Who is in Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame?
Wearing a scandalous outfit — Turkish pantaloons under a mid-calflength dress — Julia “Anna” Archibald Holmes was proclaimed the “Bloomer Girl on Pikes Peak” for being the first woman to climb to the top of the famous Colorado mountain.
Holmes was a feminist, working alongside men and sharing guard duty while traversing the Colorado Gold Rush, founding women’s suffrage associations and going so far as attempting to vote in 1871, before women were given the right.
She’s also in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, along with more wellknown figures like former Madeleine Albright, Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, Golda Meir and Temple Grandin.
The organization is hosting an opening reception for its traveling portrait exhibit at the University of Denver on Thursday, featuring the stories of the hall’s 152 inductees — women in a wide range of professions that include science, arts, ranching, politics, advocacy, journalism and sports.
“I think we still have a problem with women being recognized, not only in history books but also in the media,” Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame board chair Betty Heid said. “Often today, women leaders are not recognized for their contributions to society. The women we often hear about today are more movie stars or singers. We don’t hear about women leaders.”
The exhibit aims to educate Coloradans on the accomplishments of these women who impacted the state, nation and world, Heid said. It’s important for women and girls to see the achievements of other women so they can be inspired, and to educate men and boys about what women can accomplish.
Among the women in the exhibit: Albright (who worked as a librarian at The Denver Post), America’s first female secretary of state; Judy Collins, a popular folk musician; and Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, a multi-sport athlete who The Associated Press named Female Athlete of the Year six times and Female Athlete of the Half Century.
And we’d be remiss not to mention the late Sue O’Brien, former Denver Post editorial page editor (and the first woman to do the job).
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is an all-volunteer organization that was founded in 1985. New women are inducted every two years. A maximum of 10 women — six contemporary and four historical — can be inducted at a time.
“While a lot of things have changed, it’s still amazing to me how many things have not changed,” Heid said. “We see it by how many women aren’t recognized for their achievements.”
To be inducted into the hall of fame, a woman must be nominated by the public. An independent committee reviews the nominees and presents a slate of candidates to the board, which makes the final decision.
The exhibit’s opening reception is 4:30-7 p.m. on March 30, at the Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women in the Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver. The reception and exhibit are free. To attend, RSVP online at http://dpo.st/ 2mqtACL. The exhibit runs from March 27 to June 26.
For more information, go to cogreatwomen.org.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shake hands held by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1998.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias won the Women’s U.S. Open Golf Championship in 1954. Associated Press file
Sue O’Brien introduces Barbara Bush at the Unique Lives & Experiences lecture in March 2003. O’Brien died later that year. Kent Meireis, Special to The Denver Post
Julia Archibald Holmes was the Bloomer Girl on Pikes Peak.