Women are admitted for the first time at Colby College. It is the first college in New England to begin admitting women.
Sigma Kappa is founded at Colby College by the first 5 women to attend the institution.
Nov 9th, 1874RELATED ITEM: "Ladies Hall" at Colby College Photograph
The first Alpha chapter initiation is held on February 17, 1875. Founder Louise Coburn gives a special speech to the new members.
Feb 17th, 1875RELATED ITEM: Louise Coburn Address to Candidate at Initiation, February 17, 1875
Founder Elizabeth (Lizzie) Hoag contracted tuberculosis in the spring of 1875. Her mother took her to Portland, Maine hoping for a cure, but she died on June 14, 1875.
Jun 14th, 1875
Lavender and maroon are first mentioned as sorority colors.
AT the annual reunion meeting in 1892, the violet is chosen by unanimous vote as the sorority flower at the earnest request of Nellie Bakeman Donovan.
1892RELATED ITEM: Cross-Stitched Violet Pin
It is decided to fill the ranks of Alpha chapter, to initiate no more into Beta and Gamma chapter, and to extend Sigma Kappa to other institutions beyond Colby College.
The 1893 World's Fair, known as the World's Columbian Exposition, opens in Chicago.
The Triangle badge - "maroon enamel, unjeweled" is adopted as the badge of Sigma Kappa.
1894RELATED ITEM: Dorothy Pellett Badge with Alpha Epsilon Chapter Guard, 1954
1896RELATED ITEM: Sigma Kappa Odes, 1896
The United States Supreme Court issues a ruling on Plessy v. Ferguson, establishing the separate-but-equal doctrine.
May 18th, 1896
The Spanish-American War begins with the U.S. intervening on the side of Cuba in the Cuban War of Independence. When the war ends, the United States temporarily controls Cuba and owns Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine islands. The Philippines does not gain independence until 1946. Puerto Rico and Guam remain U.S. possessions to this day.
Apr 21st, 1898 - Aug 13th, 1898
President William McKinley is assassinated, and Theodore Roosevelt becomes U.S. president.
Sep 14th, 1901
Alpha Phi calls the first inter-sorority meeting that resulted in the formation of the association now known as the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).
May 24th, 1902
The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series played in Major League Baseball.
The age of flight is born as the Wright brothers stage the first successful flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Dec 17th, 1903
Sigma Kappa is incorporated under the laws of the state of Maine.
With the installation of Delta Chapter, three alumnae chapters are almost immediately organized - Portland, Waterville, and Boston.
1904RELATED ITEM: Sigma Kappa Alumnae Chapters/Clubs Map, March 1986
Sigma Kappa is admitted to the National Panhellenic Conference.
A new song book, edited by Sara M. Collins, Delta, is published.
The Sigma Kappa Triangle, Sigma Kappa's official magazine, is established. The magazine has been published regularly since its first issue in January 1907.
Jan 1907RELATED ITEM: Sigma Kappa Triangle, Vol. XIV, No. 4, September 1920
Ford begins producing the Model T.
Oct 1st, 1908
1911RELATED ITEM: Sigma Kappa Coat-of-Arms Felt Patch
The British ocean liner RMS Titanic sinks.
Apr 15th, 1912
Jul 28th, 1914 - Nov 11th, 1918
The pearl is adopted as the official sorority jewel.
The U.S. declares war on Germany, thus entering World War I.
Apr 6th, 1917
The 18th Amendment becomes law, making liquor, beer, and wine illegal. Prohibition continues until 1933.
Jan 16th, 1919
A second edition of the song book, edited by Sara M. Collins, Delta, is published.
1920RELATED ITEM: New Member Pin
After decades of speeches, rallies, parades, and women demanding the right to vote at the federal level, the U.S. Secretary of State certifies the ratification of the 19th Amendment, stating that no citizen could be denied the right to vote on the basis of sex. Twenty-six million women become voters.
Aug 26th, 1920
History of Sigma Kappa, 1874-1924, edited by Emma E. Kinne, Epsilon, is published.
The first National headquarters is established in Reading, Massachusetts.
Mar 4th, 1926RELATED ITEM: Mary Low Carver Cabinet Card
The name, Sigma Kappa, is trademarked and copyrighted.
The Great Depression, the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world, lasts from 1929-1939. At the beginning of the depression, 25 percent of the workforce is unemployed, and hourly wages drop 60 percent.
1929 - 1939
The U.S. stock market crashes, beginning the Great Depression.
Oct 29th, 1929
Ruth E. Litchen, Xi, is appointed Executive Secretary and the national headquarters is moved to Lawrence, Kansas.
Sep 26th, 1930RELATED ITEM: Ida Mabel Fuller Pierce Portrait Cabinet Card
The 21st Amendment passes, repealing the 18th Amendment and making alcohol legal once again.
Dec 5th, 1933
Feb 6th, 1935RELATED ITEM: Frances Mann Hall Picture Postcard, 1933
The national headquarters is moved to Indianapolis, Indiana and Margaret H. Taggart, Alpha Iota, is appointed as its director.
