Women's History Month in Florida

Women’s History in Florida

Florida’s rich history would not be possible without the pioneering women who made this state what it is today. The FSGS celebrates the women of Florida with a list of resources for researching the women of Florida.

Florida Women’s Heritage Trail

Florida Women's Heritage Trail
Click here to download the book.

The cover of this unique book written by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources is a quilt, representing the intricate and diverse patterns of women’s lives.

The Florida Women’s Heritage Trail gives a brief outline of over 100 women significant to Florida history, beginning with the early native Indians and Spanish pioneers and continuing through the end of the 20th century. It’s organized by county and location of historic site and marker, illustrating their role in defining Florida’s past, present and future.


Books and Publications

The Division of Library and Information Services from Florida gives a great list of books and publications available for researching the lives of women in Florida. Some great books include:

Articles & Digital Resources

The Division of Library and Information Services from Florida also brings us a list of articles and digital resources that may be of interest to those researching the women in their family:

Mary Nolan of Florida
Mary Nolan of Florida joined the National Woman’s Party. 
Photograph taken by Edmonston, Washington, D.C., Library of Congress.

Florida’s Suffragettes

2020 celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote!

Congress approved the 19th Amendment in 1919 and it was officially ratified in 1920, granting women their right to vote. Florida did not hold a vote and officially ratified the 19th amendment 13 May 1969, as a symbolic gesture.

Mary Nolan from Jacksonville, Florida was an older activist in the National Women’s Party. She was sent to prison five times as a result of her activism. Nolan was there for the “Night of Terror” at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia, during which guards turned violent and attacked the imprisoned suffragettes. She was arrested many times during the Silent Sentinel demonstrations outside of the Whitehouse. One judge offered to free Nolan, due to her age, and she allegedly responded, “Your honor, I have a nephew fighting for democracy in France. He is offering his life for his country. I should be ashamed if I did not join these brave women in their fight for democracy in America. I should be proud of the honor to die in prison for the liberty of American women.” Mary Nolan became one of the first women to vote in Florida.

More about Suffragette’s in Florida:

Florida Women’s Hall of Fame 2000-2019

According to their website, The Florida Women’s Hall of Fame was created by a 1982 Florida Statute to honor women who  have made significant contributions to the improvement of life for women and all Florida citizens. These women are immortalized on an honorary wall in the halls of the Florida Capitol, whose stories will be shared for future generations.

The 2019 inductees include Doris Mae Barnes of North Miami, Dr. Judith Ann Bense of Pensacola, and Mildred Wilborn Gildersleeve of Lake Worth.

View the full Women’s Hall of Fame inductees here.