BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, former first lady Betty Ford and horse racing’s most successful female jockey, Julie Krone, are among this year’s inductees into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the hall announced Wednesday.
Nine women will be enshrined at an Oct. 12 ceremony in Seneca Falls, the western New York village where the first known women’s rights convention was held.
Pelosi is being recognized for 25 years in politics and as the nation’s first female House speaker and first woman to lead a major U.S. political party. She called the recognition an honor and privilege.
“All I have achieved has been possible because of the work of our forebears,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The foundation of our progress as a nation and a people rests on the deeds and courage of the women who grace the walls of the Hall of Fame.”
The inductees also include: midwife and author Ina May Gaskin; feminist Kate Millett; Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, who founded Maryknoll Sisters; education activist Bernice Resnick Sandler; research economist Anna Jacobson Schwartz and 19th century educator Emma Hart Willard.
“We are grateful for the work of all the women we honor this year as their pioneering achievements have opened doors for so many,” said Beverly Ryder, co-president of the hall’s board of directors.
“Their efforts impact the lives of both women and men, girls and boys, and provide us with outstanding examples of the importance of perseverance, commitment and the desire for change,” Ryder said.
Ford, who died in 2011, is remembered for her candor in sharing her struggles with cancer and addiction. In 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center to treat substance abuse.
Born in 1963, Krone recorded more than 3,700 wins, including the 1993 Belmont Stakes, to become the leading female thoroughbred jockey of all time. She retired in 2004.
The inductees join the ranks of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, tennis pro Billie Jean King, astronaut Sally Ride and actress Lucille Ball. In all, 247 women have been inducted so far.
“Each class of inductees becomes part of a singular group of women,” co-President Beth Quillen Thomas said, “whose achievements inspire us all.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)