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Timeline of change

Key dates on the road to diversity

By TIMES STAFF WRITER
Published March 18, 2007


The path to diversity is dotted with some key events including these:

1961
President Kennedy signs executive order for equitable pay regardless of gender.

1962
Beth Johnson is first woman elected to the Florida Senate.

1964
Where it all began: President Lyndon B. Johnson shakes hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after signing the Civil Rights Act.

1965
Voting Rights Act is signed.

1967
Thurgood Marshall is the first black justice on U.S. Supreme Court.

1970
Gwen Cherry of Miami is first black woman elected to the Florida House.

Athalie Range is first black and first woman to head a Florida agency.

1975

Joseph Hatchett is appointed the first black justice on the Florida Supreme Court.

1981
Sandra Day O'Connor appointed first woman to U.S. Supreme Court.

1982
Carrie Meek is first black woman elected to the Florida Senate.

1983
Helen Popovich is first woman to become president of a public university in Florida - Florida Atlantic University.

1985
Rosemary Barkett is appointed as first woman to Florida Supreme Court.

1989
Adam Herbert is named the first black president of a major Florida university - University of North Florida.

1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act is signed.

1993
Janet Reno becomes first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general.

1996
California voters approve Proposition 209, which banned the use of racial or gender preferences in public hiring, contracting and university education.

1999
Gov. Jeb Bush eliminates race-based policies for college admissions and state contracts.

2001
Ken Chenault becomes one of the first black CEOs of a Fortune 500 firm - American Express.

2005
Mel Martinez becomes the first Cuban-American in U.S. Senate.