famous women in history

Women that have made history (and their signs)

Aries: Billie Holiday (African American jazz musician)

Taurus: Sandra Day O’Connor (first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court)

Gemini: Chien Shiung Wu (Chinese American nuclear physicist that contributed to the Manhattan Project and is often recognized as the First Lady of Physics)

Cancer: Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter known for her powerful self-portraits and artwork)

Leo: Amelia Earhart (first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo)

Virgo: Mother Teresa (20th Century symbol of humanitarianism known for her charity work and dedication to the Catholic Church)

Libra: Eleanor Roosevelt (changed the role of the First Lady as an activist, politician, and diplomat)

Scorpio: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (early leader of the women’s rights movement and writer of the Declaration of Sentiments)

Sagittarius: Emily Dickinson (revolutionized the world of poetry with her unique and unconventional writing style)

Capricorn: Zora Neale Hurston (African American novelist and anthropologist that gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance)

Aquarius: Corazon Aquino (first female president not only in the Philippines but in all of Asia as well)

Pisces: Kate Sheppard (appears on New Zealand’s 10 dollar note as a result of being the country’s most famous suffragette)

Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, believed to be by Johann Zoffany.

Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay (1761-1804) was the mixed-race daughter of a British aristocrat. While she was, under colonial law, born into slavery, she was given a unique position. She was educated and given lavish bedroom furnishings. Her work included multiple responsibilities, the most important being that of her uncle’s correspondence, and companion to her cousin. After her fathers death, she became an heiress as she was included into his will. While many of these facts are considered common decency today, Lindsay’s life was rather shocking to many during her time.

Engraving of Frances Harper from  William Still. The underground railroad.

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (September 24, 1825 – February 22, 1911) was an African-American abolitionist, suffragist, poet and author. She was also active in other types of social reform and was a member of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, which advocated the federal government taking a role in progressive reform. 

Faith Ringgold  – Self Portrait –  Pastel

Faith Ringgold was born in New York City in 1930. While working as an art teacher in public schools, she began a series of paintings called American People, which portrayed the civil rights movement from a female perspective. In the 1970s, she created African-style masks, painted political posters and actively sought the racial integration of the New York art world. During the 1980s, she began a series of quilts that are among her best-known works, and she later embarked on a successful career as a children’s book author and illustrator.

Toni Morrison by  Cathleen Antoine - Oil Paint and Mixed Media

Born on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio, Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, editor and professor. 


If you want to fly, you have to give up the thing that weighs you down 

So give up the love you lost,

opportunities you missed,

give up the burden of that long time grudge,

that old fear that always breaks your spirit

and keeps you locked up in perpetual failure,

gather up air under your wings and get ready to take off,

if you strongly desire success, then you must fly,

so get up and conquer the sky. 

~Toni Morrison

Famous Autistic men:

Albert Einstein -helped created the atomic age, revolutionized math

Nikola Tesla - inventor / scientist

Thomas Edison - inventor / scientist

Sir Issac Newton - Scientist (physicist), revolutionized math

Fredrick Douglas - social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.

Richard the lion heart -King/General

Saladin - King/General

Van Gogh -Artist

Famous Autistic women:

Temple Grandin -re imagined more humane and effective slaughter houses for almost all of north America

Madame Curie -discovered the use of x-ray imaging

Emily Dickinson -poet

Rosalind Franklin - Discovered DNA

Jane Goodall -Scientist

Mulan -General

Grace O'Malley - Chieftain of Ireland

Lozen - skilled warrior and prophet of the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache

Hypatia was a real person (here portrayed in a painting by Charles William Mitchell in 1885).  She was a world-famous mathematician and teacher of astronomy and the last librarian of the Library of Alexandria. So why did the painter depict her naked? Because she was stripped by a mob before they murdered her during violent Christian-Jewish clashes in Alexandria in 415 CE

Watermelon and Pink Flower

Sin Saimdang

16th century

Sin Saimdang is a rarity in Korean history. Although she lived in the 16th century, she was an artist and a poet. Above is one of her famous paintings. Sin Saimdang, who was also the mother of a famous Confucian scholar, is honored in Korea with her image on the 50000 Won note.

From the Kangnung City Museum.

Supercomputing reveals centuries of stories, experiences of Black women

Women’s History Month is perfect timing for this story—a story about a quest to reveal the lives and experiences of Black women in the U.S. during the last three centuries. Hear from the group of researchers collaborating and using ‪NSF-funded‬ XSEDE supercomputing to fulfill this quest. Their discussion is on Advancing Discovery, a featured podcast at Science360 Radio: Science360.gov/radio

Above: Ruby Mendenhall, an associate professor of sociology, African American studies and urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is leading a collaboration of social scientists, humanities scholars and digital researchers that hopes to harness the power of high-performance computing to find and understand the historical experiences of black women by searching two massive databases of written works from the 18th through 20th centuries. The team also is developing a common toolbox that can help other digital humanities projects. Credit: Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Above: Nicole Brown is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and part of Ruby Mendenhall’s group. She is interpreting the computational results in light of black feminist theory. Credit: Nicole Brown

Above: Harriet Tubman is famous as an abolitionist, Underground Railroad leader and women’s suffrage pioneer. Credit: H. B. Lindsley – National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Public Domain (PD-1875)

Above: Sculptor Edmondia Lewis (1844-1907) was the first woman of African- and Native-American descent to achieve notoriety in the fine arts world. She spent most of her career in Rome. Credit: Henry Rocher – National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Public Domain

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[Ethel Smyth, a dapper and butch-presenting woman, as a younger and an older woman.

Annie Kenney, shown as a young woman.

Edith Craig, posed with a thoughtful hand to her jaw and looking rather like a Byronic hero.

(From left) Edith Craig with her partners Clare “Tony” Atwood and Christabel Marshall St. John.

Rosa May Billinghurst, depicted at the center of two crowd scenes. In the first, she is wearing an overcoat and sitting in an old-fashioned wheelchair;  in the second, she has a rather grand hat and is in her famous adaptive tricycle. ]

For @disabilityfest this year, I wanted to continue what I started last year, making posts about historical figures who were disabled. It’s been really important to me to know that my forebears existed, survived, and in some cases thrived. In the historical record, disability erasure is a huge issue: many historical figures’ disabilities aren’t talked about, or the individuals are forgotten entirely.

As an autistic bisexual woman, I’m very aware that sexuality is also subject to historical erasure, often in much the same way. So I’ve decided to focus especially on disabled historical figures who were also gay or bisexual. For me, finding out about and researching historical people who represent those important intersections in my identity has been very powerful, and I hope my information can also benefit some of you.

Today’s post is about disabled suffragettes! (trigger warning for brief mentions of police brutality).

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