Press "Enter" to skip to content

International Women’s Day: 5 Fascinating Women in History

Today the world celebrates International Women’s Day in recognition of past and current achievements of women all over the world. In honor of the day, here are some fascinating and pioneering women found in Geni’s World Family Tree.

Hedy Lamarr (1914 – 2000)

International Women's Day: 5 Fascinating Women in History

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Film actress Hedy Lamarr was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary on November 9, 1914. Lamarr was not only one of the most popular film actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but she was also a brilliant inventor. During World War II, Lamarr felt strongly about contributing to the war effort. Working alongside composer George Anthell, Lamarr co-invented an early technique for spread spectrum communications, which would allow radio-communications to hop frequencies so that Allied torpedoes wouldn’t be detected by the Nazis. Although she didn’t receive much recognition at the time, Lamarr’s work would lead to the future development of wireless communication, making GPS, Bluetooth, and WiFi possible today.

Ella Fitzgerald (1917 – 1996)

International Women's Day: 5 Fascinating Women in History

Image: Library of Congress

American Jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald is often referred to as the “First Lady of Song” and the “Queen of Jazz.” A pioneer of the genre, Fitzgerald was known for her extraordinary vocal range and her impressive improvisational ability in her scat singing. With a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Fitzgerald would go on to win 14 Grammy Awards and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.

Valentina Tereshkova (1937)

International Women's Day: 5 Fascinating Women in History

Image: San Diego Air and Space Museum

On June 16, 1963, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to go into space. Before becoming a cosmonaut, Tereshkova worked in a factory and was an amateur skydiver. Although she had no experience as a pilot, her experience parachuting led to her acceptance to the Soviet space program. Out of over 400 applicants, five were selected for training. From these five, Tereshkova was chosen to pilot the Vostok 6. On the mission, she completed 48 orbits around the Earth in over 70 hours. Today she remains the only woman to ever have been on a solo space flight.

Caroline Herschel (1750 – 1848)

International Women's Day: 5 Fascinating Women in History

Image: Wikimedia Commons

A pioneer for women in astronomy, Caroline Herschel made significant contributions to the field, including the discovery of several comets. She worked closely with her brother, William, who became known for his discovery of the planet Uranus. When her brother was named Court Astronomer by King George III, Herschel was given an annual salary as his assistant, making her the first woman to receive a salary for scientific work. In 1828, she became the first woman to be awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Jane Addams (1860 – 1935)

International Women's Day: 5 Fascinating Women in History

Image: Library of Congress

In 1931, social reformer and activist Jane Addams became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Addams co-founded Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago which provided community services for the local immigrant and poor populations. Today she is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States.

Source: Geni.com

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *