The top 10 most-researched American women in history

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1955

Rosa Parks with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1955

Discover free online research for the month of March on historical female figures for Women’s History Month. Find these and more great resources at!

March is Women’s History Month and here at we have released a list of our library’s top ten most-researched American women in history. To celebrate, we’ve even made the reference works to these ten strong women free for an entire month! Explore our online research tools and brush up on some of the ways women have shaped our country.

  1. Rosa Parks: In 1955 her single act of modest defiance set in motion the movement of the modern Civil Rights Movement.  Known as “the first lady of civil rights”, Parks gave African American leaders an opportunity to test the constitutionality of Montgomery, Alabama’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 birth control activist, educator and nurse, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States and helped people see the importance of family planning in social progress. She was responsible for Planned Parenthood and contributed efforts to legalize contraception in the US. [Sanger, Margaret. Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography. New York: W. W. Norton, 1938]
  3. Clara Barton:  A pioneer American, teacher, nurse and humanitarian best known for organizing the American Red Cross. Known as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” Barton worked tirelessly during wartimes to provide resources to soldiers, searching for missing prisoners and established an agency during the American Civil War to distribute supplies to wounded soldiers. [Morrow, Laura. “Clara's Heart.” Policy Review 75 (1996): 64.]
  4. Jane Addams: A leader in woman suffrage, world peace and a prominent reformer of the Progressive Era, helping in informing the nation about issues such as public health and children’s needs. In 1889, Addams founded one of the original social settlements in the United States, the Hull House that first served as a community center to the poor and later became a center for social reform. [Addams, Jane. Twenty Years at Hull-House: With Autobiographical Notes. New York: McMillian, 1910]
  5. Abigail Adams: Wife of President John Adamsand mother of President John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams was one of the most influential first ladies in the history of the United States. Her intellectual knowledge on government, politics and women’s rights made her a revolutionary woman. [Shuffelton, Frank. “A Revolutionary Woman.” The Wilson Quarterly Winter 2010: 104+]
  6. Eleanor Roosevelt: Known for many life accomplishments, Roosevelt was an international author, speaker, politician and activist for the New Deal coalition. She became active in politics after her husband, Franklin Roosevelt fell ill, working to enhance the status of working women and later 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.” Humanities January/February 2000: 21+]
  7. Sacajawea: Using her knowledge of languages, Native people, forest trails and edible plants, Sacajawea acted as an interpreter and guide to the Lewis and Clark Expedition on their 19 month expedition across the Western United States. [Birchfield, D.L. “Sacajawea.” The Encyclopedia of North American Indians. 9. 1997]
  8. Helen Keller: As the first blind and deaf person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, Keller exceeded expectations and graduated from Radcliffe with honors. She went on to become a prolific author, political activist and lecturer around the world with one of the most inspirational stories in American history. [Keller, Helen and John Albert Macy. The Story of My Life. New York: Doubleday, 1903]
  9. Susan B. Anthony: A leader of the women’s movement in the late 1800’s and American civil rights leader, Anthony devoted her life to the abolition of slavery and then to women’s equality. After introducing women’s suffrage into the US, she was arrested in 1872 for illegally casting her ballot in the presidential election, encouraging other women followed in her footsteps and stand up for Fourteenth Amendment rights. [Dorr, Rheta Childe. Susan B. Anthony: The Woman Who Changed the Mind of a Nation. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1928.]
  10. Rachel Carson: An early environmentalist, Carson was credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Her passion for environmental concerns, led her to the battle that eventually eliminated a number of toxic chemicals for household items and American homes. [Visser, Melvin. “Rachel Carson's Legacy.” The Washington Times [Washington D.C.] 11 June 2007, A16.]

Visit our topic page on Famous Women for even more women’s history research.


Posted in History | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

One Response to The top 10 most-researched American women in history

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have a promblem choosing there are so many.

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