
1962 --- 1st guest on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," October 1.

John Glenn
1962 --- 1st US astronaut to orbit earth.

Lyndon Baines Johnson
1963 --- 1st US President to wear contact lenses.

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova - Russian cosmonaut
1963 --- 1st woman in space.

Golda Meir
1964 --- 1st Jewish female prime minister, and 1st female prime minister of Israel.

Jerrie Mock
1964 --- 1st around-the-world solo flight by a woman.

Sidney Poitier
1964 --- 1st African American actor to win an Oscar in a major category. He earned the honor for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his role in the film, "Lilies of the Field".

Peter Sellers
1964 --- 1st male to appear on the cover of "Playboy" magazine.

Margaret Chase Smith
1964 --- 1st woman nominated for president of the US by a major political party, at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

Patricia R Harris
1965---1st African American female US ambassador. (Luxembourg)

Alexei Arkhovich Leonov
1965 --- 1st human to walk in space.

Amber Dean Smith
1965---1st ever nude centrefold girl when in 1965 at the age of 19 years she was crowned 'Pet Of The Year' by Penthouse magazine.

Edward Higgins White, Jr.
1965 --- 1st American to walk in space.

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi
1966 --- 1st woman prime minister of India.

Constance Baker Motley
blank 1966 --- 1st femal African American US Federal Judge.

Robert C. Weaver
1966 --- 1st African American in US Presidential Cabinet (LBJ appointed him Secretary of HUD.)

Charles Whiman
1966 --- On Aug. 1, 1966, University of Texas student Charles Whitman barricaded himself and an array of rifles in a 28-story campus tower, shooting 13 students to death and wounding 31. He perpetrated the 1st US school shooting.

Christiaan Barnard - heart surgeon
1967 --- performed the 1st human heart transplant.

Robert H. Lawrence, Jr.
blank 1967 --- 1st African American US astronaut. He died in a plane crash during a training flight and never made it into space.

John Lennon
1967 --- 1st artist on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine (November 9, 1967.)

Thurgood Marshall
1967 --- 1st African American to become a Supreme Court justice.

Muriel Siebert
1967 --- 1st woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. She was also the nation's first- ever discount broker, and the first woman to serve as Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York.

Carl Stokes
1967 --- 1st African American elected as the mayor of a major city. (Cleveland, Ohio)

Louis Washkansky
1967 --- 1st human heart transplant recipient. He lived 18 days with the new heart.

Shirley Chisholm
1968 --- 1st African American woman elected to the US House of Representatives.

Ruth Eisemann-Schier
1968 --- 1st woman placed on the FBI's Most Wanted List (for kidnaping, extortion, and other crimes.)

Neil Armstrong
1969 --- 1st man to walk on the moon.

Barbara Jo Rubin
1969 --- 1st woman jockey to win a race in North America. She was riding Cohesian, at Charlestown Race Course in West Virginia.

Elizabeth P. Hoisington
1970 --- 1st female general in the US armed forces. She was appointed to the post of director of the Women's Army Corps.

Bella Savitsky Abzug
1971 --- 1st Jewish woman in Congress.

Satchel Paige
1971 --- 1st Negro-League player elected to Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fran Phillips
1971 --- 1st woman to set foot on the North Pole, on April 5th.

Berenice Gera
1972 --- 1st female umpire in pro baseball.

Billy Jean King
1972 --- named Sports Illustrated "Sportsperson of the Year," becoming the 1st woman to be so honored.

Sally Jean Priesand
1972 --- 1st ordained woman rabbi in the US.

Mark Spitz - US swimmer
1972 --- 1st athlete to win 7 Olympic gold medals.

Jean Westwood
1972 --- 1st woman to head the US Democratic Party.

Henry Kissinger
1973 --- 1st Jewish US Secretary of State. He was also the 1st naturalized citizen to hold this office.

Emily Warner
1973 --- 1st female commercial airline pilot in the US. (Frontier Airlines)

Mia Farrow
1974 --- appeared on the cover of the 1st People Magazine.

Richard Milhous Nixon
1974 --- 1st and only US president to resign from office.

Mary Louise Smith
1974 --- 1st woman to head the US Republican Party.

Ellen Burstyn
1975 --- 1st person to win an Oscar and a Tony in the same year. These awards were for her performances in the film "Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore" (1974) and the play "Same Time, Next Year."

Junko Tabei
blank 1975 --- 1st woman to climb Mt. Everest

George Carlin
1975 --- 1st guest host on "Saturday Night Live" which premiered on October 11.

Natalie Cole
1975 --- 1st African American to win the Best New Artist Grammy Award.

Ella Grasso
1975 --- 1st woman to become a governor of a state (Connecticut) without a husband preceding her in the governor's chair.

