Firsts and Founders: The Women in US History Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Abigail Adams told us to "not forget the ladies," but some of these amazing Americans have been left behind by history. Take this quiz to test how well you know the women who shaped our nation and to learn a bit more about those you might've missed.

What social work pioneer won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931?

Addams, the founder of Hull House, also helped found the American Civil Liberties Union.


Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an civil rights advocate and crusader at the turn of the last century. What was her profession?

Wells-Barnett began her career teaching but became a prominent journalist.


Mary Church Terrell founded what organization?

Terrell, who founded the National Association of Colored Women, graduated from Oberlin College in 1884.


Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to complete what athletic activity?

Not only did she swim the Channel in 1926, but she also broke the men's record by nearly two hours.


What woman was the first to be picked as a vice president on a presidential ticket?

Ferraro ran with Walter Mondale in 1984.


Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to …

In 1992 Jemison became the first African-American woman in space.


Wilma Pearl Mankiller was the first …

Mankiller led the Cherokee nation, beginning in 1985.


Who was the highest-ranking female elected official when she became speaker of the House?

Pelosi also managed to raise five children while achieving the highest office in Congress.


Rossana Rosado was the first female editor, publisher and CEO of what?

<i>El Diario La Prensa</i> is a influential and long-standing American newspaper.


Rosalyn Yalow was awarded what for her work as a physicist?

The technique she helped develop measured small amounts of substances in the body.


Vera Rubin is an American astronomer who made significant discoveries in dark matter research. What school did NOT accept her in its astronomy graduate program?

Princeton refused to accept women into the program until 1975, but Cornell and later Georgetown University were lucky to have Rubin complete her studies there.


Eunice Kennedy Shriver started what organization?

It started as a day camp but now is a thriving international organization.


Janet Rowley identified an important genetic breakthrough in leukemia research. When Rowley entered medical school in 1944, what was the "quota" for women in the class of 65 people?

Rowley had to wait nine months to enter medical school because three women were already in the program.


Who was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature?

Buck's novels on Chinese life won her the prize in 1938.


Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross after organizing nursing and humanitarian efforts in what war?

In addition to the Civil War, Barton took part in relief efforts during the Spanish-American War and the Franco-German War.


Ursula Burns is the first African-American CEO of what?

Burns was named chairwoman and CEO of Xerox in 2009.


Maya Lin designed what memorial?

The 1982 memorial was controversial at the time but has proven a popular Washington spot.


How old was Sybil Ludington when she rode 40 miles (64 kilometers) to rally the local militia against a British raid in the Revolutionary War?

The teenager rode through the night to gather the men of Putnam County.


Belva Lockwood was the first female lawyer to argue in front of the Supreme Court. What year did she do it?

Lockwood did this in 1880. She also lobbied Congress to change the custom that only men could be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court.


Gloria Steinem founded what publication?

The feminist writer, activist and founder of Ms. Magazine is still politically active.


Lucy Stone was a famous suffragette and activist, but she also did what pioneering action?

Keeping her maiden name after marrying seems like nothing now, but it was a bold move in 1855.


Jody Williams won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work as an activist for what cause?

She founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which was named as a co-recipient for the award.


Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. How many women had served before her?

She was only the third woman to serve on the Court when she joined in 2009.


Who was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court?

O'Connor was appointed in 1981.


Who was the first American woman in space?

In 1983 Ride became the first American woman to orbit Earth.


The first U.S. Secretary of State was …

Albright served during Bill Clinton's last term.


Gertrude B. Elion was the co-recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for her research of cancer drug treatments. But she NEVER received what?

Informed that she couldn't continue with doctorate study part-time, Elion chose to keep her position at a lab. She later received three honorary doctorates.


Grace Hopper was a computer technology pioneer, but she was also responsible for what?

Any unexplained glitch is a "bug" because a moth flew into the circuits of Hopper's machine one day and caused havoc.


Toni Morrison was …

Morrison's 1993 prize was the first for a black female.


Jackie Cochran was an American pilot who still …

The first woman to break the sound barrier (among many firsts), Cochran is still a legend despite her career taking place in the mid-20th century.


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