Unsung Women Heroes You Didn’t Learn in Your History Books


YupLife Staff
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Unsung Women Heroes You Didn’t Learn in Your History Books

We have previously told you about some first women achievements in the world and now we have decided to continue with those incredible women heroes who did not receive deserving recognition and appreciation. From mathematicians to athletes to entrepreneurs, this article will tell you the stories of unsung women heroes.

Unsung Women Heroes

These include the empowering tales of women you may not know about, but you should.

Rose O’Neil

Rose O’Neil - Unsung Women Heroes

Born into hunger in Omaha, Nebraska in 1874, Rose O’Neil grew up to be one of the most influential political cartoonists of America. She was the only woman on the editorial staff of Puck magazine in the late 1800s. She rushed to fame after launching the Kewpie characters in 1909 in Ladies Home Journal. In the Kewpie Primer, O’Neil described Kewpie as “a benevolent elf who did good deeds in a funny way.” 

Annie Jump Cannon

Annie Jump Cannon

Formerly selected as a “female computer,” the term used in the late 19th century for those who did computations, Annie Jump Cannon completed the unspecialized and tiresome job, but her name would soon be written in the stars. Cannon is the astronomer who is known for developing the current method of astronomical classification. Her system ranking stars as O, B, A, F, G, K or M, with ‘O’ being the hottest stars and ‘M’ the coolest (the sun is a “G” star)—is still used today and the idea that letter order is quickly memorized is also attributed to her because she devised a saying—”Oh! Be A Fine Girl – Kiss Me!

Beryl Markham

Beryl Markham - West with the Night: A Memoir

Beryl Markham lived her early life in what was British East Africa before it became Kenya and was really marvelous in not just flying but many other male-dominated activities, including horse racing. In 1936, at age 33, Markham became the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic alone, round-the-clock, and ‘the troublesome way,’ (east to west, harried by hurricanes and tricky headwinds). The pilot would go on to live a life apparently picked right out of the tabloids, wrote West with the Night: A Memoir, played a role in the classic best-selling novel and filmOut of Africa.

Andree Borrel

Andree Borrel - French heroine of World War II

After already serving in the Spanish Civil War against Nazi-supported fascists, Andree Borrel grew a real unsung hero of WWII by, “establishing the first underground railroad from France to Spain that helped Allied airmen leave Nazi-controlled France. 

She would rise to second in command for England’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), be the first to go behind enemy lines by parachuting into Paris in September 1942 and assist destroy a German power station (Chevilly la Rue Power Station in March 1943). When caught and detained by the Gestapo, the heroic Allied spy denied to explain any subjects and was transferred to a concentration camp.

She would later be executed at the Natzweiler-Struhof concentration camp but her participation in fighting Nazis should be known and never forgotten.

Gloria Richardson

Gloria Richardson - Unsung Women Heroes

Born in Baltimore during the crisis, her parents moved to Church Creek Maryland. After graduating from Howard University, Richardson served the federal government during World War II before becoming a mom and homemaker after being incompetent to get a job as a social worker because of the color of her skin.

Her daughter’s participation in rallies against segregation and racial inequality drove her to the campaign and ultimately to, “Critiquing how Black women were treated in the modern Civil Rights movement.” Richardson would then go on to be the only woman on stage at the 1963 March on Washington.

She supported found and manage the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee (CNAC) during the time of civil unrest 50+ years ago caused by racism and lingering segregationist customs.

Murasaki Shikibu

Murasaki Shikibu

We can certainly say that your high school English lessons highlighted lots of novels by male writers, from Twain to Dickens to Hemingway. But their work may not even have existed if it hadn’t been for Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese woman popularly deemed to be the world’s first novelist. Shikibu was a countess living in Japan around the year 1000 AD.

She composed a two-part novel called The Tale of Genji, which describes a riches-to-rags tale about the son of a Japanese monarch forced to live life as a peasant. In addition to The Tale of Genji, generally thought to be a gem of Japanese literature, Shikibu also wrote a book of poetry. A statue in Kyoto, Japan, honors this imaginative author.

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