Women Who Changed History
By Tommie, Moses Lake Public Library
Accounting for over 50% of the population, women have had a stalwart presence in the efforts for human rights and societal advancement. Millions of women
have made notable contributions to life as we know it, though only a few seem to make it into the history books.
Today in celebration of Women’s History Month, we are recognizing just a few women who have made record contributions to history. There are so many more stories, many of which can be found at your local library! Click on a name to find one of the many resources we have in our collection about these trail-blazing women!
LawRuth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman elected and confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg following as the second woman elected. Two brilliant, powerful women who served as Justices, fighting for women’s rights and continuing to lead as strong influences in the legal community, even after retirement and death.
Marie Skłodowska Curie was a testament to the world of science. With her discovery of radioactivity, her research continues to influence the way that scientists battle cancer today. Temple Grandin furthered the humane practice of raising cattle for slaughter and is a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. It is because of her studies that cattle are treated humanely before slaughter, which affects the quality and care of the animals.
Art & Literature
Mary Shelley is the creator of Science Fiction. Her novel “Frankenstein” changed the literary world forever and opened pathways to an amazing genre that dominates the fiction market today. On top of her groundbreaking writing, she was also a women’s rights activist, following in the footsteps of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frida Kahlo was a revolutionary artist, often focusing on self-portraits and nature. Beyond her paintings, Kahlo worked diligently to fight for women’s rights and LGBT+ rights in Mexico.
Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives, blazing the trail for many women who would follow after her, including Vice President Kamala Harris. Her work in the House championed racial and gender equality, as well as ending the Vietnam War. Katherine Johnson was the mastermind mathematician behind the first moon landing with NASA. Her calculations assisted astronauts with landing the Apollo, the Space Shuttle, and the Landsat. Her contributions to NASA are timeless and recognized in the scientific community as landmark calculations.
It wouldn’t be a historical celebration of women without Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two women who worked tirelessly in their efforts for the LGBT community. Two transgender women of color, they were among key figures in the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Their efforts, among many other members of the LGBT community, helped in the fight of gender and sexuality equality.
Books about these women and many other women who made contributions to society are available at your public library. Visit our website for more information and to search our catalog for a book about women’s history today!