Hypatia of Alexandria
Hypatia of Alexandria becomes the head of Neoplatonist School in Alexandria. She was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, and assisted in the creation of the astrolabe.
November 10, 1236: Razia Sultana became the first female ruler of Delhi Sultanate, a muslim kingdom.
Jean of Arc
January 6, 1412: Joan of Arc was born. She helped restore the king of France to his throne in the Hundred Years War. After, she was burned to the stake for witchcraft.
Elena Cornaro Piscopia
June 5, 1646: Elena Cornaro Piscopia was born in Venice, Italy. She became the first woman in the world to receive a doctorate in 1678. She earned it in Philosophy because she wasn’t allowed to take the doctor of theology.
December 16, 1775: Jane Austen was born in Stevenson, England. She wrote multiple novels including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and many others which are now considered literary classics.
Ching Shih was born. She was a former prostitute turned pirate and leader of 70,000 men. In 1809, the Chinese government attempted to destroy her and her fleet, the Red Flags. At the end, only 40 men were lost, and all ships survived. In 1810, the government offered amnesty to her and all of her crew, and she spent the rest of her days running a brothel.
August 30, 1797: Mary Shelley was born. She is most famous for her novel, Frankenstein, and for her creation of an new literary genre, Science Fiction.
April 7, 1805: Sacagawea begins interpreting on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She was a Shoshone woman born in modern Idaho, and had given birth to her son Baptiste just two months before.
January 8, 1816: Sophie Germain, a french mathematician, physicist and philosopher, received a grand prize by the French Academy of Sciences for her work on the mathematics of vibration, which are essential to the construction of the modern skyscraper.
Elizabeth Blackwell was accepted into the all-male Geneva Medical College in New York as a joke. She later became the first woman to earn a medical degree in the US.
May 29 1851: Sojourner Truth, a famous anti-slavery speaker and feminist, delivers her "Ain't I a Woman?" speech.
June 18, 1858: The death of Rani Lakshmibai, the rani of Jhansi in northern India and one of the leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. She died fighting the British with her adopted son strapped to her back.
Madam C.J. Walker was born. She was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire off of her line of African American hair products. In 1913, she donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of a YMCA in Indianapolis.
May 10, 1872: Victoria Woodhull, running for the Equal Rights Party, became the first female candidate nominated for US president.
January 25, 1882: Virginia Woolf was born. She is now considered one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the 20th century.
Marie Curie received the Nobel Prize for her research on radioactivity and the discovery of radium with her husband, Pierre Curie. She was the first person and still is the only woman to win the award in two different fields, physics and chemistry.
July 15, 1907: Qiu Jin was executed for plotting to overthrow the Qing dynasty. She was a chinese revolutionary and feminist, and she spoke about women's rights and advocated for improved access to education for women. She is now celebrated as a national hero in China.
March 22, 1913: Sabiha Gökçen was born. She became the first female combat pilot in Turkey at age 23. Some sources say she was the world’s first fighter pilot.
February 11, 1916: Florynce Kennedy was born. She was one of the first black women to graduate from Columbia Law School. She helped found the National Organization for Women, and she sued the Roman Catholic Church over their campaign against abortion.
October 16, 1916: Margaret Sanger opened the first US family planning clinic in Brooklyn, New York, which was raided by the police 10 days later. She also introduced the term “birth control” and created the American Birth Control League which evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Edith Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, which she won in fiction. She wrote 40 books in 40 years such as The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth, and she received an honorary doctorate from Yale.
Patsy Takemoto Mink
December 6, 1927: Patsy Takemoto Mink was born in Hawaii. She worked in the House of Representatives as the first Japanese-American woman and the first woman of color elected to Congress. She was also instrumental in passing Title IX which states “"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Amelia Earhart was the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane. She mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while trying to circumnavigate the world from the Equator.
Frances Perkins became the first female member of a Presidential cabinet. She also served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor for the longest serving in that position, from 1933 to 1945.
September 5, 1939: Claudette Colvin was born. At 15 years old, she refused to give up her seat nine months before Rosa Parks did. The NAACP didn’t want to popularize her story because she was pregnant at age 15.
Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil, received a patent for an idea of a radio signaling device, or "Secret Communications System," which was a way to prevent enemies from decoding messages by changing radio frequencies. This assisted in securing both military communications and cellular phones. She became the first female to receive the BULBIE™ Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award in 1997, and recieved the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award the same year. Not only that, but she was a famous actress who made her broadway debut in 1938, and she was publicized as the "world's most beautiful woman".
February 19, 1963: Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, which is widely considered to have caused the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States. She also co-founded the National Organization for Women in 1966.
Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space after orbiting Earth 48 times in 70.8 hours aboard the Vostok 6. It would be another 19 years before another woman went into space (Svetlana Savitskaya).
Stephanie Kwolek invents Kevlar, an immensely strong plastic, which was used as a replacement for steel reinforcing strips in racing car tires and is now used wherever high strength is required without high weight. In 1994, she was admitted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
April 19, 1966: Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. The organizers rejected her application on the grounds that "women are not physiologically able to run a marathon". She ran again in 1967 and 1968 yet the Boston Marathon didn’t officially open to women until 1972.
Janet Guthrie was the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500 after driving in a NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race the year before. She was named to the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
May 6, 1981: At age twenty-one, undergraduate architecture student Maya Lin won a nationwide competition for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She received harassment after her ethnicity was revealed, to the extent of Ross Perot, businessman and third party presidential candidate, calling her an "egg roll" because of her asian heritage.
Joan Benoit Samuelson
Joan Benoit Samuelson won gold in the first women’s Olympic Marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She went on to found the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in 1998 to benefit children's charities in Maine. In college, she won the Boston Marathon in 1979 and in 1983.
December 14, 1985: Wilma Mankiller became the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. In 1995 she did not run again, due to bad health (a near fatal car accident, and myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease which can lead to paralysis).
July 18, 1995: Tejano music superstar Selena's album Dreaming of You was released posthumously, only 13 years after her recording debut. She won the Tejano Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year nine consecutive times.
Hillary Clinton became the first First Lady to be elected to public office as a U.S. Senator from New York She was the first First Lady to run for President in 2008, and in 2016 she became the first woman to be the presidential nominee of a major political party.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
January 16, 2006: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president of Liberia. She was the first female democratically elected leader of an African country and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.
Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House. In 2002, she was elected to become the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives.
Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. She was also the first woman to win the Director's Guild of America Award for directing a feature film (The Hurt Locker), and the first woman to win a BAFTA Award for Best Director.
September 2, 2013: At age 64, Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective shark cage. In 1975, she set a speed world record for swimming around Manhattan in under eight hours, and a few years later, she set a distance record for her swim from the Bahamas to Florida which totaled to 102.5 miles.
Malala Yousafzai, a promoter of girls education, became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17. In the year prior, she was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Katherine G. Johnson
Katherine G. Johnson recieved the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She worked for Nasa in aeronautics as a “computer”, and did the calculations to send astronauts into orbit and to the moon.