New York State Senate Celebrates Women's History Month

March 14, 2011

The New York State Senate today celebrated Women’s History Month by announcing an exhibit honoring historic New York women whose achievements in arts, science, government, military, labor, education, and social reform have earned them recognition as “Women of Distinction.”

The Women of Distinction exhibit features historic New York women, from suffragists to geneticists, labor organizers to entertainers, whose contributions are still felt today and who stand as an inspiration to the next generation of inventors, explorers, and achievers.  The exhibit will be on display in Albany from March 14-18 at the Legislative Office Building.   Some of the women in the display include Susan B. Anthony, Lucille Ball, “Grandma Moses” Robertson, Harriet Tubman, Emma Willard, among others, all with strong links to New York State.

“We celebrate Women’s History Month to recognize the remarkable accomplishments women have made to our society,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “As part of this celebration, the Senate’s Women of Distinction exhibit helps promote public awareness for notable New York women so that their contributions can continue to have a positive impact on our state and inspire our residents.”

The exhibit includes three new honorees: America’s first trained nurse, Linda Richards of Potsdam, (1841-1930); women’s advocate Mary Wiltsie Fuller of Troy and the Glens Falls area (1862-1943); and the first African-American female doctor in New York and the third in the nation, Susan Smith McKenney Steward (1847-1918) of Brooklyn.

Also, to mark the 10th anniversary of the unprecedented tragedy that befell our state and nation on September 11, 2001, please take a moment to remember honorees Moira Smith, a decorated NYPD Officer; Captain Kathy Mazza, the first female commandant of the Port Authority Police Training Academy; and Yamel Merino, New York State’s 2001 Emergency Medical Technician of the Year. These three heroes were among the first responders on the scene at the World Trade Center and were responsible for saving the lives of hundreds.

The Senate is also offering an online Women of Distinction exhibit through www.nysenate.gov which features additional information about the inductees and September 11th  honorees. The online exhibit contains easy-to-read biographies of these great women, as well as identifying resources, many online, to help visitors learn more.

The Women of Distinction program was created by the Senate in 1998 to recognize the historic contributions of New Yorkers in celebration of National Women’s History Month, observed each March.