Throughout history, we have seen a variety of intelligent, inspirational, and brave women who have blazed the trail for those who came after them. From human rights to women’s rights to civil rights, women throughout history have helped change the world for these issues and beyond.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, we have highlighted four women who did all of that and much more:1. Anne Frank
Annelies "Anne" Frank was a German-born Dutch-Jewish teenage girl well-known for her personal diary accounting for and her family's suffering while hiding in Nazi-occupied Netherlands during WWII.
After Anne and her family went into hiding, she penned her experiences in her diary. Sadly, they were discovered and sent to concentration camps in 1944, in which only Anne’s father survived. He published Anne’s diary, which is now available in over 70 languages, so that the world could read her story and learn from one of the most inhumane chapters in history.
PA Distance Social Studies Teacher, Mr. Peter Mysels, teaches his History of the Holocaust students about Anne, her family's time in hiding, and the influence that her diary has had on millions of people worldwide.
More on Anne at https://www.biography.com/activist/anne-frank2. Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was a poet, singer, and civil rights activist, whose award-winning memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and many of her other books, have been one of the influential contributions to the civil rights movement, and showcase how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome even the most daunting hardships.
More on Maya at https://www.biography.com/writer/maya-angelou
3. Marie Curie
Marie Curie was a physicist and scientist who first established the term radioactivity, discovered two new elements (radium and polonium), and developed a portable x-ray machine that’s still used today.
Curie was the first person (not just the first woman) to win two Noble Prizes, one for physics and another for chemistry. To this day, Curie is the only person, regardless of gender, to receive Noble prizes for two different sciences.
More on Marie at https://www.biography.com/scientist/marie-curie
4. Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and the world’s first computer programmer. She is most famous for being the first person ever to publish an algorithm intended for computers - years before they were invented.
Ada’s contributions to computer science were not discovered and recognized until the 1950s. Since then, Ada has received many posthumous awards for her influential work. In 1980, the U.S. Department of Defense named a computer language "Ada," after her.
More on Ada at https://www.biography.com/scholar/ada-lovelace