Tuesday marked a historic moment as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major political party. Clinton joined good company when she claimed the "first" title. Here are 13 powerful women who chipped away at the glass ceiling by achieving historic firsts.
Computer Scientist: Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is considered to be the first female computer scientist. She worked with close friend Charles Babbage on plans for a computing machine in 1834 — they were some of the first people to come up with the concept.
Editor of Major U.S. Newspaper: Cornelia Walter became the first woman to serve as editor of a major U.S. newspaper when she took over as editor of the Boston Transcript in 1842. She was 27 at the time.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
American Doctor: In 1849, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to get a medical degree at an American university.
American Lawyer: Arabella Mansfield of Iowa became the first woman officially recognized as a lawyer in the United States when she passed the bar exam in 1869. Although she did not go on to practice law, she taught at several colleges.
Presidential Candidate: Though she received no electoral votes, Victoria Woodhull ran for president in 1872 as the People's Party candidate — nearly 50 years before women could even vote. She was jailed on Election Day on obscenity charges.
Prime Minister: Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first female prime minister or president of a country when she was elected as prime minister of Sri Lanka in 1960.
In Space: Valentaina Tereshkova was the first woman to fly in space when Russia's Vostok 6 launched June 16, 1963. Almost exactly 20 years later, Sally Ride became the first American woman to accomplish the feat when the Challenger launched June 18, 1983.
CEO of Fortune 500 Company: Serving as CEO of The Washington Post from 1963 to 1991, Katharine Graham was the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 Company.
Boston Marathon Runner: When Bobbi Gibb's 1966 application to run the Boston Marathon was rejected because she was a woman, she decided to join in anyway. After sneaking into the starting gate, she ran the marathon in 3:21:40.
Military Academy Graduate: Andrea Hollen was the first of 62 women to graduate from West Point University in the class of 1980. She also received a Rhodes scholarship.
Oscar-Winning Director: Winning an Oscar in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. She was the fourth woman to be nominated for that award.
Head of Major U.S. Sports Magazine: ESPN hired Alison Overholt to be editor of ESPN The Magazine in January, making her the first woman to lead a major American sports magazine.
SEAL Candidates: In light of the recent law change that allows women to serve in more combat military roles, the first female SEAL candidates could start training in late August, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. That means a female Navy SEAL could be just a couple of years away.