September 25, 1981 was a big one for American jurisprudence as Sandra Day O’Connor, an appeals court judge from Arizona, was sworn in as the first woman on the Supreme Court.
A strict federalist judge, O’Connor’s time at the Supreme Court was marked by a laser focus and careful consideration to contradict herself in future decisions. As a result, she ended up casting the deciding vote in a number of landmark cases.
In 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsberg joined O’Connor on the bench, and since retiring, Sonia Sotoymayor and Elena Kagan have also joined the nation’s highest court.
Find out more about the historical events of the day and watch more videos at Timeline.