Backwards in High Heels: Getting Women Elected 1842-1990

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Museum Exhibit or ProgramThis is a web exhibit that was part of a gallery exhibit featured by the Austin History Center in 2014. This online exhibit is still available for viewers. In its earliest days, Austin sat at the edge of the frontier. The first people to settle and build this city had to be made of sterner stuff, including women. Named as the Republic of Texas’ capital city in 1839, Austin has long been a political city. But women were not welcome to participate in politics. If women had political opinions, those ideas had to be expressed through their husbands. Since those early days, though, Austin has had outspoken female residents who voiced their political leanings despite not being able to vote or hold office. In the early 20th century Austin was home to many ardent suffragists, but it was a longer struggle to get women into elected office. Not until mid-century did Austin have its first city councilwoman. It was not until the 1970s that Travis County had female legislators or Austin its first woman mayor. It was in 1990 that Texas had its first female governor elected in her own right, not as a package deal with her husband. Though women serving in politics is more commonplace today, the efforts of many brave women over the course of about 150 years helped Austin to become a city where female politicians are accepted. This exhibition explores the stories of these women, especially highlighting those whose collections reside here. Here is a list of the different components of this exhibit: "Anonymous was a Woman" Women's Work Frontier Justice: Early Political Acts Political Pioneers Votes For Women A Foot in the Door Emancipation and Participation: Early Office Holders Local Legitimacy: City Councilwomen Carole Keeton Representation and Responsibility: State Legislators Barbara Jordan Ann Richards Ladies of the Club: Texas' First Ladies Collective Power: Women's Organizations
Source:Austin History Center
Grade Level:Both
TEKS:4.5(A), 7.7(C)

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