Janis Ian
1975 --- 1st musical guest on TV's "Saturday Night Live".

Junko Tabei
1975 --- 1st woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.

Sarah Caldwell
1976 --- 1st woman to conduct the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Tom Waddell and Charles Deaton
1976 --- 1st gay men to be featured in the "Couples" section of People magazine.

Barbara Walters
1976 --- 1st female newscaster on a US TV network news program. She signed a $5 million (five year) contract with ABC television as the evening news anchorwoman on April 22, 1976.

Billy Crystal
1977 --- played 1st openly gay main character, Jodie Dallas, on network television on ABC's "Soap," which aired from 1977 to 1981.

Bette Davis
1977 --- 1st female motion picture performer to be honored with the Life Achievement Award of the American Film Institute (AFI), the highest honor given for a career in film. (Since the AFI established this award in 1973, only three other women have been honored since Davis: Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, and Lillian Gish. )

Janet Guthrie
1977 --- 1st woman to qualify and race at the Indianapolis 500.

Jacqueline Means
1977 --- 1st woman to be an ordained Episcopal priest

Harvey Milk
1977 --- 1st · acknowledged homosexual elected to high local office (San Francisco Board of Supervisors)

Louise Brown
1978 --- 1st test tube baby. (Lancastershire, England)

Mary Hargrafen (Sister Mary Carl)
1978 --- 1st nun to become a captain in the US Air Force. (Sisters of St. Francis.)

John Paul the Second (Karol Wojtyla)
1978 --- 1st Pole to become pope.
1998 --- 1st pope to visit Cuba. (Jan. 21-25)

Diana Nyad
1979 --- 1st person to swim from the Bahamas to Florida.

Margaret Thatcher
1979 --- Britain's 1st female prime minister.

Sandra Day O'Connor
1981 -- 1st female US Supreme Court justice.

Barney Frank
1981 -- 1st openly gay U.S. Congressperson.

Barney Clark
1982 -- 1st recipient of a permanent artificial heart, on Dec. 2. He lived until March 23, 1983.

Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr. (Guy)
1983 --- 1st African American American in space.

Elizabeth Dole (Mary Elizabeth Hanford)
1983 --- 1st female US Secretary of Transportation.

Sally Kristen Ride
1983 --- 1st US woman in space.

Bruce Springsteen
1983 --- 1st US music CD artist - "Born in the USA" released March 1983

Vanessa Williams
1983 --- 1st African American Miss America. Williams relinquished her crown during her reign when nude pictures of her were published in "Penthouse" magazine.

Joan Benoit
1984 --- winner of the 1st women's Olympic marathon at the Summer Games, held in Los Angeles.

Geraldine Ferraro
1984 --- 1st woman vice-presidential nominee of a major US political party.

Kathryn Sullivan
1984 --- 1st female US astronaut to walk in space.

Penny Harrington
1985 --- 1st woman police chief of a major city. Head of the Portland, Oregon force of 940 officers and staff.

Libby Riddles
1985 --- 1st woman to win the Iditarod, Alaska's 1,135-mile Anchorage-to-Nome dog sled race. She completed the course in 18 days, twenty minutes and seventeen seconds.

Wilma Mankiller
1985 --- 1st woman to lead a major American Indian tribe. She was elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Corazon Aquino
1986 --- 1st woman President of the Philippines. She was later the 1st Philippine president not to seek a second term.

Mary Lund
1986 --- 1st female recipient of an artificial heart.

Christa Sharon McAuliffe
1986 --- 1st teacher selected for the NASA Teacher in Space program. She died, along with the rest of the crew, when the space shuttle Challenger blew up not long after launching.

Oprah Winfrey
1986 --- 1st African-American woman to own her own television production company.

Kofi Annan
1987 --- 1st black Secretary General of the United Nations.

Aretha Franklin
1987 --- 1st female artist inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Mary R. Stout
1987 --- 1st female president of a national veteran group, named by the Vietnam Veterans of America on August 2, 1987.

Clifton Reginald Wharton, Jr.
1987 --- 1st African American to become Chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company (TIAA-CREF).

Kurt Browning
1988 --- 1st figure skater to land a quadruple jump in competition.

Gertrude Belle Elion - pharmacologist
1988 --- 1st woman admitted to National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Justin Fashanu
1988 --- a top soccer player in Britain, reveals that he is gay. He is the 1st athlete in a team sport to come out during his athletic career.

Michael Jordan
1988 --- 1st basketball player pictured on a box of Wheaties cereal.

Penny Marshall
1988 --- 1st woman film director to have a film take in more than $100 million at the box office – "Big."

Mary Wilson
1988 --- 1st female rock star to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame.

