We can learn a lot about ourselves by looking back at the people who came before us. Nowadays, we know of many outstanding historical women, such as Marie Curie or Joan of Arc. However, there are still some noteworthy women that, for some reason, still haven’t become common knowledge.
Throughout time, we can see that there have been vastly more strong female characters than we ever really hear about. Among them, are these amazing women from history you should know about.
Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005)
Before Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton, we had Shirley Chisholm – the first African American Woman to run for president. She did this during 1972, a time where that would have been completely unthinkable. Although she didn’t win the presidency, she had the honor of becoming the first African American Congresswoman in the US.
Margaret Hamilton (1936-present)
Although we mostly only remember the names of the astronauts who first stood on the moon, there were many women who helped them get there. Hamilton was one of these astounding women. She was the leader of the Software Engineering Division at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which was hired by NASA for the Apollo program. Hamilton and her team developed the spacecraft’s guidance and navigation system. Along with that, they also developed the framework for software engineering,
Alice Coachman (1922-2014)
During her childhood, Coachman was forbidden from training at athletic fields with white people, but that didn’t stop her. She trained as best she could with what she had, using ropes and sticks as high jumps as well as running barefoot. Her training paid off, and at the 1948 London Olympics, she became the first African American Woman to win a gold medal. She was awarded it by King George VI and was later congratulated in the white house by President Harry S. Truman.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
In In 1792, Wollstonecraft became one of the first women to publicly demand equality between the sexes. She did this by publishing her book “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.” During that time, her ideas were completely revolutionary and were despised by many people. However, her book is now considered to be one of the first examples of feminist philosophy.
Valentina Tereshkova (1937-present)
Although she started off as a textile worker in Russia, she later became a world-renowned astronaut. In 1963, she became the first woman to go to space and orbited the Earth 48 times. Not only that but by the young age of 26, she had logged more flight time than all the time combined by every American astronaut who had flown before her.
Wu Zetian (624-705)
During dynastic China, Confucius had deemed that women were unfit to be in positions of power. That, however, didn’t stop Wu. Originally, she joined the court of Emperor Tai Tsung who was in awe of her beauty and intelligence. After his death, she eventually worked her way up to becoming an emperor herself. She was the first, and only, female emperor in all of Chinese history.
Dorothy Lawrence (1896-1964)
Lawrence was a real-life Mulan. After working as a reporter, in 1915 she decided to disguise herself as a man so that she could fight in the First World War. She became the first recorded woman to fight for the English army. Later, she published Sapper Dorothy Lawrence: The Only English Woman Soldier, however, it didn’t sell many copies. Sadly, she was later committed to an asylum after she told a doctor that her church guardian had sexually assaulted her as a child.
Grace Hopper (1906-1992)
In 1934, Hopper became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University. She later worked with the Bureau of Ordnance Computation and was given the task of programming the Mark I computer. Hopper did such a good job that she was then asked to work on the Mark II and III computers, during which time she popularized the term “computer bug.” Not only that, but she also created the first compiler for computer languages.
Rose Marie McCoy (1922-2015)
At the young age of 19, McCoy moved to New York to pursue her dreams of being a singer. In the 1940s, however, she decided to pursue a career in songwriting which she was amazingly talented at. She wrote many hit songs and even had some sang by artists like Elvis Presley. In the 1960s she did what people thought was unthinkable for an African American woman at the time, she was given a private office at the Brill Building for songwriting. During her lifetime, she wrote a staggering 850 songs.
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
Also known as “the lady with the lamp” Nightingale decided to become a nurse, against her parents’ wishes. Her passion really was with nursing and she wanted nothing more than to care for others. In 1853, the Crimean War broke out, during which time she took 38 nurses to Turkey’s Military Hospital, something which wasn’t allowed before. She later wrote a book called “Notes on Nursing” and also became the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society.
There are countless stories of groundbreaking women in history. Although you may never know them all, learning about as many as you can will teach you so much. Throughout the history of the world, women were not simply feeble and uninteresting as we’ve been told to believe. On the contrary, there have been so many amazing women. All of which have done so much to shape the world as we know it.
Share this article with your friends and family to teach them about these amazing women they may not have heard about.