While researching the Mad About March post I found the National Women’s History Project site. On this site I found biographies of great women who’ve contributed to history and the advances women have made. I was inspired as I read along and wanted to share these wonderful women and their accomplishments with the world so I e-mailed and asked to please publish a few biographies each day here on Soapboxville. The nice people at the National Women’s History Project kindly agreed to allow it.
For even more bios visit the National Women’s History Project at http://www.nwhp.org.
Wendy Abrams (b. 1965)
Founder and President of Cool Globes
Wendy Abrams founded Cool Globes, a non-profit organization established to raise awareness of global warming, and to inspire individuals and community leaders to embrace solutions. She also demonstrates her commitment to a healthy environment a member of the National Council of Environmental Defense, the National Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Resources Defense Council C4 Action Fund.
Bella Abzug (1920-1998 )
Congresswoman, Women’s Rights Activist
Abzug was a founder and national legislative director of Women Strike for Peace from 1961 to 1970. She served 3 terms in Congress (1970-1976) where she worked to end the Vietnam War and the draft. She was presiding officer at the first government sponsored women’s conference at Houston in 1977. In 1990, she co-founded the International Women’s Environment and Development Organization to provide visibility and support for working women.
Abigail Adams (1744-1818)
Women Rights Advocate
As a self-educated woman, Adams held well-informed strong political beliefs. In over two thousand letters written to her husband John, to family and friends, and to government officials, she articulately expressed her ideas on the American Revolution, the new nation, the American family, foreign courts, and war. Well respected, her opinions were influential in government affairs before, during, and after her husband’s term as president.
Rebecca Adamson (1950-)
Native American Advocate
A member of the Cherokee nation, in 1980 Adamson founded the First Nations Development Institute. This group has established new standards of accountability regarding federal responsibility and reservation land reform and has an operating budget of about three million dollars. Adamson has aided indigenous peoples in Australia and Africa also and has received many awards for mobilizing and unifying people to solve common problems.
Jane Addams (1860–1935)
Addams founded Hull House in Chicago in 1889, America’s first settlement house providing English language classes, childcare, health education, and recreational programs for poor immigrant families. From 1919 until her death, Addams was president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, the first American woman so honored, for her unending dedication to the causes of peace and social justice.
Marian Anderson (1902-1993)
Anderson was denied permission to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. by the Daughters of the American Revolution—because she was black. Undaunted, she sang at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, 1939, to an audience of 75,000. With a voice that “comes once in a century,” Anderson was the first black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955. Her talent and quiet determination opened doors for other black classical performers.
Mary Anderson (1872–1964)
Anderson’s keen negotiating skills and labor activism, especially on behalf of working women, won her an appointment in 1920 as the first director of the Women’s Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor. During her 24 years there, she played a major role in winning federal minimum wage and maximum hour laws for women. After retiring in 1944, Anderson continued to advocate on behalf of working women.
Ethel Percy Andrus (1884–1967)
Elder Rights Activist
Andrus was the founder of the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) in 1947 and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in 1958. As its first president, Andrus pioneered nursing home reform legislation, often testified before Congress on issues of concern to senior citizens, and challenged mandatory retirement laws. She showed Americans of all ages that older people can and do live productive, useful, and purposeful lives.
Maya Angelou (1928-)
Angelou is a novelist, poet, professional stage and screen writer, dancer, editor, lecturer, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Most notable among her publications are autobiographical novels starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, published in 1970, which helped establish the memoir as a popular genre. In 1993, Angelou recited an original poem at President Clinton’s inauguration, confirming her status as “a people’s poet.”
Lupe Anguiano (b. 1929)
Protector of the Earth and Activist for the Poor
Defying any single category of cause or action, Lupe Anguiano, an educator, has always worked for the equality of all people. She is a passionate environment volunteer, helping to protect “Mother Earth” from global warming and other destructive environmental hazards. In 1949, she joined Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters. As a nun, she worked for fifteen years to improve the social, educational, and economic conditions of poor people throughout the United States. Anguiano was also a United Farm Workers’ Volunteer, working directly under the direction of Cesar Chavez in Delano, California. She led the successfully grape boycott in the entire State of Michigan in 1965.
Susan B. Anthony (1820- 1906)
Women’s Rights Activist, Suffragist
Susan B. Anthony began her life-long campaign for woman suffrage when she met Stanton in 1852. They organized the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. Anthony edited its newspaper, traveled extensively, organizing and lecturing. When committed people work for justice, she said, “Failure is Impossible.” The Nineteenth Amendment, passed in 1920, has been called the “Anthony Amendment” in tribute to the tireless work of this great crusader.