Even More Astonishing Women
(1923 Mar 21 – 2011 Feb 23) was the founder of Sahaja Yoga. Sahaja Yoga meditation techniques, when practiced, can achieve self-realization and inner transformation for its practitioner. Nirmala’s entire adult life was about promoting and spreading peace, awareness, music, art, and cooperation. Nirmala married Chandrika Prasad Srivastava in 1947. They had two girls, Kalpana and Sadhana. Toward the end of her life of charitable work, her main antagonist was alcohol. She saw its powerfully potent, destructive societal dangers and wanted to effect a change. Sahaja Yoga Centers exist in almost every country in the world.
Lyn St. James
(born 1947 March 13), she qualified for Indianapolis 500, won Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, competed in Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring. Lyn founded the Women in the Winner’s Circle in 1994 and today is a sought-after motivational speaker.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(1815–1902) – 19th Amendment – Amendment allowing women the right to vote. In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote her “Declaration of Sentiments,” which wisely adopted the language of the Declaration of Independence in calling for voting rights for women. Stanton was the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association for 20 years and worked closely with Susan B. Anthony.
Nettie Maria Stevens
(July 7, 1861 – May 4, 1912) was an early American geneticist. In 1906, she discovered that male beetles produce two kinds of sperm, one with a large chromosome and one with a small chromosome. When the sperm with the large chromosome fertilized eggs, they produced female offspring, and when the sperm with the small chromosome fertilized eggs, they produced male offspring. This pattern was observed in other animals, including humans, and became known as the XY sex-determination system. Edmund Beecher Wilson independently made the same discovery.
Kathryn D. Sullivan
(born 1951 Oct 3), she was the first American woman to walk in space. Her walk was 3 hours and 29 minutes. A geologist, captain in the US Naval Reserve, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Administrator for the Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, a Payload Commander delivering the Hubble telescope on the first Spacelab mission, a CEO at Columbus, Ohio science center, an educator, a 2016 Rachel Carson award recipient, and in 2017 designated as a Chas. A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian. In 1978, while at Dalhousie University, Katherine joined several oceanic expeditions, where she studied the floors of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Then in 1984, she walked in space. From Earth’s ocean floors to walking in space, look what this gal did.
Ellen Swallow Richards
(1842 Dec 3 – 1911 Mar 30) was the first woman admitted to MIT, but could not get the first Ph.D. because they wanted it to go to a man. She petitioned and won funds to open the Woman’s Laboratory at MIT. Introduced biology at MIT and founded Woods Hole studying oceanography. Under her guidance, she open the New England Kitchen providing nutritious food and food preparation instruction to working class families. She lobbied for school lunches in public schools. Pushed for, organized and finally got home economics in public school curriculums. Ellen finally got her Ph.D. from Smith College in 1910.
(1907 Mar 13 – 1985 Jun 1) was an Australian labor politician. At 16, Dorothy enrolled at the University of Western Australia. She worked as a student teacher, took at-risk kids to holiday camps and assisted kids in children’s court. Dorothy helped found the Boys’ Employment League that got boys jobs. In 1943 (until 1968), she became Australia’s first woman senator. She established ordinances and laws to create social services and housing for children; pensions for deserted wives, civilians and war widows; hospital and medical pensions and benefits for tuberculosis patients and the blind. Dorothy was a fierce proponent of free university education. She championed equal pay and equal opportunity for women.
(1857 Nov 5 – 1944 Jan 6) was a writer, investigative journalist and lecturer. In 1890, while in Paris to do postgraduate work, Ida, intending “to rescue women from the obscurity of history,” began work on Madam Roland’s bio. Ida wrote serialized articles for McClure’s Magazine, using a technique never seen before, deemed, investigative journalism. In 1902 through 1904, Ida wrote a serialized expose of Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller. Considered a muckracker, Ida helped to break up the Standard Oil monopoly. Later, her series became a book, The History of the Standard Oil Company. Tarbell believed in thorough investigation of all of her material. Unfortunately, Ida changed her stance on women, suffrage and progress and felt a woman’s place was ultimately in the home as wives, mothers and homemakers. She has been inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, and in 2002, had a US postal stamp issued in her honor.
