During March, women are celebrated and recognized through Women’s History Month and the International Day of Women. Throughout history, women have made incredible contributions to society through activism, science, government, and challenging the boundaries of adventure.
In Denton County, we have been blessed with many women becoming CEOs, District Court Judges, serving on Commissioners’ Court, City and Town Councils, and School Boards, leading non-profit organizations, starting new businesses, and so much more.
Today, our daughters and granddaughters have many female role models from whom to look up and learn as they plan for their own futures.
As each year goes by, our sons and daughters walk shoulder to shoulder-across new horizons, creating opportunities for many others along the way.
In honor of Women’s History Month, here are some of the most famous women in American history who left an indelible mark on history:
- Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was an abolitionist and activist for women’s rights. She was an escaped slave who became one of the foremost leaders in the movement for abolition.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an abolitionist and author best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
- Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906) is the first woman to have her face on an American coin.
- Harriet Tubman (1820 -1913) escaped slavery and became a famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad leading many slaves to freedom.
- Clara Barton (1821-1912) founded the American Red Cross and was a nurse during the Civil War.
- Susanna Madora Salter (1860 – 1961) was elected as the first woman mayor in the United States, serving in Argonia, Kansas.
- Jeannette Picking Rankin (1880 – 1973) became the first woman to hold federal office by being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Montana.
- Harriet Quimby (1875 – 1912) was the first American woman to receive a pilot’s certificate and was the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
- Amelia Earhart (1897-1939) was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S.
- Georgia Neese Clark Gray (1898 -1995) was the first woman to hold the office of Treasurer of the United States.
- Gertrude Caroline Ederle (1906 – 2003) was the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
- Grace Dolbeck Leach Hudowalski (1906-2004) was the first woman to hike all 46 peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.
- Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) sparked a civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white man. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999. She was the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol upon death.
- Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014) was a poet, singer, and civil rights activist. She is best known for her award-winning memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
- Janet Reno (1938 – 2016) served as the first woman to hold the office of the United States Attorney General.
- Janet Guthrie (1938 – present) was the first woman to qualify and compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.
- Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018) was the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Diane Crump (1948 – present) was a jockey and the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
- Sally Ride (1951-2012) became the first American woman to enter outer space.
- Sandra Day O’Connor (1930-present) was a lawyer who became the first female Justice of the Supreme Court from 1981-2006.
Thank you to all of these and the many other women who have made it their life’s work to make a difference in someone else’s life. We are fortunate to follow your example and, hopefully, leave even more for the next generations to come.