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5 Remarkable Women Who Made History

By: Mars Salazar

Mar 1, 2019
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Well-behaved women rarely make history.

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating by honoring ladies who dared to defy the odds, took matters into their own hands, and turned history into herstory. Get to know them below!

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005)

Shirley Chisholm

The daughter of immigrants from Barbados, Shirley was an accomplished educator who was elected as the first African-American Congresswoman in 1968. She represented New York’s 12th congressional district for seven terms, working tirelessly to promote education, health care, and social services, while speaking against the USA’s involvement in the Vietnam War. In 1972, Shirley became the first black major-party candidate to run for President of the United States, as well as the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Though she lost her bid, she was able to pave the way in politics for African-Americans and women.

Marie Marvingt (1875-1963)

Marie Marvingt should be every female athlete’s role model. Encouraged at an early age to be active, she excelled at horse riding, boxing, fencing, tennis, golf, football, shooting, swimming, cycling, mountaineering, and various winter sports, among several others. Marie was also a trailblazer in the field of aviation medicine, helping develop the first air ambulance. She had over 34 official medals and decorations for her accomplishments in the military, aviation, and public health fields, including a Gold Medal “for all sports”–the only multi-sport medal the French Academy of Sports has ever awarded.

Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was one of the few female doctors of her time, studying pediatrics and psychiatry and eventually developing teaching methods and materials for the education of mentally disabled children. She later oversaw the education of a group of children in a low-income community in Rome, adopting the methods she used to teach mentally disabled children to create the Montessori education philosophy. This promotes the idea that children can initiate the learning process in a supportive environment where they are treated as independent individuals. Through her work, Maria was able to change the face of education.

Neerja Bhanot (1963-1986)

In 1986, Neerja Bhanot was 22 and living THE life, balancing a successful modeling career with her flight attendant duties at Pan Am. She had everything going for her. That was until Pan Am Flight 73, where she was assigned as the Senior Flight Purser, got hijacked by four terrorists who were targeting Americans on board. When the hijackers opened fire after a 17-hour standstill, Neerja opened one of the airplane doors and helped the passengers escape. She was guiding passengers to the emergency exit when the terrorists saw her, and they shot her point blank. Her bravery was commemorated by posthumous several awards from both India and the United States.

Nancy Wake (1912-2011)

Nancy Wake

World War II saw Nancy Wake, a high-society hostess, leading over 7,000 French guerilla fighters against the Nazis, attacking bridges, railway lines, and enemy encampments. She had a five-million-Franc bounty on her head and was nicknamed “The White Mouse” by the Nazis for her uncanny ability to evade capture. At one point, she killed a Nazi sentry with her bare hands to prevent him from sounding the alarm during a raid. Nancy’s wartime efforts were recognized by the USA, UK, France, Australia, and New Zealand, and she died peacefully at the age of 98.

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Marianne is Nixplay’s Web Content Editor. Her hobbies include exploring new places, playing table tennis, and cuddling puppies. Send her a message at marianne.salazar@nixplay.com.

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