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Category: Biography

Historical Women in STEM

Posted by: Heather Thomas

Throughout history there have been many women who have greatly contributed to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). While names like Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale are familiar to most, there are so many ingenious others who may not be as familiar; women who were leaders in their fields, who made major discoveries, and whose work led to critical social and political change. Below is a list of just some of the women who have made significant contributions to the fields of STEM. You can discover their stories through historical newspapers. 

Dr. Charles R. Drew: Blood Bank Pioneer

Posted by: Heather Thomas

The amount of people who owe their lives to Dr. Charles R. Drew is beyond measure.  The African American physician and surgeon pioneered the preservation of blood and plasma at the start of World War II and remained a leading authority on the subject for the rest of his career.  He is responsible for America's first major blood banks and introduced the use of mobile blood donation and transport stations—later known as “bloodmobiles.”

The Murder of Rasputin

Posted by: Heather Thomas

Without a flicker of emotion, Russian aristocrat, Prince Felix Yussupov, declared on the witness stand that he killed Russia’s “Mad Monk,” Rasputin. Yussupov described in detail how he helped poison, shoot, beat, and drown him, as part of a larger conspiracy to murder the mystical “holy man,” who had gained powerful influence over the Imperial …

Astronomer Maria Mitchell

Posted by: Heather Thomas

Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) is an astronomer, educator, librarian, activist, and the first nationally recognized woman scientist in the United States. She discovers a new comet, which bears her name, and calculates its orbit, and adds several new nebulae to sky maps. She also teaches at a prominent women’s college and fights to advance the cause of …

Maria Tallchief: Osage Prima Ballerina

Posted by: Heather Thomas

“Onstage, she looks as regal and exotic as a Russian princess; offstage, she is as American as wampum and apple pie,” cheered TIME magazine about prima ballerina Maria Tallchief in 1951. One of the most celebrated Native American women of the 20th century, Tallchief was the first American dancer in the history of ballet to earn …