Above: Left, Carrie Augusta Moore. Right, Maribel Vinson (center) with Robin Lee (left) and Erle Reiter (right) en route to the 1936 Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Compiled by Ryan Stevens
1801 — A century after the Salem witch trials, a school teacher from Salem was slandered in local newspapers for teaching “her female students the art of skating.”
1863 — A Layafette, Indiana, man filed for divorce on the grounds of “incompatibility of temper” because his wife disobeyed him and pursued her passion for skating.
1872 — Carrie Augusta Moore toured Europe, performing a series of shows on ice and rollers.
1906 — Chicago’s Isabella Butler was the first woman to submit an application to compete in the Championships of America. This “privilege” was flatly denied because AAU President James E. Sullivan was a crusader for keeping women out of sporting events.
1915 — German Eisballet star Charlotte Oelschlägel was the first figure skater to perform on Broadway. She went on to star in the first skating-themed silent film, The Frozen Warning.
1924 — Beatrix Loughran was the first American woman to win a medal at Worlds. Loughran won three Olympic medals in two disciplines during her career.
1952 — Katherine Miller Sackett was the first American woman to judge at the World Championships.
1953 — Tenley Albright was the first American woman to win a gold medal at Worlds. In 1956, she became America’s first Olympic champion in women’s figure skating.
1955 — American women swept the podium at the North American Championships for the first time.
1956 — Carol Heiss won her first of five World titles. She became the second American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in 1960.
1961 — Maribel Vinson Owen coached her two daughters, Maribel and Laurence, to gold medals at the U.S. Championships. It was the first time a mother and two daughters all won U.S. senior titles. Shortly after, all three were tragically killed in the crash of Sabena Flight 548.
1963 — Theresa Weld Blanchard, the first American woman to win an Olympic figure skating medal, the first woman to pass the USFSA’s eighth (gold) test and one of the founders of SKATING magazine, was the first woman to be given an honorary USFSA membership.
1965 — In Colorado Springs, Jane Vaughn Sullivan served on the first judging panel at Worlds in which women outnumbered men – 5-4.
1968 — Peggy Fleming won America’s only gold medal at the Olympics in Grenoble, captivating millions with her magical performance.
1972 — Janet Lynn was the first American woman to earn a perfect mark of 6.0 at the Olympics.
1976 — Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill was the first singles skater to earn a perfect mark of 6.0 in the short program at the Games.
1976 — Olympic champions Sonja Henie, Tenley Albright, Peggy Fleming, Carol Heiss and Andrée Brunet were the first five women to be inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
1982 — Elaine Zayak “broke the system” by successfully completing an unheard-of six triple jumps in her winning performance at Worlds. Her array of triple toe loops and toe walleys led to the ISU passing a rule popularly referred to as “the Zayak rule,” limiting the repetition of jumps.
1986 — Debi Thomas was the first skater of color to win both a U.S. senior women’s and World title. Two years later, she was the first skater of color to win an Olympic medal in women’s figure skating.
1991 — American women swept the World podium for the first time.
1991 — Tonya Harding was the first woman to land a triple Axel in combination, the first woman to land a triple Axel in the short program and the first woman to complete two triple Axels in one competition.
1992 — Kristi Yamaguchi was the first Asian American skater to win an Olympic gold medal.
1992 — Claire Ferguson was the first woman to serve as USFSA president. She was also the first American woman to serve on the ISU Council.
1995 — Jo Lawless was the first woman to serve as the chief referee at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
1997 — Mabel Fairbanks was the first woman of color to be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
1998 — Tara Lipinski was the youngest woman ever to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating.
2000 — Angela Nikodinov was the first American woman to win the Four Continents Championships.
2001 — Two-time Olympic medalist and five-time World champion Michelle Kwan was the first female figure skater to receive the James E. Sullivan Award, given to America’s top amateur athlete in any sport. A figure skater hadn’t won in 53 years.
2002 — Sarah Hughes struck Olympic gold, making history as the first woman to land two triple-triple combinations in her winning performance.
2007 — American women swept the podium at the World Junior Championships for the first time.
2018 — Mirai Nagasu was the first American woman to land a triple Axel at the Olympics.
2021 — Kadari Taylor-Watson was hired as the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion director at U.S. Figure Skating.
2022 — Starr Andrews was the first African American U.S. skater to earn a Grand Prix Series medal, with silver at Skate Canada International.
2023 — Tracy Marek was hired as the first female chief executive officer at U.S. Figure Skating.