Test your knowledge: Women’s history

Credit: Brian Dietrick

Credit: Brian Dietrick

1. Who became the first female secretary of state, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1997?

2. Who took over management of Columbia Sportswear Company in the late 1930s, when it was near bankruptcy, and turned it into the largest American ski apparel company worth $4 billion in 1972?

3. Who was the first woman in modern history to lead a major Native American tribe, the Cherokee Nation?

4. Who was the first American female poet published in London in 1650?

5. Who is considered the first American woman to be ordained by full denominational authority in 1864 and also campaigned vigorously for full woman suffrage?

6. Who was the first woman of color elected to Congress and a founding member of the National Women’s Political Caucus?

7. Who was the ecologist writer whose path-breaking book, “Silent Spring” in 1962, initiated the environmental movement?

8. Who was the first black woman and youngest poet laureate in American history when she was appointed in 1993?

9. Who was imprisoned and then hanged for her Quaker faith in Boston in 1660? (300 years later, her statue was placed in front of the Massachusetts State House)

10. Who was the female lawyer who worked for equal rights and suffrage, co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union in 1910 and helped write the Equal Rights Amendment?

11. Who led the fight to criminalize lynching, helped form the NAACP and aided many black people who migrated from the South to Chicago?

12. Who became the first female president of Harvard University and its 28th overall in 2007?

13. Who became the first female vice presidential candidate on a major political party ticket when selected in 1984?

14. Who volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War, earning the nickname “Mother,” and later became an attorney advocating for veterans?

15. Who was the U.S. delegate to the United Nations when she championed and won approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948?


1. Madeleine Albright (1937-2022)

2. Gertrude Boyle (1924-2019)

3. Wilma Mankiller (1945-2010)

4. Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

5. Olympia Brown (1835-1926)

6. Patsy Mink (1927-2002)

7. Rachel Carson (1907-1964)

8. Rita Dove (1952-)

9. Mary Dyer (1611-1660)

10. Crystal Eastman (1881-1928)

11. Ida Wells-Barnett (1862-1931)

12. Drew Gilpin Faust (1947-)

13. Geraldine Ferraro (1935-2011)

14. Mary Bickerdyke (1817-1901)

15. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

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