Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo

Smith, Lena Olive (1885–1966)

Lena Olive Smith was a prominent civil rights lawyer and activist during the 1920s and 1930s. She made major contributions toward securing civil rights for minorities in the Twin Cities. Smith began fighting for the rights of others when she became the first African American woman licensed to practice law in Minnesota in 1921. She was the only African American woman to practice law in the state until 1945.

Tinted cabinet photograph of Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark Van Cleve taken by Floyd and Power c.1875.

Charlotte O. Van Cleve

Tinted cabinet photograph of Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark Van Cleve taken by Floyd and Power c.1875.

Van Cleve, Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark (1819–1907)

Charlotte Ouisconsin Clark Van Cleve was the child of a military family and a crusader for the rights of disadvantaged people in Minnesota and beyond. Born during her parents' journey to help build the future Fort Snelling, she lived to see a fledgling community grow into an urban center.

Black and white photograph of the Chapel of St. Paul, c.1855.

Chapel of St. Paul

The first Chapel of St. Paul, c.1855.

Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Paul Province: Origins and Foundations

In 1851 Bishop Joseph Cretin needed help to preach the Catholic faith to the growing St. Paul community. In July of that year he asked the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Missouri to assist him. Mother St. John Fournier and three Catholic sisters traveled to the city in the fall and quickly influenced the health and welfare of the region.

Black and white image of a pinback button created to support Rosalie Wahl's first campaign for election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1978.

Rosalie Wahl Supreme Court campaign button

Pinback button created to support Rosalie Wahl's first campaign for election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1978.

Black and white photograph of Rosalie Wahl (left) and Mary Peek (right),1977.

Rosalie Wahl and Mary Peek

Photograph of Rosalie Wahl (left) and Mary Peek (right),1977.

Black and white photograph of Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Rosalie Wahl, 1978. Photograph by Kathy Drazen.

Rosalie E. Wahl, Associate Justice Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Rosalie Wahl, 1978. Photograph by Kathy Drazen.

Wahl, Rosalie (1924–2013)

Rosalie Wahl was a pioneering figure in Minnesota law during the second half of the twentieth century. She became the state's first female Supreme Court justice at a time when there were no women on the U.S. Supreme Court.

MN90: Women Strike for Equal Pay

In the late 1970s, eight female employees from the Citizens’ National Bank in Willmar stirred up controversy in their town and across the country when they filed a complaint against the bank for unequal pay and gender discrimination. The Willmar 8, as they were called, formed their own union and went on strike for two years. MN90 producer Marisa Helms tells us the Willmar 8 came to symbolize the uphill climb many American women face when seeking equity in the workplace.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Women