Women in Tar Heel History

Suffragettes, including Gertrude Weil, far left, circa 1920

In proclaiming March 2011 as Women’s History Month, Governor Bev Perdue writes:

...through their pioneering efforts, women have paved the way for others to establish careers in science, business, politics, philanthropy and medicine; their achievements are vast and have benefitted the people of North Carolina, the United States and the world.

To get you thinking, stop with us for just a few minutes to remember the heroines of the past:

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Harriet Jacobs was famed as a writer and abolitionist. She hid for many years in and around Edenton before making her escape north to freedom in the days before the Civil War began, and penned a narrative of her experiences in captivity that is considered a classic today.

Walk in Jacobs's Footstops in Edenton

A Pioneer in Education

Charlotte Hawkins Brown believed in the power of education, devoting her life to the Palmer Memorial Institute, an elite prepatory school for young African Americans. Her niece Maria Hawkins Cole, widow of Nat “King” Cole, grew up and studied at PMI. Kimball Hall, the center of the school's campus that is now is a state historic site, will re-open to serve the community next month.

Plan Your Trip to the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum

The First Lady of Parachuting

Vance County native "Tiny” Broadwick is now often called the “First Lady of Parachuting,” with a place in The Guinness Book of World Records for her achievements as a parachutist. In 1913—just a few years after the famous flight by Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk—Broadwick was the first women in America to jump from an airplane. When she died in 1978, the Army’s elite  Golden Knights were her pallbearers.

Learn More About Broadwick's Exceptional Life

Goldsboro's Gertrude Weil

Goldsboro's own Gertrude Weil was a lifelong advocate for extending voting rights to women in the 1920s. A true reformer, she was active in labor, race and Jewish causes.

Read More About Weil and Her Work

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
13 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.