50 Photos Celebrating Women’s History

Published March 30, 2017
Updated April 3, 2017


Womens Basketball Team
One of the first women's basketball teams.Wikimedia Commons


Native American Horseback
Native American women on a Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana circa 1905.Denver Public Library


Susan La Flesche Picotte Portrait
Susan La Flesche, the first Native American physician, graduated medical school as the valedictorian in 1889.Wikimedia Commons


Annette Kellerman posing in the swimsuit that got her arrested for indecency Wikimedia Commons


Heavy Coats
Eskimo women in Alaska Library of Congress


Chrysler Eagle Building
Margaret Bourke-White climbs on the Chrysler Building to take a photographPinterest


Inez Parade Horse
Inez Millholland Boissevain prepares to lead the suffrage parade while wearing a crown in Washington D.C. on March 3, 1913. Library of Congress


Emmeline Parkhurst
Suffragette Emmeline Parkhurst is arrested outside of Buckingham Palace Library of Congress


Suffrage Sign
Suffrage envoys from San Francisco are greeted in New Jersey as they travel to Washington to present a petition with 500,000 signatures to CongressLibrary of Congress


Former Slaves
Four women attend a convention for former slaves in Washington.Washington Post Archives


Ice Blocks
Women deliver heavy blocks of ice after male workers were drafted into World War IPublic Domain


Alice Paul
Officers of the National Woman's Party hold a banner outside of their headquarters in June 1920. The 19th Amendment was passed two months later.Public Domain


Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim the English Channel Wikimedia Commons


Elizabeth Olympics
American Elizabeth Robinson (featured) becomes the first woman in history to win Olympic gold in track-and-field during the 1928 Olympic Games, the first in which women could compete in many sports. The 16-year-old high school student was discovered by her coach as she was running to catch a train.Public Domain


Valaida Snow
Louis Armstrong once called Valaida Snow (seen here conducting a London orchestra in 1934) the second best trumpet player in the country - after himself.YouTube


Ymca Camp For Girls
YMCA camp for girlsNational Museum of American History


Amelia Earhart Door
Amelia EarhartLibrary of Congress


Hattie Mcdaniel
Hattie McDaniel becomes the first black woman to win an Academy Award for her role in Gone With The WindPublic Domain


Pearl Harbor Volunteers
Female volunteers at Pearl HarborPinterest


Female Navy
Women in the NavyU.S. Navy Archives


Female Pilots Jackets
Female pilots during World War IIPinterest


Rosalind Franklin
British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who helped discover DNAPinterest


National Council Black Women
National Council of Negro Women Committee National Museum of American History


Rosa Parks Fingerprint
Rosa Parks is fingerprinted by Montgomery police after refusing to give up her bus seat Gene Herrick/AP/Wikimedia Commons


Aretha Franklin
An 18-year-old Aretha FranklinFrank Driggs Collection/Getty Images


Rita Moreno
Puerto Rican-born Rita Moreno is one of only 12 people to have won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards (an EGOT). She broke into stardom with her role in West Side Story.YouTube


Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson helped found the environmentalist movement with her prophetic book Silent Spring. YouTube


Bobbi Gibb
Roberta Louise "Bobbi" Gibb is the first woman to have run the entire Boston Marathon. After having received a letter from the race director informing her that women were not physiologically capable of running marathon distances, she had to hide in the bushes and sneak into the race. She finished ahead of two-thirds of the male runners. Pinterest


Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer of the Apollo Project, stands next to the code she wrote by hand and that was used to take humankind to the moonWikimedia Commons


Women Of The World
The Women's Strike for Equality saw more than 20,000 women gather in New York City to protest for equal rights, access to abortion and free childcare. Michael Abramson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images


Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisolm and Betty Friedan form the National Women’s Political Caucus YouTube


Angela Davis Sitting
Civil rights activist Angela Davis gives an interview from a California jailYouTube


Billie Jean
Billie Jean King makes women everywhere proud by defeating Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis matchAllsport UK/Allsport


Ellen Oneal Skate
Ellen O'Neal, one of the first female professional skateboarders, flies down a streetPinterest


Ms. is the first national magazine to discuss domestic violenceMs. Magazine


Sally Ride
Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space Wikimedia Commons


Elspeth Beard
Elspeth Beard, the first English woman to ride a motorcycle around the world, poses next to her bike. After two years of biking (excluding trips over the ocean), she arrived back in the United Kingdom having travelled 48,000 miles.Wikimedia Commons


Janet Guthrie
Janet Guthrie becomes the first woman to drive in the Indy 500. Though mechanical difficulties forced her to drop out of the race on her 1977 try, the next year she finished in ninth place (with a broken wrist, no less). YouTube


Sandra Day Oconnor
Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court after being appointed by Ronald ReaganWikimedia Commons


Norma Mccorvey
Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe from the landmark case Roe v. Wade) and her attorney Gloria Allred, right, celebrate as they leave the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. after sitting in while the court listened to arguments in a Missouri abortion case. Wikimedia Commons


Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Guatemalan presidential candidate Rigoberta Menchu has been a lifelong advocate for the rights of indigenous peopleJOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images


Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. President Bill Clinton's first Supreme Court nominee, displays a book written by her grandson during her first day of confirmation hearingsJENNIFER LAW/AFP/Getty Images


Madeleine Albright, who became the first female Secretary of State after being unanimously confirmed by a Senate vote of 99 - 0JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images


Ellen Time Cover
Ellen Degeneres becomes the first openly gay TV star by coming out in a TIME articleTIME Archives


Halle Berry
Oscar winner Halle Berry accepts the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in Monster's Ball, becoming the first African-American woman to win the honorGetty Images


Iraq Vet
Terri Gurrola is reunited with her daughter after serving in Iraq for seven monthsGetty Images


General Anne
General Ann Dunwoody's husband attaches her new shoulder boards following her promotion ceremony to the rank of four-star general. She is the first woman to hold the honor in the country.Win McNamee/Getty Images


Malala Flowers
Malala Yousafzai, an activist for education, is the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize.


Hillary Convention
Hillary Clinton is the first woman to be the presidential candidate of a major political party.Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images


Womens March
Protesters walk during the Women's March on Washington, the largest single-day demonstration in U.S. historyMario Tama/Getty Images

Telling women that they can't do things seems to be one of man's most beloved pastimes.

You can't eat that apple, you can't vote, you can't play sports, you can't run for office, you can't serve in the military, you can't be a scientist, you can't go to space, you can't wear that outfit.

And yet, women have.

Time and time again, women have overcome barriers and expectations to accomplish incredible and important things. And we have the photos to prove it.

Looking through these 50 snaps of cool women doing cool things and looking cool doing them, a quote from Canadian politician Charlotte Whitton comes to mind:

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good," she said. "Luckily, this is not difficult."

Next, check out some of history's most powerful speeches given by women. Then, learn about the eight most badass women of World War II.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.