Women today have come a long way towards gaining equality in society, both in the way of equal rights and in gaining recognition for their accomplishments in a male driven society. No longer are women expected to only be homemakers, no longer is a woman’s worth measured by the bomber of babies she can have or how well she keeps a house. Women no longer only have the option of being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. Women today have the women who came before to thank for the everyday opportunities they may take for granted, such as having an education, working outside the home, or even making basic health decisions without having to consult a husband, father or other male relative. Women today have amazing freedoms, but may not realize the sacrifices and strides made by women who came before them. Here are the top ten women forgotten by history.
List of Top 10 Women Forgotten By History
10. Mary Edward Walker
During the Civil War, Walker tried numerous times to become a commissioned surgeon with the Union troops, wanting only to serve her country and help the soldiers on the front lines to stay alive. After several failed attempts to come to terms with the government, Walker created her own uniform and worked for no pay assisting in hospitals where the wounded were sent. Finally her hard work paid off and Walker was taken on as an assistant. Later she was awarded the Medal of Honor for serving her country, an award that was later taken away from her and later again returned to her, making her the only woman in history to receive such an honor.
9. Constance Kopp
In the early nineteen hundreds, a young woman fed up with the treatment of her family by a bullying businessman collaborated with the local sheriff to prove that a man who had crashed into her carriage was threatening her for her avid stance that he pay for damages. By becoming the first woman sheriff in America’s history, Kopp, her daughter/sister and another sister became deputies and helped prove that a local businessman was threatening Kopp with bodily harm and the kidnapping of her little sister if she did not pay him money. The businessman and his henchman were thrown in jail with the help of the Kopp sisters.
8. Ida B Wells
When Wells refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a train in the late 1880’s, and was subsequently thrown from the train for defending herself against the conductor, she took the step for racial equality a step further by suing, and initially winning, the railroad company. After her experience on the train, Wells took it upon herself to educate the world on the crimes being committed against blacks in the south, going so far as to urge black people to leave the south, and having her controversial newspaper burned down in retribution.
7. Peggy Shippen Arnold
Some women forgotten by history did amazing things, while others did some truly underhanded things. During the revolutionary war, Peggy Shippen Arnold married the infamous Benedict Arnold, a traitor who sold secrets to the British. What many people did not know was that Benedict’s wife was originally courted by his co-conspirator John Andre and it was to him and England whom she remained loyal when she helped to plan out Benedict’s betrayal of the American army.
6. Agent 355
A woman so forgotten by history that even her name is not recorded, Agent 355 was a spy for General Washington during the Revolutionary war. She used her socialite status to infiltrate parts of New York City and uncover valuable information that helped Washington and the American army win the war. Such was her prowess, that Agent 355 vanished near the end of the war, and to this day her identity has never been discovered.
5. Zelda Fitzgerald
Though remembered for her party hard life with husband F. Scott Fitzgerald and other literary icons of the time, it is said that Zelda’s influences ran far past the evening libations enjoyed by her famous author husband. Such was her artistic talent that some say she is responsible for partially writing some of her husband’s greatest pieces of art, and also that some of his publications may have been written entirely by Zelda.
4. Coretta Scott King
Another woman working hard for racial equality, Coretta Scott King picked up where her husband left off when he was assassinated. In 1968, Coretta took over for Martin Luther King Jr. and became the frontrunner of the civil rights movement and is credited with making her husband’s birthday a national holiday.
3. Margaret Hamilton
Technology and scientific advancement has long been an area dominated by men, as has space travel aeronautics; but that hasn’t always been the case. In fact, had it not been for Margaret Hamilton, man may not have made it to the moon as early as he did. Hamilton is credited with writing the code that eventually led to man being able to fly into space, orbit the earth and also eventually walk on the moon. For a woman engineer in 1969, Hamilton opened up a world of possibilities one line of code at a time.
2. Sally Halterman
Being able to drive is an experience women today take for granted, never thinking what it must have been like for women of the early twentieth century who had to overcome the male bias in order to do what they loved; drive. An old picture from 1969 depicts Sally Halterman, complete in an ensemble of boots, pants and goggles, posing on her bike after becoming the first woman in history to be licensed to drive a motorcycle.
1. Jeanne Calment
Men are usually praised for being the stronger sex, praised for their muscles and overall brute strength; but what about the weaker sex? What about the women who give birth after sacrificing their bodies and own health to carry another human life within themselves only to have that life rip them apart on the way out? One strong woman history may have forgotten but no man or woman ever should is Jeanne Calment, the oldest person in the world when she died in 1997 at the age of 122. She continued to show her strength as she was walking at 115 and riding a bike at 113, certainly one of the strongest women in history, if not one of the strongest people to ever live.
These above are the Top 10 Women Forgotten By History. It is said that behind every great man is a greater woman, usually rolling her eyes and cleaning up the mess. Though history may have forgotten that women helped make this world great just as much as men did, these women can rest easy knowing that their stories were not forgotten by all.