March 8 is celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day, a day to highlight women’s achievements throughout history. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
In honor of this day, here are seven American women who have shaped history. I’m sure you’ll have many more suggestions, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
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Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Harriet Ross, 1820 – 1913) was an African-American abolitionist and humanitarian during the American Civil War. After escaping from slavery, she made 13 missions to rescue more than 70 slaves.
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902) joined the causes of temperance and abolition as a young woman, and this led to her pursuit of equal rights. She held a Woman’s Rights Convention in 1848 at Seneca Falls, NY, to address the inequalities faced by women and wrote the opening statement which called for equal rights.
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Mary Harris Jones, or “Mother Jones,” (c. 1830 – 1930), became a nationally prominent figure known for her efforts to improve working conditions for coal miners. She also led the “children’s crusade” to highlight the need to end child labor.
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Jane Addams (1860 – 1935) spent much of her life helping the poor and was the founder of Hull House in Chicago, one of the first community centers of its kind in America. In 1931, she became the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Fannie Lou Hamer (1917 – 1977) was the granddaughter of a slave and the youngest of 20 children. Although born into a family of sharecroppers, she became a leading figure in women’s suffrage.
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Gloria Steinem (born 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist, who became nationally recognized as a leader of the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 70s, and for founding Ms. Magazine. And she’s still amazing!
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Oprah Winfrey (born 1954) is a former pageant winner who began her rise to fame as a local television anchor in Nashville, Tennessee. In the mid-eighties, she became the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which quickly became a nationwide phenomenon.
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