Tag Archives: Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month: Meet Nellie Neilson

Nellie Neilson
Nellie Neilson
Image courtesy of Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections

Many of the stories we will hear during Women’s History Month will be of “firsts” of pioneers and trailblazers. Often these stories are cast as turning points and new beginnings, as if once the barriers were knocked down, a new world suddenly appeared. But the story of Nellie Neilson, the American Historical Association’s first female president, shows how halting and sporadic change can be.

Nellie Neilson had first been nominated for the presidential position at the AHA in 1932, but wasn’t elected until 1943.