New York State Senate Celebrates Women’s History Month

Patrick M. Gallivan

March 14, 2011

ALBANY – To celebrate Women’s History Month, the New York State Senate today announced an exhibit honoring historic New York women whose achievements in arts, science, government, military, labor, education, and social reform has earned them recognition as Women of Distinction.

This 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, all of whom were among the first responders on the scene at the World Trade Center, literally saving the lives of hundreds.

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, March 14-18 at the Legislative Office Building. Senator Gallivan is also offering an online Women of Distinction exhibit through his web site,

“Women’s History Month is a time to take stock of the enormous contributions of great women from our past. The Women of Distinction exhibit singles out just a few of these extraordinary people as an example of women’s achievements that continue to this very day,” said Senator Gallivan.

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.

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.