Honoring Women in American History



Pictured with fellow Women’s Rights activists of her time, Susan B. Anthony is seated in the center. Anthony is known for her relentless campaigning during the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Tia Hunt, Staff Reporter

This month women are being celebrated all over the world for their accomplishments and achievements. With a theme of the month “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence,” leaders that promote peace and help to establish justice for all are being spotlighted. This includes Mary Burnett Talbert, a founder of the Niagara Movement, and Dorothy Cotton, considered one of the only women in the inner circle of the civil rights movement. Women known for other successes are being spotlighted as well. Here are a few women that have changed American history for the better:

 An advocate for the mentally ill and a hard-working nurse, Dorothea Dix helped to change the way mental health was viewed. She traveled to England to teach inmates and realized how horrible conditions were in jail. During this time she also recognized that many of the inmates had not committed any crimes but were mentally ill and jailed because of it. This caused her to establish asylums across the United States in an effort to give people the care they needed. Dix was also a nurse and the superintendent of female nurses during the Civil War. Although she supported the Union, Dix would offer aid to any soldiers in need, which caused controversy and tension between the soldiers she worked with. Dix was a revolutionary woman that helped change the world for the better.

 Eleanor Roosevelt is recognized as one of the most active First Ladies. She held press conferences and spoke on issues like civil rights and women’s rights. Even though some considered her to overstep her duties as the First Lady, Roosevelt was loved by the general public. Due to Franklin Roosevelt’s polio, Eleanor Roosevelt traveled to other countries and would send back information when he could not. She was also a member of the United Nations up until 1952, and the Red Cross until the end of World War I.

 Another historical woman is Shirley Chisholm, a politician who achieved many firsts in American history. She was the first African-American woman in Congress and the first woman to run for president, as well as the first African American to run for president from a major party. At first, Chisholm had no interest in politics because she felt that her being a woman and an African American would cause her viewed as less qualified. This all changed once she began joining chapters that fought for gender and racial equality. Chisholm was not afraid to criticize those in office, even if they were Democrats. Her passion for equality helped inspire young women to go after their dreams.   

 Starting her work for social equality at the age 17, Susan B. Anthony was influenced by her religion to ensure equality was achieved. Although it was considered inappropriate for women to give speeches, Anthony talked about slavery and how it should be banished. Later on, Anthony and her friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, formed the Women’s National Loyal League. This group rallied for everyone to have the right to vote. The Leagues work led to the 14th and 15th amendments being passed which allowed only African American males to vote. This angered Anthony because not equal voting rights still were not achieved. Anthony worked even harder for women’s suffrage and illegally voted in 1872, which led to her arrest. Without Anthony’s dedication, many groups would not have gotten the right to vote. Sophomore Victoria Woollen said, “I think Susan B. Anthony is a historical woman because she helped women get the right to vote.”

 So many other women have done amazing things and these are just a few that challenged social norms and did what was right despite being heavily opposed.