Robert Morris
1989 --- On July 26, 1989, Robert Morris was indicted for spreading the Internet’s first worm virus, infecting more than 6,000 university, research center and military computers. He is the 1st hacker ever to be prosecuted.

Antonia Novello
1990 --- 1st woman and first Hispanic to be named Surgeon General of the US.

Barack Hussein Obama Jr.
blank 1990 --- 1st African American president of The Harvard Law Review in its 104-year history.

Lech Walesa
blank 1990 --- Poland’s 1st non-Communist President

Douglas L. Wilder
1990 --- 1st elected African American US governor. (Virginia)

Nadine Strossen
1991 --- 1st female president of the ACLU.

Billy Crystal
1992 --- 1st guest on "The Tonight Show," when Jay Leno permanently replaced Johnny Carson as host.

Mae Carol Jemison
1992 --- 1st African American woman in space (on the Endeavor.)

Sidney Portier
1992 --- 1st African American motion picture performer to be honored with the Life Achievement Award of the American Film Institute (AFI), the highest honor given for a career in film.

Aileen Wuornos
1992 --- 1st female serial killer in America. In 1992 she was charged with the shooting of five middle-aged men she met on highways by hitch hiking. She confessed to shooting seven men in self-defence and was eventually executed on 9th October 2002. Lethal Intent, the Aileen 'Lee' Wuornos story

Madeleine Albright
1993 --- 1st female US Secretary of State. She is the first woman in this position as well as the highest-ranking woman in the United States government.

Maya Angelou
1993 --- 1st female poet to read a poem at a US presidential inauguration. She read "On the Pulse of Morning," at Clinton's inauguration.

Akebono (Chadwick Haheo Rowan)
1993 --- 1st non-Japanese yokozuna (sumo wrestler.)

Carol Elizabeth Moseley-Braun
1993 --- 1st African American woman in US Senate.

Kim Campbell
1993 --- 1st female Prime Minister of Canada.

Barbara Harmer
1993 --- 1st woman to pilot the Concorde (March 25th.)

Janet Reno
1993 --- 1st female US Attorney General.

Shiela Widnall
1993 --- 1st secretary of a branch of the US military (appointed to head the Air Force)

Eileen Marie Collins
1995 --- 1st female space shuttle pilot. She piloted the space shuttle Discovery during a mission to rendezvous with space station Mir.

Rebecca Elizabeth Marier
1995 --- 1st woman to graduate 'top of the class' at West Point, the US Military Academy. The rankings are based on academic, military and physical accomplishments.

Madeleine Albright
1996 --- 1st female US Secretary Of State.

Dolly, the lamb
1996 --- 1st cloned mammal.

Jennifer Daetz, Lieutenant
blank 1997 --- 1st woman to command a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship, the HMAS Shepparton.

Claudia Kennedy, US Army Major General
1997 --- 1st female US three-star general..

Anna Lelkes
1997 --- became the 1st official female member of the Vienna Philharmonic after the orchestra voted to end its all-male policy. She plays the harp.

McCaughey septuplets
Kenneth Robert, Alexis May, Natalie Sue, Kelsey Ann, Nathan Roy, Brandon James, and Joel Steven
1997 --- 1st surviving set of septuplets. Conceived as the result of fertility drugs, they were born in Des Moines, Iowa on November 19, 1997.

Craig Breedlove
1998 --- 1st person to break the sound barrier in a car, at Lake Bonneville, UT, with a trap speed of over 760 MPH.

Jane Henney
1998 --- 1st woman appointed Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)

Johnathan Lee Iverson
1998 --- 1st African American ringmaster in the 129-year history of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. (At age 22, also the youngest.)

Elizabeth Ann Oliver
1998 --- 1st woman to have her baby's birth broadcast live over the Internet. (June 16)

Carlos Santana
1998 --- 1st Hispanic to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lt. Kendra Williams, USN
1998 --- 1st US female combat pilot to bomb an enemy target. On Dec. 16, bombed enemy targets over Iraq during Operation Desert Fox.

Eileen Collins
1999 --- 1st woman astronaut to command a space shuttle mission.

Nancy Ruth Mace
1999 --- 1st female cadet to graduate from the Citadel, the formerly all-male military school in South Carolina.

Cynthia M. Trudell
1999 --- 1st woman to head a US car company, Saturn Corp.

Abdurrahman Wahid
1999 --- 1st elected president of Indonesia (on October 20, 1999).



Famous Firsts 1500's, 1600's, 1700's


Famous Firsts 1800's


Famous Firsts 1900's


Famous Firsts 2000's

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Whose Bright Idea Was That?: Great Firsts of World History

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Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things

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They All Laughed... From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives

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America's Women : Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines

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They Did What? Things Famous People Have Done



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