March is Women’s History Month, a time to remember, to discover and rediscover the often-ignored or suppressed historical achievements of women in the United States and elsewhere.
Here is a list of just some of the American women who — sometimes struggling against oppressive odds — made contributions that made this nation, this world, so much better.
Anne Bradstreet. The first world-renowned American poet in the 1600s.
Sacagawea. A shrewd, intelligent and indispensable Native American guide who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition into the Northwest.
Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” helped convince readers of the evils of slavery, the necessity for abolition. When President Lincoln met her, he said, “So you are the little lady who started the Big War.”
Harriet Tubman. An escaped slave, she risked her life many times to lead other escaped slaves to non-slave states in the North.
Mary Tape. A Chinese immigrant to America, she fought valiantly, successfully to guarantee Chinese Americans the right to an education.
Mary Ware Dennett: An artist, suffragist and reformer and anti-war advocate, she founded the first birth-control organization in the United States in 1915.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizaeth Cady Stanton. They fought fearlessly against entrenched male chauvinism for women’s right to vote.
Gertrude Stein. American author who, living in Paris, profoundly helped create and nurture modernism in the art and literature of the 20th Century.
Jane Cook Wright. A granddaughter of African-American physicists, she was among the first cancer researchers to discover chemotherapy, among many other achievements.
Eleanor Roosevelt. Wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she fought tirelessly for the rights of the working poor, including those of Black Americans.
Rosa Parks. By refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in the Jim Crow South, she helped launch the movement for civil rights for Blacks nationwide.
Rachel Carson. Author of “Silent Spring,” a book that prophetically warned us all of ongoing and upcoming environmental disasters.
Gloria Steinem. A fierce, courageous writer and activist who advocated passionately for women’s rights during the furor of the feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg. As the first Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice, she affirmed repeatedly women’s rights and civil rights for all people.
It would take many books just to list the outstanding women of history, Americans and those of other countries. There are many thousands more who lived or are living all around the world, including the brave women now standing up against the brutal regimes in Iran and Afghanistan, to name just two.
And not to forget, we should also honor this month and every month those women who are not famous – those long-unsung heroes who were/are “just” stay-at-home mothers who worked mightily in a down-home way to make this a far better world.