GALLERY: American women who have impacted our nation

Women's History

Poet, dancer, singer, activist, and scholar, Maya Angelou is a world-famous author. She is best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style.

Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms was a Republican United States Representative from Illinois who served from 1929 to 1931. 

One of America’s most female athletes, Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias was an Olympic gold medal winner who broke world records in multiple sports.

Annie Oakley is a famous markswoman known for her sharpshooting. 

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was the first First Lady of the United States. 

Famous chef, author, and television personality, Julia Child made French cuisine accessible to American audiences. 

Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She made her journey into history on June 18, 1983. 

Lucille Ball was an American actress and pioneer in comedy. As an entertainer and businesswoman, Ball continuously broke barriers for women in entertainment business.

The daughter of former slaves, Mary Jane McLeod Bethune became one of the most important black educators, civil and women’s rights leaders and government officials of the twentieth century.

A loyal patriot of the American Revolution, Penelope Barker organized the famous Edenton Tea Party, the first recorded women’s political demonstration in America. 

World renowned performer, World War II spy, and activist are few of the titles used to describe Josephine Baker. 

Famed author Louisa May Alcott created colorful relatable characters in 19thcentury novels. Her work introduced readers to educated strong female heroines. 

(Courtesy: National Women's History Museum