This month is Women’s History Month, celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women around the world. Here in the United States, we have a rich history of strong women to look back on and honor.
Since the nation’s founding, women have played a vital role in shaping our communities and leaving behind a better world. Here are just a few American women who changed the world with their talents and tenacity:
- Nellie Bly worked as a journalist in the late 1800s, a job not typically given to women. She wrote exposé pieces on factory work, prison conditions and corruption in state government. Her most significant work came after 10 days spent undercover in a mental institution. Her efforts led to reforms in patient care and treatment.
- We don’t typically read Grace Hopper’s name in a list of influential military figures, but she certainly belongs. Hopper left her teaching job at Vassar College to join the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) in 1943. She worked on one of the first computer prototypes, created operating manuals for early computing machines and even coined the term “bug” for computer problems.
- Susan B. Anthony is one of the best-known women in American history. She helped found the National Woman Suffrage Association and toured the country speaking in support of women’s right to vote. Her work laid the foundation for the 19th Amendment to give all women voting rights.
- There weren’t many jobs that Harriet Tubman couldn’t do. Born a slave in Maryland, Tubman escaped and continually risked her own freedom to lead slaves to safety in the north. She was a “conductor” on the underground railroad, referred to as “General Tubman” by John Brown in the battle to abolish slavery, and aided the Union Army as a cook, nurse, scout and spy.
These women were pioneers, barrier breakers and community leaders. They risked their comfort, safety and lives to have a positive impact and do the work they knew was right. Learn more about and celebrate their contributions this Women’s History Month!
What women are you learning about during Women’s History Month?