Do You Know The Names Of These Historical Women?

John Smith

Who is this famous woman?

A terrible fever as an infant left Helen Keller without the ability to see or hear. Through the extraordinary efforts of her teacher, she learned to communicate and became a major peace activist and agitator for left-wing political movements.

Which famous women is pictured?

A celebrated saint of the Bhakti faith, Mirabai became famous for her public singing and dancing in spite of her social rank as a princess. She wrote hundreds of poems to the lord Krishna, and many Hindu temples are dedicated to her.

Which woman is shown here?

A leading lady for half a century, Katharine Hepburn will forever be one of Hollywood's most extraordinary leading ladies. Heading such famous films as "The Philadelphia Story" and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," she forged a path for herself playing confident, assertive female characters who didn't conform to the societal expectations of women.

Can you recognize this woman?

Rosa Luxembourg was a lifelong communist and anarchist activist. Her ill-starred decision to support the Sparticist revolt in post Great War Germany sealed her fate, as she was executed after the uprising was put down by proto-fascist Freikorps.

Do you know who this woman is?

A Saint of the Roman Catholic Church, Teresa of Avila would also become a natural saint of her homeland of Spain. She oversaw the creation of many new abbeys and monasteries aimed at encouraging contemplative, solitary prayer.

Do you recognize this woman?

One of the greatest tennis players of all time, Billie Jean King was No. 1 in the world of women's tennis. She is perhaps best remembered for her dramatic victory in the so-called "Battle of the Sexes" over Bobby Riggs.

Who is portrayed here?

A peasant girl of no notable birthright, Joan of the village of Arc began to receive visions that she claimed were from God. She found herself at the head of an army, fighting back against the English who were despoiling her country, and rallying the beaten French forces around their young King.

Who is this picture of?

The very essence of glamour, Norma Jean Mortenson took the stage name Marilyn Monroe and rose to superstardom in Hollywood. Famous for films such as "The Seven Year Itch" and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," her looks, style and personality have embedded her in the cultural zeitgeist far beyond the popularity of any individual film she made.

Who is pictured here?

Overthrowing her husband, the hapless Peter III, it was under Catherine the Great that the Russian Empire was finally acknowledged as a great power in European politics. She oversaw increased Russian colonization, the defeat of the Ottoman threat to her south, and the beginnings of Russian Alaska.

Which woman is shown here?

Jane Austen's beloved novels dealt with the trials and tribulations of the lesser English nobility, a subject that has found suprisingly enduring popularity. She is perhaps best remembered for her Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but all of her books remain popular today.

Which woman is this?

Her short life ended by the Holocaust, it is her diary that remains to teach people about the lives of Anne Frank and her family. Anne Frank's Diary, written during her time in hiding from the Nazis, has moved millions of people to re-examine what they thought they knew about life, love, and hope for a better world.

Who is the woman pictured here?

Queen of Great Britain (and many, many points beyond) for an unbelievable 65 years, Queen Elizabeth II is the rock upon which her people lean. From her work as a humble mechanic and ambulance driver in WWII to being the first British monarch to visit China to her address of the joint session of the U.S. Congress, she has played a vital role in shaping the diplomatic future of her country.

Can you identify this person?

Famous for her roles in "My Fair Lady," "Roman Holiday," "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and many more films, Audrey Hepburn was a famous English film star. In her later years, she dedicated herself to the cause of UNICEF, helping children worldwide gain desperately needed humanitarian aid.

Do you recognize this woman?

An extraordinary woman, Sojourner Truth was a former slave who escaped and won her freedom, eventually winning a landmark court case to win back her son. During the Civil War, she helped recruit black troops to fight for the Union, and was famous for her abolitionist speechmaking.

Which woman from history is this?

Now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Teresa is a famous Catholic nun who was responsible for the creation of the Missionaries of Charity, providing free care for the most desperate and ill of the poor. Her charity also runs orphanages and soup kitchens, and the nuns who take part in it take vows to provide free care for those who have the greatest need.

Can you identify this woman from history?

Queen over the greatest empire the world had ever seen, the 63-year reign of Queen Victoria was so inspired and informed by her personality that it is now known as the Victorian Age. It was a true bridge between the old world and modernity and saw the full power of industrialization unleashed, which would change civilization forever. Tragically, her grandchildren would meet, not in family harmony, but in a dreadful war the likes of which had never been imagined.

Identify this historical personage!

A Quaker by birth, Susan B. Anthony would become a famous activist for the cause of abolitionism and later Women's Suffrage. The labor of Susan and her sisters was rewarded with the passage of the 19th Amendment, which was widely known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment.

What is the name of this woman?

The brilliant writer of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft can rightly be called one of the first feminists. Her desire to see women educated so as to be better companions to their husbands and do a better job raising children seem quaint now, but at the time, they were radical.

Who is the famous lady pictured here?

The daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi (no connection to Mahatma Gandhi) was the first and, to date, only Prime Minister of India. She fought to have East Pakistan partitioned into Bangladesh, but her reign was seen as increasingly autocratic and she was assassinated by her own bodyguards.

Who's this famous woman?

The youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Prize, Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist in the field of girls' education. Her family's effort to educate girls met with an attempted assassination by the Taliban, which she narrowly survived. Today she has become world famous and continues to use her fame and status to forward the cause of education for girls. She has written a book toward this end, I am Malala, and is now studying at Oxford to prepare for the next stage of her quest.

Who is this woman?

Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated by a major party to run for the President of the United States. Although she was defeated in the 2016 election by Donald Trump, she did accrue the majority of the popular vote, an impressive accomplishment.

Can you identify her?

World renowned singer and entertainer Madonna has put her irrevocable stamp on the face of modern pop music. She has crested 300 million record sales, and is the best-selling female artist of all time!

