Firsts and Founders: The Women in US History Quiz
by Staff
Abigail Adams told us to "not forget the ladies," but some of these amazing Americans have been left behind by history. Take this quiz to test how well you know the women who shaped our nation and to learn a bit more about those you might've missed.

What social work pioneer won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931?

  • Jane Addams
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Greta von Wingding

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an civil rights advocate and crusader at the turn of the last century. What was her profession?

  • nurse
  • journalist
  • professor

Mary Church Terrell founded what organization?

  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • National Association of Colored Women
  • Teach for America

Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to complete what athletic activity?

  • run a four-minute mile
  • compete in Olympic weightlifting
  • swim the English Channel

What woman was the first to be picked as a vice president on a presidential ticket?

  • Sarah Palin
  • Geraldine Ferraro
  • Joan Adams

Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to …

  • get her medical degree
  • graduate from Harvard University
  • become an astronaut

Wilma Pearl Mankiller was the first …

  • female artist to win a MacArthur genius grant
  • female chief of a major Native American tribe in modern times
  • Native American female opera singer

Who was the highest-ranking female elected official when she became speaker of the House?

  • Nancy Pelosi
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Condoleezza Rice

Rossana Rosado was the first female editor, publisher and CEO of what?

  • a feminist watchdog newsletter
  • The New York Times
  • the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States

Rosalyn Yalow was awarded what for her work as a physicist?

  • the Pulitzer Prize
  • the Fields Medal
  • the Nobel Prize

Vera Rubin is an American astronomer who made significant discoveries in dark matter research. What school did NOT accept her in its astronomy graduate program?

  • Cornell University
  • Princeton University
  • Harvard University

Eunice Kennedy Shriver started what organization?

  • the Special Olympics
  • the Democratic Party
  • the ACLU

Janet Rowley identified an important genetic breakthrough in leukemia research. When Rowley entered medical school in 1944, what was the "quota" for women in the class of 65 people?

  • three
  • 14
  • 20

Who was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature?

  • Alice Munro
  • Pearl S. Buck
  • Toni Morrison

Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross after organizing nursing and humanitarian efforts in what war?

  • the French and Indian War
  • the American Revolution
  • the American Civil War

Ursula Burns is the first African-American CEO of what?

  • a technology firm
  • a Fortune 500 company
  • a university

Maya Lin designed what memorial?

  • the World Trade Center Memorial
  • the Washington Monument
  • the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

How old was Sybil Ludington when she rode 40 miles (64 kilometers) to rally the local militia against a British raid in the Revolutionary War?

  • 16 years old
  • 7 years old
  • 22 years old

Belva Lockwood was the first female lawyer to argue in front of the Supreme Court. What year did she do it?

  • 1880
  • 1945
  • 1964

Gloria Steinem founded what publication?

  • Cosmopolitan
  • Ms. Magazine
  • Glamour

Lucy Stone was a famous suffragette and activist, but she also did what pioneering action?

  • refused to wear skirts
  • smashed bars in the temperance movement
  • kept her maiden name even after marrying

Jody Williams won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work as an activist for what cause?

  • banning land mines
  • funding HIV research
  • brokering agreements between Israel and Palestine

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. How many women had served before her?

  • three
  • five
  • two

Who was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court?

  • Elena Kagan
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Sandra Day O'Connor

Who was the first American woman in space?

  • Eileen Collins
  • Sally Ride
  • Kathryn Sullivan

The first U.S. Secretary of State was …

  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Madeleine Albright
  • Hillary Clinton

Gertrude B. Elion was the co-recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for her research of cancer drug treatments. But she NEVER received what?

  • any money
  • a doctorate
  • any prize

Grace Hopper was a computer technology pioneer, but she was also responsible for what?

  • nicknaming computer errors "bugs"
  • the word "computer"
  • the delete key

Toni Morrison was …

  • the first black best-selling author in the United States
  • the first African-American to chair a university department
  • the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature

Jackie Cochran was an American pilot who still …

  • holds more speed and distance records than any pilot
  • has the record for most flights
  • has the record for most hours logged in air