Showcasing Great Women

National Women's Hall of Fame

National Women's Hall of Fame

The National Women’s Hall of Fame is located in “the birthplace of women’s rights” Seneca Falls, New York. Over 250 women have been inducted. Here are a few great women.

Harriet Tubman was active in the Underground Railroad whereby she traveled to the South and escorted slaves to freedom. She is believed to have rescued 300 people. Inducted, 1973.

The founder of what today is Bethune-Cookman University, Mary McLeod Bethune worked to improve the status of African-Americans at the national level.

In 1881, Clara Barton (referred to in the Civil War as the "Angel of the Battlefield"), with the help of a handful of friends, established the American branch of the Red Cross and became its first president. Inducted, 1973.

In 1889, Jane Addams began Hull House, a neighborhood community center located in the slums of Chicago. “One of the ten greatest citizens of the Republic,” she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. Inducted, 1973.

After 20 years as an indentured servant, Martha Matilda Harper opened a public hair salon. In 1891, Harper developed the modern franchising system in her chain of skin and hair care salons. Inducted, 2003.

Mary Engle Pennington's research on bacteria and refrigeration led to safer foods. Pennington designed the refrigerated railroad cars that transported food all over the country. Inducted, 2002.

The first female self-made millionaire in the U.S., Madam C.J. Walker earned her wealth through her hair and cosmetics business.She provided employment for thousands of African-American women who sold and used her products. Inducted, 1993.

The first American woman and the second woman overall to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics (1963), Maria Goeppert-Mayer battled gender discrimination throughout her career.

Admiral Grace Murray Hopper created the first computer compiler, the software that translates human language into the zeroes and ones that a computer understands. Inducted, 1994.

Nuclear physicist Chien-Shiung Wu worked on the Manhattan Project and helped develop the atom bomb. Her experiments in the area of beta decay changed our accepted view of the universe. Inducted, 1998.

Dr. Virginia Apgar developed the 0-10 Apgar Score used on all newborn infants worldwide at one minute and five minutes after birth to determine if the babies need medical attention. Inducted, 1995.

Rosa Parks, “mother of the civil rights movement”, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, leading to a bus boycott that lasted for more than a year in Montgomery, Alabama. Inducted, 1993.

Biologist Rachel Carson is credited with launching the environmental movement leading to Earth Day in 1970. Her 1962 book Silent Spring led to the banning of the pesticide DDT in many countries. Inducted, 1973.

The first female surgeon general of the U.S., Antonia Novello is a nationally known advocate for women and children working to alleviate poverty, violence against women, and community health needs.

The first woman principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller worked to improve health care, education, utilities management and tribal government.

The new home for the Hall is the Seneca Knitting Mill which will become the Center for Great Women. Hear inductees talk about preserving the stories of women and celebrating their accomplishments.

Credits: Story

Media: Library of Congress, Alvarado Construction, Inc., Kevin Locke
Video courtesy of Gilbane Company

Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America, HarperCollins,
National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, New York,

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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