Saturday marks 40 years to the day since TItle IX was codified into American law. Since renamed in honor of its chief sponsor, late Hawaii Rep. Patsy Mink, Title IX created a level playing field for girls and women in sports at the country’s schools.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett, a Democrat from Colorado, took to the Senate floor Thursday to commemorate the occasion. Here’s part of his remarks:

On October 29, 2002, title IX was renamed the “Patsy Takemoto Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act” to honor the tireless determination and leadership of Congresswoman Mink of Hawaii in developing and passing title IX. If Congresswoman Mink was still with us today, I know she would be proud of the remarkable gains that have been made to ensure equal opportunity for women and girls in sports, education, and professionally.

Read the full statement here.

— Michael Levine

(Photo by Flickr user expertinfantry)