March is Women’s History Month and I thought it was the perfect time to take a moment to celebrate women in history. Throughout history, women have changed the world but haven't received nearly enough credit, in my opinion. These are my picks for eleven women everyone should recognize and celebrate their accomplishments. Trust me when I tell you there’s a lot of books on some of these women but not all of them. Maybe a couple of female authors will be inspired to write about these women.
Catherine the Great – She came to power following a coup d'état that she organised—resulting in her husband, Peter III, being overthrown. Under her reign, Russia was revitalised; it grew larger and stronger, and was recognised as one of the great powers of Europe. (Wikipedia)
Princess Khutulan – Khutulun was born about 1260. By 1280, her father Kaidu became the most powerful ruler of Central Asia, reigning in the realms from western Mongolia to Oxus, and from the Central Siberian Plateau to India. (Wikipedia)
Marco Polo described Khutulun as a superb warrior, one who could ride into enemy ranks and snatch a captive as easily as a hawk snatches a chicken. She assisted her father in many battles, particularly against the Yuan Dynasty of her cousin the Great Khan – Kublai (r. 1260–1294). (Wikipedia)
Maya Lin – Don’t recognize the name? She designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a twenty-one-year-old art student. Lin has designed other memorials and numerous public and private buildings, landscape design, and sculpture. Although Lin's best-known sculptures and architectural work are historical memorials, she also honors nature through her environmentally-themed works. (Wikipedia)
Marie Curie – She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris. (Wikipedia)
Queen Elizabeth I – She is one of the greatest monarchs in England’s history and someone I’ve admired since I was eight. She is the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, maneuvering between the major powers of France and Spain. She only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history. (Wikipedia)
Helen Keller – She was born deaf and blind but that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. A prolific author, Helen Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. (Wikipedia)
Harriet Tubman – Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women's suffrage. (Wikipedia)
Queen Cleopatra – As a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great. After the death of Cleopatra, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, marking the end of the Hellenistic period that had lasted since the reign of Alexander (336–323 BC). Her native language was Koine Greek, and she was the first Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language. (Wikipedia)
Georgia O’Keefe – She was known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes. O'Keeffe has been recognized as the "Mother of American modernism". (Wikipedia)
Elizabeth Catlett - During the height of segregation in America, many artists, including Elizabeth Catlett, were denied entry into universities due to racist policies. But Elizabeth was determined to make art that celebrated black people, and she portrayed them with beauty and strength. Today, her art depicting black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman has been shown in museums around the world. (Wikipedia)
Lee Miller - When the Allied invasion of Europe came in 1944, artist Lee Miller was the only female photographer on the front line. She was one of the first photographers to document the horrors of the Holocaust. When many denied that the concentration camps were real, Lee’s photographs forced the world to confront the truth. (Wikipedia)
Who are some women in history you admire and think more people need to know about?