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Hi. My social studies teacher is from the Dark Ages and is just now doing something for Women's History Month after my friends and I have been bothering him about it. Anyway, what we have to do is create a top ten list of American women we think have done the most. These can be women of all fields (science, art, politics, activism, etc.). What I'm looking for is women that most people don't know of, but still contributed a lot. This is my list so far:

10 important ones:
Mary Cassatt Victoria Woodhull (1st womyn to run for pres. in 1872)
Carrie Chapman Catt (organized the strategy for womyn's suffrage)
Emma Willard
Margaret Sanger
Margaret Brent (practiced law, owned and ran property in early Maryland)
Rachel Carson
Belva Ann Lockwood (1st womyn lawyer, ran for pres. in 1884 and 1888)

other undecided possibilities:
Amelia Earhart
Helen Keller
Sandra Day O'Connor
Jeannette Rankin
Sojourner Truth
Shirley Chrisholm
Elizabeth Blackwell
Anne Hutchinson
Amelia Bloomer
Lucy Stone
Janis Joplin
(another 11)

As you can see, I've got far more than 10. Could you possibly help me narrow the list down, give me a website I can go to find info (not long paragraphs, just a few short sentences), and if nothing else PLEASE help me number the list of original ten! Thanks!

- Sarit, Ohio

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. I think all of your suggestions are great. I have added a few more thoughts and basically just want to encourage you to keep diversity in mind. Also, I'm assuming you are doing U.S. only.

  • Sarah Grimke and Angelina Grimke--two white sisters from the south who were (in the mid-1800's) commited to ending slavery and to fighting for the right for women to vote.
  • Harriet Tubman-she ran the underground railroad to help slaves escape from the south.
  • Mother Jones/Mary Harris--who fought against child labor.
  • Wilma Mankiller---who in the 1980s was the first female chief of the cherokee nation.
  • The Delaney Sisters, whose life story "Having Our Say" was recently a made for TV movie.

Also, see Pam Nelson's book Cool Women, which uncovers more obscure women and the National Women's History Project site--www.nwhp.org

Good luck and congratulations for finally persuading your teacher. I'm sure your work will have a positive impact on your fellow classmates.


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