In honor of Sigma Kappa's 60th anniversary, a poetry anthology edited by Lillian M. Perkins, Omicron, entitled Brave Maroon is published.
The Loyal Order of Confirmed Conventionites - women who have attended three or more National Conventions - is established at the 1936 National Convention, although the idea of the order had been mentioned as early as 1928.
Sep 1936RELATED ITEM: Barbara Clarkson Green Pickle Pin
The first traveling secretary (field consultant), Ruth Norton Donnelly, Lambda, is appointed.
World War II sees more than 300,000 women serve in the military as part of the WACs, WAVEs and SPARs. Many other women join the workforce while the men go off to war.
Sep 1st, 1939 - Sep 2nd, 1945
The October 1941 issue of the Sigma Kappa Triangle serves as the fourth songbook.
The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and other U.S. possessions in the Pacific, prompting the United States to enter World War II.
Dec 7th, 1941
President Harry S. Truman appoints the Committee on Civil Rights to investigate the status of civil rights in the United States.
The U.S. and 11 other Western nations form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The last living Founder of Sigma Kappa, Louise Coburn, passes away at the age of 93.
Feb 7th, 1949RELATED ITEM: Louise Coburn and Grandniece Photograph, August 1938
History of Sigma Kappa, 1874-1949, written by Lillian M. Perkins, Omicron, is published.
The Korean War begins when Communist North Korean forces invade South Korea. Fighting ends when an armistice is signed on July 27, 1953, but the war never officially ends.
Jun 25th, 1950 - Jul 27th, 1953
The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
The number of television sets in the United States is at 32 million, up from just 3.1 million in 1950.
The undeclared war in Vietnam begins in 1955, lasting for 19 years.
Nov 1st, 1955 - Apr 30th, 1975
With the purchase of a permanent national headquarters at 3433 Washington Blvd in Indianapolis, Indiana, Sigma Kappa becomes one of the first NPC groups to own its own home.
1956RELATED ITEM: Sigma Kappa Washington Boulevard National Headquarters Photograph
Sputnik, a Soviet satellite, is launched, beginning the Space Age.
Oct 4th, 1957
Sigma Kappa and Pi Kappa Sigma sororities merge.
1959RELATED ITEM: Merger Completed of Sigma Kappa and Pi Kappa Sigma Sororities Newspaper Clipping, 1959
U.S. involvement in Vietnam escalates in 1960, with troop levels gradually surging from just under 1,000 in 1959 to more than 16,000 in 1963.
1960 - 1963
The Beatles, widely regarded as the most influential rock 'n' roll band, form in Liverpool.
James Meredith, an African American, enrolls at the previously all-white University of Mississippi. The campus riots, and 13,500 federal troops are called in.
President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Nov 22nd, 1963
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed, ending segregation in public places and banning employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
A U.S. destroyer allegedly clashes with a North Vietnamese fast-attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gives President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U.S. military presence in Vietnam, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels from about 23,000 to 184,000.
Aug 2nd, 1964
South Vietnamese forces are unable to withstand the Tet Offensive launched by the North Vietnamese in January and February of 1968, and U.S. forces have to defeat the North Vietnamese. The episode shows that the end of U.S. involvement is nowhere in sight, and domestic skepticism of the war increases.
Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
Apr 4th, 1968
The Apollo 11 Mission puts a man on the moon.
Jul 20th, 1969
Student protests against the Vietnam War result in the killing of four students by the National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio.
May 4th, 1970
The U.S. Congress passes the Equal Rights Amendment, stating that, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or any state on account of sex." In order to become law, it must be ratified by 38 states within 10 years.
Title IX is passed. An exception allows fraternities and sororities to remain single-sex private organizations.
Police arrest men attempting to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters, marking the beginning of the Watergate scandal.
Jun 17th, 1972
The U.S. ends direct military involvement in Vietnam, but the war does not end for another two years.
Sigma Kappa celebrates its centennial and History of Sigma Kappa, 1874-1974 is published.
Facing impeachment charges, President Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to resign.
Aug 6th, 1974
Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, is captured, ending the Vietnam War.
Apr 30th, 1975
The U.S. Air Force Academy admits its first female student.
The Order of the Triangle ceremony is accepted as official ritual.
1978RELATED ITEM: Barbara Clarkson Order of the Triangle Pin
A group of Iranian college students who support the Iranian Revolution take over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and hold 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
Nov 4th, 1979 - Jan 20th, 1981
Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
MTV launches, featuring popular music videos.
Aug 1st, 1981
The Equal Rights Amendment fails, after being ratified by only 35 of the necessary 38 states.
Graduate Consultants are added to field personnel.
Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.
The second poetry anthology of Sigma Kappa, Brave Maroon II, edited by Lillian Perkins, Omicron, is published.
The dove is accepted as an official symbol of Sigma Kappa.
A hole in the ozone layer is discovered.
Dr. Rhea Seddon, Lambda, becomes the first Sigma Kappa in space. She carried her Sigma Kappa badge on the space shuttle with her.
