Can You Name These Historical Ladies?

By: Bri O.

Susan B. Anthony was an influential activist during the 19th century women's movement as well as an abolitionist against slavery. She worked to bring about temperance, which was a time in history where alcohol was made illegal, hoping that it would reduce the number of drunk husbands, fathers, and boyfriends. The belief was that less drunk men meant less abused and oppressed women.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female doctor to earn a medical degree from an accredited U.S. college. She was rejected by almost every major medical program in the U.S., but Geneva College based in New York accepted her. She would later go on to start a women's medical college.

For nearly three decades, Cleopatra ruled as the last pharaoh of Egypt. She was a skilled politician, fluent in 9 languages, and had romantic relations with notable Roman leaders, including Caesar and Marc Antony.

The first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize, Marie Curie discovered the existence of radioactivity and radium, a naturally occurring element. She was also the first female to ever earn a doctorate degree in Europe.

Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott when she refused to move from her seat for a white person and was consequently arrested. The boycott lasted over a year, ending with a Supreme Court decision that made segregation on buses illegal.

The woman behind the creation of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt was a champion for the people, striving for social reform and political progress. She married her cousin in 1905, a man who would go on to have a very successful political career, Franklin Roosevelt.

Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman to ever be appointed to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Then-President Ronald Reagan had the honor of appointing Justice O'Connor in 1981.

A prolific freer of slaves and influential abolitionist, Harriet Tubman led over 300 enslaved Black persons to freedom as a conductor on the Underground railroad. Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland and would come to be known as "Moses" due to her miraculous feats on the railroad.

1931 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jane Addams, founded Hull House, a settlement house located in Chicago. Settlement houses are intended to assist the impoverished, and her actions led to the development of settlement houses nationwide.

Sojourner Truth traveled the country preaching Christian words of God and speaking against slavery, but there is one speech in particular that she is most commonly remembered for entitled "Ain't I a Woman?" She was born into slavery, and went to live with a Quaker family after New York abolished slavery.

Margaret Thatcher, nicknamed the "Iron Lady," was the first woman to ever be elected prime minister in Europe. Part of her 3 terms as prime minister overlapped with President Ronald Reagan's tenure. It was a fitting partnership, as many of their conservative views aligned.

In 1921, Bessie Coleman earned an international pilot's license from a prestigious program in France. She attempted to learn to fly in her home country, the United States, but was denied admission to flight school programs on the basis of her race and gender. She accomplished this a whole two years before Amelia Earhart.

In 1972, Karen DeCrow, the only female in her class, graduated from Syracuse University's College of Law. She spent her career advocating for gender equality, including pushing for family courts to grant joint custody of children rather than granting custody solely to the mother.

Ella Fitzgerald was a talented jazz and pop singer, considered one of the greatest in history. She won an assortment of different awards, and became the first female to earn the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award sponsored by the Los Angeles Urban League.

In 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by then President Bill Clinton. Prior to her tenure on the SCOTUS, Ginsburg worked for the American Civil Liberties Union as well as served as an appointed judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

For 25 years, Martha Matilda Harper was a domestic servant until she decided to open the first public hair salon in the Rochester, New York area. Harper ended up a servant at just 7 years old and would continue to be treated as such until the age of 38 in 1895. She was an entrepreneur and inventor, coming up with the idea for reclining salon chairs.

Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist who spent her time campaigning and raising money for the civil rights movement. She was an influential organizer, helping to found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the National Women's Political Caucus. Her tombstone reads: "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Billie Holiday's musical career started when she left her steady gig as a maid to follow her interest in dancing. She began dancing at Harlem clubs and was soon asked to sing. Lo and behold, audiences loved Holiday, and she quickly drew a significant following. She went on to have a successful career.

While Cesar Chavez is most commonly associated with migrant and farm workers' rights, Dolores Huerta played a key role in working with Chavez to form United Farm Workers as well as organizing for the labor movement. A true champion of the people, Huerta worked tirelessly to advance workers rights, and helped farmworkers gain unemployment insurance, collective bargaining rights, and many other protections.

Helen Keller earned her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College and later published an autobiography. She accomplished an incredible amount, all on top of dealing with being blind and deaf.

Jean Kilbourne is credited with exposing the public health dangers lurking behind advertising messages through her groundbreaking film "Killing Us Softly: Advertising's Image of Women." She was able to link advertising to a host of social problems, including smoking, eating disorders, violence against women, the sexualization of children, high-risk drinking and obesity.

Before and after her husband's assassination, Coretta Scott King dedicated herself to pursuing justice for marginalized groups, speaking out on behalf of critical issues facing women, queers, children, laborers, the homeless and the poor. She also had a thing or two to say about nuclear disarmament, always pushing for peace.

Georgia O'Keeffe was a talented artist and painter. One of her more famous quotes is" Art is a wicked thing. It is what we are." In 1924, O'Keeffe married the famous photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

In 1983, Sally Ride became the first female U.S. astronaut to make it to space. Her assignment was aboard the Challenger, the seventh space ship to fly a U.S. mission. She would go on to found Sally Ride Science, a company meant to empower children's interest in STEM fields.

Roxanne Gay is a feminist writer focused on leveraging her personal narrative as a tool to look at, analyze, and understand issues of race, class, and gender. She's author of the New York Times best seller "Bad Feminist" (2014).

The first woman to ever be sworn in as Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright had an incredibly successful and diverse career. She was well-educated, earning degrees from Wellesley College, Columbia University, and Johns Hopkins University.

The "First Lady of the Theatre," Helen Hayes got her start in showbiz at age 5, and by age 9 she had already experienced her first broadway hit. By 1931, she had debuted on the big screen and won an Oscar. She'd go on to win an additional Oscar and an Academy Award.