(born 1937 Mar 6) is a Russian cosmonaut, the first woman in space. She took correspondence courses and graduated from the Light Industry Technical School. Valentina joined the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club becoming a skilled amateur parachutist. She
volunteered for the the Soviet space program, got in, and qualified for the woman-in-flight space program. Training for 18 months, she became chief pilot of the Vostok VI. Ms. V. orbited the earth 48 times…John Glenn only went 3 times. Tests of resistance, gravity, physical and psychological stresses proved that women could tolerate G-forces better than men. She admitted to being nauseous for most of the trip, but took lots of pictures and thought the Earth looked beautiful. Valentina still serves as an inspiration to women throughout the world.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
(March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist.She attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniment that was a precursor of rock and roll. She was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as “the original soul sister” and “the Godmother of rock and roll”. She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Dorothy Celene Thompson
(July 9, 1893 – January 30, 1961) was an American journalist and radio broadcaster. In 1935, a TIME magazine poll ranked her the most important woman in the United States after Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a foreign correspondent for the New York Evening Post in the 1920s, eventually becoming its bureau chief in Berlin. She so angered Adolf Hitler with her reporting on the Nazis, that he personally ordered her out of the country – the first American journalist to be expelled.
(January 3, 2003), is a Swedish environmental activist who is credited with raising global awareness of the risks posed by climate change, and with holding politicians to account for their lack of action on the climate crisis.
In August 2018, at 15 years of age, Thunberg took time off school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament, holding up a sign calling for stronger climate action. Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together they organized a school climate strike movement, under the name Fridays for Future. After Thunberg addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, student strikes took place every week somewhere in the world. In 2019, there were at least two coordinated multi-city protests involving over one million pupils each.
Mary Ann Todd Lincoln
(December 13, 1818 – July 16, 1882) was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865. She dropped the name Ann after her younger sister, Ann Todd [Clark], was born, and did not use the name Todd after marrying.
(/soʊˈdʒɜːrnər ˈtruːθ/; born Isabella (“Bell”) Baumfree; c. 1797 – November 26, 1883) was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, in 1828 she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.
(born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as theUnderground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.
(1761 Dec – 1850 Apr 16), best known today as Madame Tussaud and her world-famous wax museum. Working as a housekeeper, Marie learned the art of sculpting wax from her employer, Dr. Curtius, a physician. They moved to Paris and during the French Revolution, she made death masks of prominent guillotined aristocrats, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Her own life became threatened. She fled to England with her youngest son. With her tools, Paris death masks and new wax works, she toured England for the next 33 years. Marie opened her own shop on Baker Street in 1838. She died in 1850. Her museum became one of the most visited attractions in the world.
Marie Van Brittan Brown
(1922 Oct 30 – 1999 Feb 2); she worked odd hours in Queens, a tough neighborhood. The cops took forever to come in an emergency. Marie and her husband invented the home security system (with remote control and closed-circuit cameras) in 1966. Her design made her feel safe. Fifty years later, 100 million closed-circuit cameras are operated worldwide.
(January 9, 1948) is an Italian woman who became famous in the 1960s in Italy for refusing a “rehabilitating marriage” (“matrimonio riparatore” in Italian) with her victimiser after suffering kidnapping and rape. She was one of the first Italian women who had been raped to publicly refuse to marry her rapist. Instead, she and her family successfully appealed to the law to prosecute the rapist.
Hildegard von Bingen
composer, medical doctor, mystic, polymath. (1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play.
Baroness Bertha von Suttner
(9 June 1843 – 21 June 1914) was the first woman to be awarded the Peace Prize. An Austrian-Bohemian, she was a pacifist and novelist, known as “generalissimo of the peace movement”, and as a close friend of Alfred Nobel, many give her credit for Nobel’s establishment of the Peace Prize in his will.