1985RELATED ITEM: Rhea Seddon NASA Portrait Photograph
The Challenger Shuttle explodes after launch.
Jan 18th, 1986
Stock markets around the world crash, with the Dow Jones falling 508 points (22.61%).
Oct 19th, 1987
The heart is adopted as an official symbol of Sigma Kappa.
The Berlin Wall comes down, providing a symbolic end to the Cold War.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) goes into effect.
The national headquarters building located at 8733 Founders Road, Indianapolis, Indiana, was purchased by the Sigma Kappa Foundation.
Jun 30th, 1990RELATED ITEM: Sigma Kappa Founders Road Headquarters Photograph, c. 1990
The Soviet Union collapses.
The U.S. leads coalition forces in war against Iraq.
The World Wide Web is born. In just two years, 3 million people are "on line." By 1998, that number increases to 100 million.
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is bombed by a domestic terrorist. At least 168 people are killed, and more than 680 are injured. It is the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history up to this point.
Apr 19th, 1995
Sigma Kappa becomes the first NPC sorority to undertake a consistent graphic identity campaign as part of a marketing communication plan.
Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned.
Jul 5th, 1996
American robotic spacecraft Pathfinder lands on Mars.
Sigma Kappa launches its official website.
Sigma Kappa celebrates its 125th Anniversary
1999RELATED ITEM: Sigma Kappa Sorority 125th Anniversary Celebration Banquet Program, July 15, 2000
Two students at Columbine High School commit a deadly massacre, killing 12 of their classmates and one teacher. It is the first high-profile school shooting.
Apr 20th, 1999
Sigma Kappa becomes one of the first Greek letter organizations to begin a licensing program for its vendors, Shop Sigma Kappa.
Millennium celebrations take place all over the world as a new century is ushered in. Fears about Y2K turn out to be unfounded.
Virtual Violet, an online e-magazine for alumnae, debuts.
A Sisters Only section is added to the Sigma Kappa website.
Terrorists hijack airplanes and crash them into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. As a result of the attacks, 2,996 people are killed and more than 6,000 are injured, with others dying from complications in the coming years. It is the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.
Sep 11th, 2001
The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan begins as an effort to remove the Taliban from power. While this goal is completed by the end of the year, U.S. and allied troops continue to fight Taliban insurgents for more than 18 years, and the war continues to this day.
Oct 7th, 2001
Apple releases the iPod.
Oct 23rd, 2001
Sigma Kappa Paperless Plan is debuted. All printed materials are made available on the private section of the website and monthly officer mail begins to be sent via email.
Mar 20th, 2003 - Dec 18th, 2011
The 25-year pin is adopted at the 2004 National Convention.
The redesigned Sigma Kappa website debuts.
Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma devastate the southern U.S. in the fall of 2005.
A global financial crisis begins with a crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the U.S., and becomes a full-blown international crisis with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers. It is considered by many to be the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.
2007 - 2008
A massacre at Virginia Tech kills 32 people and wounds 23 others.
Apr 16th, 2007
Barack Obama becomes the first African-American president of the United States.
Nov 4th, 2008
The recording secretary and corresponding secretary positions are combined into one position named vice president of communication.
A series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions spread across the Islamic world.
Dec 2010 - Dec 2012
The SKoop replaces Virtual Violet and Sigma Kappa Savvy as the official newsletter of Sigma Kappa Sorority.
The Promise program for New Members undergoes a complete update and transition to a new delivery model, including e-learning.
The programming responsibilities are removed from the executive vice president's role and a new vice president of programming was created.
National headquarters relocates to 695 Pro-Med Lane in Carmel, Indiana.
Donna Crain King, Epsilon Rho, is installed as chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference.
Online education is launched in SKILLab: Sigma Kappa's Interactive Learning Lab. This online platform includes education and training courses for new members, collegiate and alumnae chapter officers, and national volunteers.
Sigma Kappa's visual identity is updated and a collaborative website with three entities is created.
The Sorority Strategic Plan 2017-2020 is created to focus on making Sigma Kappa a leader among sororities, empowering collegiate members and chapters, and providing alumnae with opportunities for continual growth.
The RESPΣΚT movement is upgraded with the goal of educating, energizing, and empowering members. RESPΣΚT allows members of Sigma Kappa to engage in topics that interest them, while giving them tools to lead and advocate for important issues in their chapters, on their campuses, and in their communities.
The virtual Sigma Kappa Book Club is launched as a space for members to share their love of reading.
The debut of The LowDown, a quarterly e-newsletter for all members, shares information about the national organization, higher education and fraternity/sorority life issues.
Legacy Link, a way to connect legacies with Sigma Kappa from an early age, is introduced.
Sigma Kappa launches a partnership with Talkspace, the global leader in online counseling. This puts Sigma Kappa at the forefront of improving the mental health of its members by providing direct access to valuable mental health resources.
Sigma Kappa becomes one of the first Greek letter organizations to launch a digital archive to make increase knowledge and access to Sigma Kappa history.