Julia Child is best remembered for her cooking talents and charisma in the kitchen, but she was much more than a TV show host. Child graduated from Smith College and went on to work in journalism and advertising, but switched gears when WWII broke out. She went to work for the Office of Strategic Services in hopes of becoming a spy, but ended up as a file clerk in what is now Sri Lanka. While abroad, she learned about French cuisine, which inspired her to continue the practice back home in MA.

The "Battle of the Sexes" has been fought and settled for 20 years already, and the women won thanks to Billie Jean King, who annihilated Bobby Riggs in a 1973 match. Bobby Riggs had previously claimed he was capable of beating any woman at a tennis match. He, and men across the nation, were proven wrong.

Dorothy Day was born in 1897 New York and grew up to be an influential lay leader in the Catholic Church and community. She worked to promote peace and anti-violence, civil rights, and aid for the impoverished and homeless.

The first person to ever fly solo across the Pacific Ocean, Amelia Earhart was a trailblazer. Her first solo flight was in 1921 and by 1937 she was taking off to cross the Pacific Ocean. On July 2 of that year, Earhart's plane fell out of contact and the connection was never re-established. Extensive search efforts revealed nothing about what may have happened to the pilot.

Steinem co-founded New York magazine in 1968 and then founded Ms. Magazine in 1971. In 2005, she co-founded the Women's Media Center. For her political and social work, Steinem received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The first U.S. citizen to ever appear in the Paris Opera, Maria Tallchief started out dancing and playing the piano while living on the Osage Indian Reservation. She would go on to found the New York City Ballet and eventually retire in 1965.

Up until 1957, scientists everywhere operated off the presumption that parity is conserved in nature, meaning that nature isn't prejudiced in any way and remains at a constant overall total. However, this all changed when Dr. Chein-Shiung Wu presented the theory that parity is not conserved in weak subatomic interactions. When tested, her theory held true and our - or rather those who can somehow comprehend all this - understanding of the universe consequently restructured.

Madame C.J. Walker was the wealthiest African American woman in the early 1900s. She built her wealth after developing a hair care system designed specifically for the needs of Women of Color. An entrepreneur, Walker oversaw the expansion of her business through creating a marketing network.

In the 1920s, Bessie Smith rose to be worth the most out of all Black entertainers in the country. She was nicknamed Empress of the Blues. Her career and life were cut short in a fatal car crash in 1937.

Sandler filed 250 charges of sex discrimination against educational institutions in her role as the Chair of the Action Committee for Federal Contract Compliance of the Women's Equity Action League. Her strategy in filing charges and applying little-known legislation helped paved the way for Title IX.

Janet Rankin was the first woman to ever be elected to the U.S. Congress. She served 2 terms as a Montana representative. Following her pacifist beliefs, Rankin voted against U.S. involvement in both World Wars, a move that cost her her seat.

Mead's work changed the way society views adolescence, though the message hasn't made its way into mainstream culture. She studied Samoan culture and learned that adolescence isn't an inherently stressful, conflicted time. There is potential there for a freer, easier life. And Americans are oppressing teens through our secrecy surrounding sexuality.

Alice Paul was a leader for the National Women's Party who advocated for the ratification of an amendment that would grant women national protections rather than merely state-by-state ones. She was an expert organizer, leading pickets and marches. While an important figure in advancing women's right, Alice Paul intentionally excluded Black women from the movement.

The first female speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has played a vital role in passing important legislation, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, The ACA (Affordable Care Act), and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, among others. She is also the first women to ever head one of the major political parties, becoming the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002.

Margaret Sanger is responsible for the invention of medicinal birth control. She's also responsible for unethically using Black women as test subjects for the birth control at a time when there was still little known about the dangers associated with taking it.

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first women to ever officially enter the Boston Marathon. She's run more than 37 marathons and is a champion for women's equality in athletics. Switzer has won Emmy Awards for her television commentary.

Ann Bancroft was the first woman to ever trek over the ice of both the North and South poles. She was also the first woman to ever ski across Greenland.

Nancy Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen non-profit organization dedicated to battling breast cancer with the goal of eradication. Participants "walk for the cure" to raise money for the fight.

Over the course of her swimming career, Donna de Varona set 18 world records and won 2 gold medals. She joined the U.S. olympic swim team as its youngest member ever at the age of 13.

As publisher, Board Chair, and CEO of the Washington Post, Katharine Graham made the risky decisions to pursue the Watergate investigation as well as publish the Pentagon Papers. Her influence extended well beyond the post and into American homes. She believed it was important for the American people to have access to information, even if about controversial topics or events.

Patricia Roberts Harris was the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. ambassador. She was appointed by President Lydon B. Johnson in 1965 and assigned to Luxembourg. She was also the first Black woman to be appointed a position in the president's cabinet.

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About This Quiz

Throughout history, women have had to face an uphill battle, not for greatness, but for equality. It wasn't until August 26, 1920, that women across the United States obtained the right to vote with the 19th Amendment. This came after a nearly 80-year struggle to obtain that right. Even before this, many women had taken on the world with a grit and determination that set them apart from everyone else - including male counterparts.

How many of these historical women do you think you can name from an image? Do you know their historical achievements? You've likely heard of Amelia Earhart, but could you figure out who she is from an image? How about Bessie Coleman? Do you know which one took to the skies first? Delores Huerta fought for farmer's rights; Susan B. Anthony fought against slavery and for women's rights; Coretta Scott King fought for Civil Rights ;and Ruth Bader Ginsburg fights for everyone's rights. Other women are inventors, entrepreneurs, founders, and thinkers.

From world leaders, activists, adventurers, and humanitarians, these women have accomplished amazing things. They have started businesses, revolutionized industry, saved lives, and made us see the world differently - but how well can you identify them from an image? Let's find out!


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