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Contributed by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records: State Archives
The Arizona Women's Hall of Fame was founded in 1979 with a partnership between the Arizona Women's Commission and the office of Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt. For the first twelve years, the Arizona Humanities Council provided funding and biographies while the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records researched, oversaw and hosted committees and events. Four to six women were inducted each year at ceremonies hosted across Phoenix.
In 1991, controversy arose over the induction of Margaret Sanger Slee for her promotion of family planning and birth control. The Arizona Women's Hall of Fame was mostly silenced. During this hiatus, many historic events passed that celebrated women in history. These events include the 75th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls conference. Interest in the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame rose. In 2000, the Director of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records approached the board to resume the nominations and inductions.
After the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame resumed, inductions began again in 2002 and have been conducted since every two years. The Archives Division of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records leads the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame, and works with a committee that includes the Arizona Historical Society, the Sharlot Hall Museum, the Governor's Office for Women, and the Arizona Humanities Council. More information can be found at the Arizona Women's Hall of Fame website.
The Arizona Women's Hall of Fame is a posthumous tribute to women who helped shape the history of Arizona through a variety of leadership roles. These women range from teachers to pilots, ranchers, nurses, musicians, impresarios, and cultural preservationists.