CHICAGO – When it comes to moments in women’s athletics in the United States, it’s hard to beat the moment that occurred 50 years ago on Thursday.

On that day, June 23, 1972, Title IX was born, and so was the journey of so many women into sports.

Included in the education amendments of that year was the ban on sex discrimination in any school or educational program that was federally funded. It expanded sports programs for women in schools while also opening up more opportunities for women to attend college.

The groundbreaking legislation was made up of 37 words: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” 

Those have meant so much over the past five decades in creating more opportunities for women in sports and have now witnessed growth in programs from the high school to the professional level. While work is left to be done, the start of something special began 50 years ago on Thursday.

While a number of athletes and teams in Chicago took time to express their appreciation for what happened 50 years ago, the city itself put plans into motion to celebrate the occasion in July.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and First Lady Amy Eshleman announced on Thursday that the city will hold a Title IX week from July 17 through July 23rd. It will include a number of events to commemorate the even from film screenings to a public panel with prominent figures in Chicago women’s athletics.

On top of that, the city will award three “Title IX Hero” Awards to Chicago Sky star and Naperville native Candace Parker, DePaul Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach Doug Bruno along with women’s sports trailblazer and tennis legend Billie Jean King.

You can see more about the events by clicking here.

Larry Hawley featured this historic moment in this edition of #WGNTBT on WGN News Now, which you can watch in the video above.

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