en History-Changing Women You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Of

Patricia Oprea

As March is Women’s History Month, female-centric articles fill the Internet and events geared towards female students pop up on University of New Haven calendars. However, often the same women are recognized. Although this is in no way a detriment, it is often as repetitive and dry as the rest of history tends to be.

Everyone (hopefully) knows about the apex of different movements led by women, and of outstanding women of accomplishment, such as Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, and Susan B. Anthony.

The following ten women are American women less included in the historical celebration of achievements…

Sybil Ludington: Just like Paul Revere, she set out to warn colonists that the British were coming.  Except, she did so at half his age and rode twice the distance (1777).

Agent 355: A spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. She posed as a socialite and thus acquired information from the British. To this day, no one knows her real name (1778).

Sacagawea: Native American who was a guide and interpreter for Lewis and Clark’s Expedition across the territories during the Louisiana Purchase and she carried her child on her back the entire one thousand miles (1804-05).

Sojourner Truth: Preacher and key leader of the abolitionist and women’s rights movements after her freedom from slavery. Not only dedicated her time to one movement but two with captivating speeches. She was the first black woman to win a case against a white man, to recover her son (1826).

Sara Redmond: The story of Rosa Parks is well known, but Redmond did something even better; she went to sit down in “whites only” section of an opera hall.  When she was pushed down the stairs, she sued the police officer, and won her case (1852).

Emily Roebling: It is she (not her husband) who is considered Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge, during the span of 14 years. As the first woman field engineer, Roebling saw the completion of the bridge after her husband’s death (1882).

Clara Maass: US nurse who agreed to be bitten by a mosquito carrying Yellow Fever for the advancement of science. After a second volunteering, she died of the disease (1901).

Ida Tarbell: Exposed the corruption of the oil industry with her writing “A History of Standard Oil.” She shook the John Rockefeller’s stealthily built empire; he refused to rebut her observations (1902-04).

Margaret Sanger: Dedicated to a birth control movement and legalizing options for women. She dreamed of a “magic pill” and fought during her lifetime until the invention of the birth control pill. She was arrested for opening the first birth control clinic in the United States, before founding the precursor to Planned Parenthood (1921).

Patsy Mink: In 1965, she became the first female of an ethnic minority to join Congress.
Mink is known as the principal author of the Title IX- A bill now described as the pinnacle of gender equality in education (1972).