Marie Watkins Oliver - Designer of Missouri FlagWomen’s History Month Fun Facts

Founded on March 8, 1857, Women’s History Month began as a staged protest in New York factories over working conditions. In 1981 Congress established a Women’s History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. Every year since then, Congress has passed a resolution for March to be Women’s History Month. In honor of Missouri women, MERIC has compiled these fun facts.

Famous Missouri Women

Marie Watkins Oliver

Designed Missouri State Flag.

Maya Angelou
Born as Marguarite Johnson in St. Louis April 4, 1928. Pulitzer Prize Winner and author of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

Catherine L. Hanaway
First female Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Janet L. Kavandi
NASA astronaut logging 33 days in space and traveling over 13.1 million miles in 535 earth orbits.

Dr. Grace Mountjoy
One of Missouri's first female physicians. Dr. Mountjoy graduated from the University of Missouri's School of Medicine in 1908 at the age of 25. Mountjoy charged 50 cents for an office visit and $1 for a house call.

Lorna Kemper
Founded Missouri’s Girls Town

DeVerne Lee Calloway
First African American woman elected to the Missouri House of Representatives.

Alise Martiny
First woman president of a labor union in Missouri. Currently she holds the office of president of the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Local Union #518 in Kansas City.

Emma Knell
First Republican woman to serve in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Mary Paxton Keeley
First woman graduate from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Agnes Moore
First Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Jean Carnahan
First Missouri woman to serve in the US Senate.

Gwen Giles
First African American woman elected to the Missouri Senate.


2.4 Million
Number of women in Missouri.


1.47 Million
Estimated number of mothers aged 15 to 50 in Missouri.

National average number of children that women 40 to 44 had given birth to as of 2004.


The percentage of Missouri women aged 25 to 44 who have obtained a Bachelor's Degree or higher.

Percent of Missouri women aged 25 or older who completed high school as of 2006.


The number of Missouri women-owned businesses. These businesses generated 19 billion dollars in revenue.

Women-owned businesses in Missouri make up 1.9 percent of all women-owned businesses in the US.


Sources: Missouri Women’s Council
Census Bureau



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