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10 Massachusetts women through history who broke the glass ceiling

Amelia Earhart, Abigail Johnson, and Barbara Walters are just some of the female pioneers with ties to this state.

Ameilia Earhart in 1937.AP

From aviation to entertainment, Massachusetts women have breached many gender boundaries.

> 1847 — Year Lucy Stone of West Brookfield graduates from Oberlin, the first Massachusetts woman to receive a college degree

> 1848 — Nantucket's Maria Mitchell becomes the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a year after discovering "Miss Mitchell's Comet," which made her famous and helped her become the first professional female astronomer

> 1937 — Jennie Loitman Barron, born and bred in Boston, is named associate justice of the Boston Municipal Court, becoming the first full-time female judge in Massachusetts

> 2003 — Margaret H. Marshall, first female chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, pens the pioneering decision allowing same-sex marriage


> 39 — Number of works in Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) by Phillis Wheatley, a Boston slave and the first published African-American poet

> 60 — Age of Oxford's Clara Barton when she founded the American Red Cross in 1881; she spent 23 years as its president

> $1 — Face value of the Susan B. Anthony coin issued in 1979, making the Adams-born suffragette the first woman featured on a US coin

> 20 hours & 40 minutes — Time it took Medford resident Amelia Earhart (as logkeeper) and two pilots to cross the Atlantic in 1928, making her the first woman to fly across the ocean; her solo crossing came in 1932

> 16 — Number of American finance companies represented on the Financial Services Forum, of which Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson (of Milton) is the first and only female board member


"I can't tell you how much pleasure it brings me when some . . . young woman comes up to me and tells me of her achievements. That's my legacy." — Boston-born Barbara Walters, who in 1976 became the first female co-anchor of a major network news show


Sources: University of South Carolina; American Red Cross; Financial Services Forum;;; Marie Claire; Susan B. Anthony House;; Boston Women's Heritage Trail; National Immigrant Justice Center; Poetry Foundation; American Academy of Arts and Sciences