This Day In History: 2017-05-15

1963 – “First African-American Woman to Hold a Cabinet Position and Serve as a U.S. Ambassador” Advocate of women’s rights, Patricia Roberts Harris was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to co-chair the National Women’s Committee for Civil Rights. In 1965, one year after the civil rights act, Patricia R. Harris made history under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the first black female U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg. She broke another barrier two years later as the first Dean of Law at her alma mater, Howard University; she became the first black woman to head a law school in the U.S.

History Spotlight

2017 November 18, 1945 - "Wilma Mankiller, First Female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, is Born" Wilma Mankiller, who served as the Chief of the Cherokee Nation for ten years from 1985 to 1995, was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In 1985, Mankiller became the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Before serving in this capacity, she served as the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation for two years, getting elected to the post in 1983. Mankiller became the Chief when Ross Swimmer died in 1985, but was elected to the post in 1987 and then reelected in 1991. Under the U.S. federal policy of Native American self-determination, Mankiller improved federal-tribal negotiations.

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