In light of the beginning of Women’s History Month, it’s a great time to celebrate the wonderful women in history who’ve broken glass ceilings and inspired us to be the best we can be.
1. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797): Mary Wollstonecraft is known today as one of the first ever feminists, thanks to her best-known work, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women.”
Wollstonecraft died while giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley, who is well-known for her science-fiction novels such as “Frankenstein,” which is considered the beginning of all science fiction literature.
2. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962): Eleanor Roosevelt revolutionized the role of the “First Lady” when she took the position during the presidency of her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
She became the first First Lady to hold press conferences. She also wrote a regular and beloved newspaper column, went to labor meetings, worked with unemployed youths and supported several civil rights movements.
3. Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): African-American abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner, Sojourner Truth was one of the earlier feminists who not only faced discrimination because of her gender, but also because of the color of her skin.
In 1851, Truth gave her famous speech titled, “Ain’t I a Woman?” which not only asks how a woman of one skin color is more important than another, but also refutes the idea that women are any less capable and strong than men.
4. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902): American social activist and a leading figure in the early women’s rights movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a key figure in helping to create the early women’s suffrage movements in the US.
In 1848, Stanton joined with Lucretia Mott and 300 other women to organize the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, where the “Declaration of Sentiments” was written.
5. Rosa Parks (1913-2005): An American civil rights activist, Rosa Parks first became well known when she refused to give up her seat to a white male on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
This indirectly led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history. Since then, Parks has become one of the most respected figures of the civil rights movement era.
6. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933- ): Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, being appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.
Ginsburg is most famously recognized for this position due to its monumental nature, but she was also known for being the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in the 1970s.
7. Ellen DeGeneres (1958- ): Before starring on her own sitcom Ellen in 1997, Ellen DeGeneres hit it big as a stand-up comedian. She became well-known for coming out as homosexual on her show (something never done on a sitcom before) and supporting LGBTQ rights.
8. Sacagawea (1787-1812): Sacagawea was the interpreter for Lewis and Clark during the U.S. government’s first exploration of the Northwest.
Her role was to help negotiate safe and peaceful passages through tribal lands, making her a crucial part of the exploration.