Even More Astonishing Women
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.
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.
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.
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.
(30 August 1912 – 7 August 2011) – served as a British Special Operations Executive agent during the later part of World War II. She became a leading figure in the maquis groups of the French Resistance and was one of the Allies‘ most decorated servicewomen of the war. After the fall of France in 1940, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. By 1943, Wake was the Gestapo‘s most wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head.
(1970 – ) is an advocate for sex workers across Kenya. She founded Life Bloom Services International, an organization with a mission to offer alternatives for women who once worked on the streets.
Julia Ward Howe
(/haʊ/; May 27, 1819 – October 17, 1910) was an American poet and author, best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic“. She was also an advocate for abolitionism and was a social activist, particularly for women’s suffrage.
Elizabeth Ann Warren
(born June 22, 1949) is an American academic and politician. She is a member of the Democratic Party, and is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts. Warren was formerly a professor of law, and taught at the University of Texas School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and most recently at Harvard Law School. A prominent scholar specializing in bankruptcy law, Warren was among the most cited in the field of commercial law before starting her political career.
Gloria Jean Watkins (or Bell Hooks)
(born September 25, 1952) is an American social activist, feminist and author. Through a postmodern perspective, hooks has addressed race, class, and gender in education, art, history, sexuality, mass media and feminism. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films, and participated in various public lectures.
Martha Beatrice Webb
(née Potter; 22 January 1858 – 30 April 1943)Baroness Passfield, was an English sociologist, economist, socialist, labour historian and social reformer. It was Webb who coined the term collective bargaining”. She was among the founders of the London School of Economics and played a crucial role in forming the Fabian Society.”
Carrie Mae Weems
(20 April 1953 – ) is an American photographer, whose work focuses on serious issues that face African Americans today, particularly African American women. Her work has been exhibited at major museums internationally and she has received many awards, including the MacArthur Genius grant.
(1844 September – 1893) was the only documented African American woman who served as a soldier in the Regular U.S. Army in the nineteenth century, disguising her gender and enlisting as William Cathay. During the Indian Wars, Williams is also the only known female Buffalo Solider.
Mary Lou Williams
(born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs; May 8, 1910 – May 28, 1981) was an African-American jazz pianist, composer, and vocalist. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements, and recorded more than one hundred records (in 78, 45, and LP versions). Williams wrote and arranged for such bandleaders as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to Thelonious Monk,Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others.
(31 May 1912 – 16 February 1997) was a Chinese-American nuclear physicist, also known as “the First Lady of Physics”. She contributed to the Manhattan Project and made history with an experiment that disproved the hypothetical law of conservation of parity.
The story goes that Milly took a trip to Japan and was impressed with how clean the country was, the lack of litter and plastic that was tossed away that she was accustomed to in the U.S. That inspired her to figure out how to recycle plastics, when there was no system, no infrastructure, no market, no funding, no awareness, no public campaign, to do so. It all started in her small town of Sauk County, Wisconsin.