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1916-1921: Margaret Sanger starts the first 'birth control' clinic in Brooklyn, NY and forms the American Birth Control League, the precursor to Planned Parenthood. | Margaret Sanger abre su primera clínica para el “control de la natalidad” en Brooklyn, New York y forma la Liga Americana para el Control de la Natalidad, precursora de la Federación de Planificación Familiar.

Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton (December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912) was a pioneer American teacher, patent clerk, nurse, and humanitarian. At a time when relatively few women worked outside the home, Barton built a career helping others. One of her greatest accomplishments was founding the American Red Cross. This organization helps victims of war and disasters. She was never married, but had a relationship with John J. Elwell.

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a determined and fiery organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, Wobblies), a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and an activist for women’s rights, birth control, and women’s suffrage.  She died in 1964. She was Joe Hill's "Rebel Girl."

Japanese suffragist Kamako Kimura visiting the U.S., 1917

Hostility towards women's health didn't seem to faze Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who became the first woman to receive doctor of medicine degree from an American medical school. She also opened the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children in 1857 with two other women: her sister, Dr. Emily Blackwell, and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska.


The 25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) Every sexually-active person who doesn't think twice about parenthood can thank Margaret Sanger. As a nurse on New York City's impoverished Lower East Side, Sanger spent much of her time treating women who were injured during botched illegal abortions. As a result of this, she became convinced that contraceptive control was the primary avenue to freedom (and out of poverty) for women like her mother, who died young after giving birth to 11 children. Though she was…

Clara Barton, 1821 - 1912, Civil War nurse, founder of the American Red Cross

"Fania Esiah Mindell was born in Minsk, Russia on December 15, 1894. She emigrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1906 with her parents and family, and became a US citizen in 1919." "As a young political activist in 1916 she met the now famous feminist Margaret Sanger and her sister Ethel Byrne. Together, the three women opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in Brooklyn known as the "Brownsville Clinic" (after the Brownsville section of Brooklyn in which it was located)."

Bessie Coleman, the first female pilot of African American descent to have an International pilots license