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10 Powerful Women Who Have Changed History

In honor of this month being women’s history month, we are here today to admire all the women before us in history. These women were just some who have contributed to powerful change in history. From politics to science, it’s a chance to reflect on the trailblazing women who directed the way for change.

  1. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)

Through her work on the analytical engine, the world’s first digital computer, with a store, a processor, a memory, a sub-routing function, and all other essentials that are necessary for a modern digital computer. Ada Lovelace was best known for being the first computer programmer.

2. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

Best known as “The Lady with the Lamp”, Florence Nightingale, was a British nurse, statistician, and social reformer. She had constantly pushed for reform of the British-military health care system. Florence Nightingale is remembered as the founder of modern nursing and is also credited as one of the creators of the first versions of the pie chart.

3. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)

One of the most well known and influential women who pushed for the women’s suffrage movement in the United Kingdom, Emmeline Pankhurst, had founded Women’s Social and Political Union. She was imprisoned countless times due to her efforts. Regardless, Emmeline Pankhurst’s movement, the Women’s Social and Political Union, had granted British women the same voting rights as men.

4. Marie Curie (1867-1934)

(Original Caption) Madame Curie (1867-1934), noted physical chemist, poses in her Paris laboratory. Undated photograph.

A female Nobelist, Polish-born French physicist, Marie Curie, became the first women to ever win a Noble prize, receive the award in physics. In 1911, she had also become the prime winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry. She is constantly remembered for all of the impressive work she has done for the world of science; such being her discovery of radium and polonium, and contributions to finding treatments for cancer.

5. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)

Margaret Sanger, who was a women’s rights activist and nurse, had founded the first ever American birth control clinic in October of 1916. Sanger’s clinic at the time was illegal because contraceptives and information regarding them was not allowed under the Comstock Laws. Her clinic was raided by police later in the month, causing all the goods at the clinic as well as the staff to be arrested. Margaret Sanger did not give up there, as she persisted to keep her clinic open, but yet again it was raided twice more by police. A few years later in 1921, Sanger had formed the first American Birth Control League, which was recognized nation wide. The American Birth Control League was renamed later on and is now know was Planned Parenthood.

6. Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu (1887-1973)

One of the first women ever to receive a degree in engineering, born in Romania, Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, had also become the worlds first female chemical engineer. While Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu had been dedicating hard work in laboratories, she had also participated in a field of studies discovering new resources of shale, natural gas, coal, chromium, bauxite, and copper. She is remembered as being a passionate engineer who worked long hours from day to night.

7. Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to successfully fly solo through the Atlantic Ocean on an airplane in 1928. After the first trip across the Atlantic Ocean, which was over 20 hours long, she had won countless awards, published a best-selling book about her flight, and became an editor at Cosmopolitan magazine. In 1937, Earhart had attempted to be the first pilot around the world. She had successfully flew through Miami, Africa, Brazil, India, and Australia. Sadly, when Amelia Earhart had left New Guinea to U.S. territory, the plane had disappeared; and no trace of Amelia Earhart was ever found again.

8. Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

One of the most influential activists, Rosa Parks, was an African American civil rights activists who refused to give up her seat for a white man on a bus; she had revitalized the issue for racial equality. This was known around the world as the 1955-1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. Parks was arrested on December 1st, 1995. She is still remembered as the mother of the civil rights movement, and for all her courage regarding the systematic issue of racial inequality.

9. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a well known women’s rights activist and the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1970, Ruth Bader Ginsburg had co-founded The Women’s Rights Law Reporter, which was the first journal ever to focus primarily on gender equality issues. In 1963, she was accepted for a job position as a professor at Rutgers University Law School. Years later in 1972, she began teaching in Columbia and became the first female professor at Columbia to earn a Tenure. She will be remembered as an ardent defender of justice, a activist for gender equality, and one of the most hard-working woman that the world of woman’s history has seen.

10. Valentina Tereshkova (1937-Present)

Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet Cosmonaut, became the first and youngest woman to travel alone into space on June 16, 1963, abroad Vostok 6. After 71 hours and 48 orbits in space, she made history when returning to earth, by having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date.

By: Olivia Katsura