Do you know who this is?

Famed Canadian equal rights activist Emily Murphy fought tooth and nail for women to be declared full persons under Canadian law. Upon doing so, they had to allowed to run for Congress and act as judges, thus finding a back way of sorts to a measure of equality.

Who is this picture of?

One of Jesus's most devoted followers, Mary Magdalene was famous for her dedication and for her being there to witness his crucifixion and resurrection. Indeed, custom has it that she was the first to see the resurrected Jesus after he rose from his tomb.

Identify this famous woman!

A magnificent athlete, Tegla Loroupe of Kenya is one of the world's greatest runners. She held records for 20, 25 and 30 kilometres, and has thrice won the world half marathon championship. She demonstrated her commitment to charity, too, by coaching the 2016 Olympic refugee team, formed of people forced to flee their homes.

Who's this famous person?

The author of The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan is known for prompting the "second wave" of feminism. She was the first president of the National Organization for Women. Although seen as a radical by many, she spent a great deal of time fighting against what she saw as the excesses of anti-male and anti-homemaker feminists.

Which woman is this?

The first woman to be Prime Minister of England, the so-called "Iron Lady" of British politics led her conservative party to domination in the '80s. She is perhaps best remembered for ending the miners' strike, which is seen as the end of '70s-style labor politics, and for successfully conducting a war over the Falklands Islands.

Which woman is shown here?

American abolitionist and writer Harriet Beecher Stowe is best known for her fictional work, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Although a novel, its portrayal of the brutality that was often used against Southern slaves helped rouse Northern sentiment against the institution of slavery.

Can you identify the woman in this picture?

A famous poet of the ancient world, Sappho wrote around 10,000 lines of poetry, specifically of a type designed to be sung. She is perhaps more famous for her poems of love between women, as is her home island of Lesbos, from where we gained the term, Lesbian.

Do you know who this woman might be?

A woman of extraordinary intrigue, Eleanor of Aquitaine began her career as Duchess​ of Aquitaine, an extremely valuable French territory. She married the French King, ruling at his side, but eventually was granted a divorce and went on to marry the Duke of Normandy, who would later become King of England!

Can you identify this woman?

Queen of the British Iceni tribe, Boudica led a rebellion against the occupying Roman Empire. She sacked and destroyed Verulamium and Londinium, and was on the verge of expelling the Romans when defeated by the spirited resurgence of Roman arms under Suetonius. She committed suicide to avoid capture, but is something of a folk hero even today.

Do you know who this historical woman might be?

Rosa Parks was asked by her bus driver to give up her seat in the "colored" area to a white passenger. Her refusal set off a chain reaction that would change the United States of America. Years later, she would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her civil rights efforts.

Which woman from history is this?

A prominent French feminist and existentialist, Simone de Beauvoir is best known for her book, The Second Sex, a historical discussion of the treatment of women in Western society. She was also friends with the great Jean-Paul Sartre and wrote the existentialist tract, The Ethics of Ambiguity.

Do you know who this woman is?

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Betty Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize for her role in stopping the continuing struggles in North Ireland known collectively as "The Troubles." She was motivated by watching the tragic deaths of several children as a result of an attack by the PIRA.

Who is the woman shown here?

A prominent socialist and women's rights supporter, Annie Besant was also a major figure in spreading the religious philosophy of Theosophy. She became increasingly connected to India and its self determination movement, which she intertwined with her support for Theosophy.

Do you recognize this woman?

One of the two leaders of the Peronist movement in Argentina, Eva Peron and her husband, Juan, managed to gain control of the government and institute their own brand of authoritarian populism. Even though they were criticized internationally, Eva Peron (known as Evita) was beloved by the poor for her attempts to better their lives.

Can you identify this woman?

Born into the lesser nobility, Diana married Prince Charles and became the Princess of Wales. She was enormously charitable and was much beloved for it, particularly in her promotion of HIV awareness and her willingness to publicly embrace an HIV patient at a time when many people wrongly feared the disease as being contagious by touch.

Who is this famous woman?

A famous woman's suffragist, Millicent Fawcett also contributed significantly to the cause of higher education for women in the British isles. During the Second Boer War the British army created the first concentration camps, and it was Millicent who was dispatched by London to report on the (horrible) conditions in the camps.

Do you recognize this historical figure?

Known to her fans as "Lady Day," Billie Holiday saw massive success singing Jazz in clubs in the '30s and '40s and creating record albums. She received four posthumous Grammys, all meant to underline her historical contributions to Jazz.

Which lady from history is this?

One of England's greatest leaders, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII, inherited the throne from her sickly brother on his passing and led her kingdom from the periphery of Europe to glory. Her reign saw the defeat of Spain's mighty armada, the colonization of the Americas by the English, and English exploration and science rising to the global forefront. She never married, reigning alone until her death.

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Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

For virtually all of human history, women's voices have been silent. To look through a history book is to be confronted with men, always men, men's triumphs and travails at every level of society, men's leadership, men's artwork, men's technology. The human story can easily be confused with the story of the Y Chromosome. It took centuries and centuries of civilization for this to even begin to change. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, women began to make their wishes known. Through halting fits and starts they strode forward, and what began as a whisper in the dark, became a roaring flame from people who demanded to be treated as the full, actualized humans they were. 

Women are now freer than ever, and all of humanity benefits from their genius. Women write the stories that move our hearts and fire our imaginations. They lead first world nations to prosperity, they invent the technologies that drive our industries and heal our sick. Women run our businesses and mend our broken bones. Women's liberation is a resounding triumph. 

Here we have compiled a quiz testing your knowledge of just a few of these greatest of women. Can you identify them? Ready yourself and click to continue!

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