The Ten Most Researched Women in American History

This March, celebrate Women’s History Month by brushing up on some of the ways women have shaped our country.Questia, the premier online research tool for students, has released a list of its library’s top ten most researched women in American history, and is making the reference works on each of them available for free until the end of the month. Visit their topic page on Famous Women for even more women’s history research.
  1. Rosa Parks: Her single act of demure defiance set in motion the chance for African American leaders to test the constitutionality of MontgomeryAlabama’s bus segregation laws and so many other laws around the country. [Fields, Suzanne. “The History Lesson from Rosa Parks; A Single Act of Responsibility Changes a Nation's Heart.” The Washington Post [Washington D.C.] 31 October 2005: A21.
  2. Margaret Sanger: The American leader in the birth control movement, Sanger helped people see that family planning was a necessary factor in social progress. She published three books, including her autobiography in 1938. [Sanger, Margaret. Margaret Sanger: An AutobiographyNew York: W. W. Norton, 1938]
  3. Clara Barton: Known as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” Barton worked tirelessly during wartimes to supply soldiers, and search for missing prisoners. She later established the American National Red Cross and headed it until 1904. [Morrow, Laura. “Clara's Heart.” Policy Review 75 (1996): 64.]
  4. Jane Addams: In 1889, Addams founded one of the first social settlements in the United States. Hull House first served as a community center to the poor and later as a center for social reform. [Addams, Jane. Twenty Years at Hull-House: With Autobiographical NotesNew York: Mcmillian, 1910]
  5. Abigail Adams: Wife of President John Adams and mother of President John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams was one of the most influential first ladies in the history of the United States. Her entrepreneurial skills, at a time when women had little to no control over finances, made her a revolutionary woman. [Shuffelton, Frank. “A Revolutionary Woman.” The Wilson Quarterly Winter 2010: 104+]
  6. Eleanor Roosevelt: In 1921, when husband Franklin Roosevelt was stricken with polio, Eleanor's political life began in order to keep his name alive in New York politics. In World War II, she served as assistant director of the Office of Civilian Defense, and went on to become a U.S. delegate for the United Nations and chair of the Commission on Human Rights. [Riechers, Maggie. “Eleanor Roosevelt, No Ordinary Woman.” HumanitiesJanuary/February 2000: 21+]
  7. Sacajawea: Using her knowledge of languages, Native people, forest trails and edible plants, Sacajawea help guide Lewis and Clark on their 19 month expedition across the Rocky Mountains toward the Pacific Coast. [Birchfield, D.L. “Sacajawea.” The Encyclopedia of North American Indians. 9. 1997]
  8. Helen Keller: Both blind and deaf, Keller exceeded expectations and graduated from Radcliffe with honors. She went on to write and lecture around the world and become one of the most inspirational stories in American history. [Keller, Helen and John Albert Macy. The Story of My LifeNew York: Doubleday, 1903]
  9. Susan B. Anthony: A leader of the women’s movement in the late 1800’s, Anthony devoted her life to the abolition of slavery and then to women’s equality. She was arrested in 1872 for illegally casting her ballot in the presidential election, and other women followed in her footsteps to stand up for Fourteenth Amendment rights. [Dorr, Rheta Childe. Susan B. Anthony: The Woman Who Changed the Mind of a NationNew York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1928.]
  10. Rachel Carson: An early environmentalist, Carson led the fight that eventually eliminated a number of toxic chemicals for household items and American homes. [Visser, Melvin. “Rachel Carson's Legacy.” The WashingtonTimes [Washington D.C.] 11 June 2007, A16.] 

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