October 1 – Carolina Scott Harrison was the First First Lady to install electricity in the White House.
October 2 – Ruth Bryan Owen was the First Woman to hold a major diplomatic post. She was appointed minister to Denmark in 1933. She was also the First Woman to serve on a major congressional committee.
October 3 – Gertrude Berg created, wrote and produced the first family sitcom, in 1949. She won the first Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in the show.
October 3 – Ruth Muskrat Bronson, was the first guidance and placement officer of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
October 6 – Susie King Taylor was the First African American to openly teach former slaves. She was also a nurse during the Civil War.
October 7 – Tania Aebi, was the First U.S. Woman to sail around the world solo. The trip took 27 months.
October 10 – Alice Jordan Blake was the First Woman to graduate in law from Yale. Yale had to admit her because their regulations did not preclude women. After Blake’s admittance Yale re-wrote its admissions requirements to expressly exclude women.
October 11 – Eleanor Roosevelt was the First presidential spouse to hold press conferences, speak at a national convention, or write a newspaper column.
October 12 – Amy Eilberg was the First Woman ordained as a rabbi in Conservative Judaism, 1985.
October 13 – Mary McCauley, also known as “Molly Pitcher” was the First Woman to receive a military pension from a state government when Pennsylvania awarded her an annual pension of $40 after the Revolutionary War.
October 14 – Hannah Arendt, a political theorist, was the First Woman lecturer at Princeton, in 1959.
October 15 – Fanny Jackson Coppin was the First African American Woman to run a university in the United States. She headed what is now Cheyney University in 1869.
October 16 – Lucy Stanton was the First African-American to complete a four-year course of study, at Oberlin College in 1850. She became a staunch abolitionist.
October 17 – Mae Jemison was the First African American Woman to become an astronaut.
October 18 – Brittney Griner was the first WNBA player to dunk the ball and the first to do it twice in the same game.
October 19 – Bertha K. Landes, of Seattle, Washington, was the First Woman mayor of a major American city.
October 19 – Consuelo Bailey was the First (and only) Woman in the country to provide over both chambers of a state legislature. She was president of the Senate and speaker of the House in Vermont.
October 20 – Maud Nathan may have been the First Woman to give a speech in a synagogue in place of the rabbi’s sermon, in 1897.
October 22 – Abigail Scott Duniway was the First Woman to register to vote in Oregon.
October 23 – Gertrude Ederle, an American, was the First Woman to swim the English Channel, in 1905.
October 24 – Annie Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls, in a custom-built barrel in 1901.
October 26 – Hillary Clinton was the First First Lady to win elected office when she became Senator of New York; the First Woman to win a presidential primary, and the First Woman nominated by a major party for President.
October 28 – Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was the First Woman to speak before the United States Congress, in 1864.
October 29 – Vonetta Flowers was the first black athlete, male or female, to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
October 30 – Gertrude Atherton was the First Woman President of the National Academy of American Literature, in 1934.
October 31 – Shirley Dinsdale was the First Woman to receive an Emmy award, as Outstanding Television Personality, for an early children’s television show, 1949