Inspirational Women in History: 40 Facts About The Most Fearless Women In History

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26Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was a pioneer of applied statistics, and she used her meticulous records of death rates and poor conditions in barracks to persuade the government to improve army hygiene.

27. A nurse named Sally Tompkins became the first woman to be commissioned as an officer in any form of the United States army. She was commissioned as a captain in 1861. Under her supervision, she had the lowest death rate of any hospital, Union or Confederate.

28. Harriet Quimby was the first woman to fly across the English Channel on April 16th, 1912, but she barely received any media attention because of the Titanic Disaster, which occurred the day before and consumed the interest of the public.

29. Carolina Beatriz Ângelo was the first Portuguese woman to vote. In 1911, the Portuguese law stated that only literate, head-of-household people had the right to vote. Being a widow with a child, she claimed the right to do so, as the law didn't specify any genders. It was accepted.

30. Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to serve in both the House and the Senate. She was also the first woman to have her name be on the nomination at either major party's convention in 1964.

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31Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell was the first female professional astronomer (born 1 August 1818) who discovered a comet & was awarded a medal by the King of Denmark. The inscription read: "Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising of the stars".

32. Junko Tabei was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and she also became the first woman to ascend all the Seven Summits by climbing the highest peak on every continent.

33. In 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first African-American woman to become a physician in the United States. After the American Civil War ended in 1864 she moved from Boston to Virginia to provide medical care to freed slaves.

34. African-American physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s first space flight by hand. When NASA used computers for the first time to calculate John Glenn’s orbit around Earth, officials called on Johnson to verify its numbers.

35. Wilma Mankiller was the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. As the Cherokee Nation's first female chief, she transformed the nation-to-nation relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the federal government and served as an inspiration to women in Indian Country and across America.

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36Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin holds the record for winning the most consecutive Grammys in the same category. She won the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance every year from 1968 to 1975, for an eight-year winning streak. She also won in 1982, 1986, and 1988, giving her 11 wins in the category. In 1987, she also became the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

37. Ada Lovelace who wrote the first algorithm for a computing machine and first saw the potential in computers was the daughter of Lord Byron. The “source code” of the world’s first computer algorithm written by her, also contained the world’s first “bug”: in the fourth operation, the variables were printed as v5 / v4, when the correct order should be v4 / v5.

38. James Bond’s Miss Moneypenny has a real-life role model. Fleming used Vera Atkins, who recruited, trained, and watched over the legendary British secret agents who parachuted into France to sabotage the Nazis in World War II as an inspiration.

39. The originator of the popular saying, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission” was Grace Hopper, a United States Navy Rear Admiral and pioneer of computer programming who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL.

40. About 20 years before the first woman was democratically elected in 1980 as president of a country (Iceland), stateswoman Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) was elected as prime minister, when she led her party to victory at the 1960 general election. She became the first woman in modern history to become a non-hereditary head of a government.


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