Vel Phillips achieved many firsts, including first woman and first African American to be elected to the statewide office of secretary of state.
At age 16, Caroline Quarlls was the first known person to escape slavery through Wisconsin’s Underground Railroad network.
Barbara Nichols was the first African American president of the Wisconsin Nursing Association and of the American Nursing Association.
Gwen Moore was the first African American from the state of Wisconsin to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Golda Meir was a teacher and organizer in Milwaukee before becoming Israel's first female prime minister in 1969.
Katharine Lyall was the first woman president of the University of Wisconsin System.
Barbara Lawton, forty-third lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, was the first woman to be elected to that position.
Community leader Helen Connor Laird was the inspiration for the Laird Endowment Fund for the Arts in central Wisconsin.
Elected by the La Crosse Area Synod in 1992, Rev. April Ulring Larson became the first female Lutheran bishop in North America and the second in the world.