Women

Olga of Kiev

Most of what we know about Olga comes from the Russian Primary Chronicle, also known as the Chronicle of Nestor or the Tale of Bygone Years. Some elements of the story may borrow more from legend than from history – it involves an elaborate, gruesome, very thorough revenge … and then a religious conversion. 

Mary Winston Jackson, NASA Engineer

Jackson is most well known as the first black woman to become an engineer at NASA. But she also worked to clear the way for other underrepresented people at NASA, in particular black women.



Teresa Carreño

Not only was Teresa Carreño the most famous pianist of her day, she is considered to be Venezuela’s first international super star. And her personal life was just as compelling as her public persona. 


Sojourner Truth, Pt. 2

Last time, we talked about Sojourner Truth's enslavement and how a religious vision after she was free led her to moving to New York City. Today, we’re picking up with another vision, which marked a huge shift in how she lived her life.

Sojourner Truth, Pt. 1

Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist in the 19th century. But because a speech most famously associated with Truth is a version rewritten by someone else, she’s commonly imagined as a different person from who she actually was.

Nell Donnelly Reed

Nell Donnelly Reed built a successful business starting before women even had the right to vote in the U.S. Her story combines fashion, education, workers’ health and safety, kidnapping, and marital scandal. She is, like any historical figure, complicated. 





The Mirabal Sisters

There were four Mirabal sisters -- Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and Dede. The sisters are national heroes in the Dominican Republic, but they weren’t very well-known elsewhere until 20 or so years ago when they became the subject of the historical novel “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez.



Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte

Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first Native American woman to earn a medical degree. She lived at a time when a lot of change was happening in the United States as a whole, and among Native Americans and the Omaha tribe she was part of specifically. 




Shirley Chisholm

From her college years, Chisolm was politically active. Her drive and desire to make positive change led her to many political firsts, including being the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.



Vernon Lee

Violet Paget, more often known by her pen name Vernon Lee, was a historian and an art and literary critic, and she wrote on myriad subjects including music, travel, aesthetics, psychology and economics. And she was well known for her ghost stories.