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Changing America's History 
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  1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930
In Mississippi, the Married Woman's Property Act is passed, allowing married women to own property.
Photo: Hat.
Graphic: New York state outline.
July 19-20, 1848
Seneca Falls Convention in New York marks the beginning of the women's equal rights movement. The "Declaration of Sentiments," is read by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Drawing: Harriet TubmanHarriet Tubman, who escaped slavery in 1849, becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She helps more than 300 slaves to freedom by 1858.
Drawing: Martha J. Coston's drawings of pyrotechnic night signal1859
Martha J. Coston is granted a patent for Telegraphic Night Signals, a pyrotechnic signaling system that revolutionizes maritime communication. The U.S. Navy used the system to win battles and rescue shipwreck victims.
[more about maritime navigation]
War between the States.
January 1, 1863
Graphic: A building with columnsPresident Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery

14h Amendment grants citizenship to African Americans.
Graphic: Red, white and blue ribbon.

15th Amendment grants African-American males the right to vote.
Graphic: Red, white and blue ribbon.
May 24, 1883
Photo: Emily Warren RoeblingBrooklyn Bridge opens. Emily Warren Roebling was the surrogate chief engineer from 1872 to 1883, supervising the day-to-day construction, after her husband, Washington Roebling, the Chief Engineer, became bedridden.
[more about bridge construction]

Graphic: globe November 14, 1889, 9:40 a.m.
Photo: Elizabeth Cochrane SeamanJournalist Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, better known as Nellie Bly, begins her attempt to beat the record of Phineas Fogg, the imaginary hero of Jules Verne's novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. Nellie Bly completes her journey on January 25, 1890, 3:51 p.m., exactly 72 days, 6 hours, and 11 minutes from the day she began her trip.

February 8, 1891
New York City resident, Mary Walton, is granted a patent for her railroad sound-dampening apparatus, which laid the tracks in a wood box lined with cotton and filled with sand.
October 3, 1893
General Roy Stone opens the Office of Road Inquiry under the Department of Agriculture. This is the earliest predecessor of the Federal Highway Administration.

The first American horseless carriage, the Duryea was made in 1893.

November 1903
Drawing: Mary Anderson's window cleaning device.Mary Anderson patents a window cleaning device, the predecessor of today's windshield wipers.
[more about automobile inventions]
August 1, 1911
Photo: Harriet QuimbyHarriet Quimby becomes the first female American licensed pilot. She is the first woman to fly across the English Channel on April 16, 1912.
[more about aviation pioneers]

World War I

Photo: Bessie ColemanBessie Coleman, the first African-American female pilot, earns her license from the French Federation Aeronautique. Racial discrimination prevents her from learning to fly in the U.S. She later returns to the U.S., works as a "barnstormer" entertaining crowds with her flying, and promotes the concept of a flying school for African Americans.
[more about aviation pioneers]
August 26, 1920
19th Amendment gives women the right to vote.
Graphic: Red, white and blue ribbon.
April 1922
Photo: Helen SchultzHelen Schultz, the "Iowa Bus Queen," establishes the Red Ball Transportation Company, providing city-to-city transportation by bus.
[more about bus operators]
View 1930 to 2000
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