1940 World War II begins, and women begin to take more of a role in the workforce, filling in the jobs of husbands on the front line in order to keep their families alive. Even though women weren’t given equal rights in the workforce just yet, it was a great step in the right direction.
1955 The Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first lesbian organization in the United States, is founded.
1960 The Food and Drug Administration approves birth control pills.
1961 JFK establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman.
1963 Betty Friedan publishes her highly influential book The Feminine Mystique, which describes the dissatisfaction felt by middle-class American housewives with the narrow role imposed on them by society. Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job.
1966 The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded by a group of feminists including Betty Friedan The largest women's rights group in the U.S., NOW seeks to end sexual discrimination, especially in the workplace, by means of legislative lobbying, litigation, and public demonstrations.
1967 Affirmative Action Law makes federal agencies and contractors take active measures to ensure that women as well as minorities enjoy the same educational and employment opportunities as white males.
1968 The EEOC rules that sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers are illegal. This ruling is upheld in 1973 by the Supreme Court, opening the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs that were usually open only to men.
1969 California becomes the first state to…