50 Photos Celebrating Women’s History

Published March 30, 2017
Updated April 3, 2017

1899

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

1905

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

1889

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

1907

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

1900's

Heavy Coats
Eskimo women in Alaska Library of Congress

1934

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

1913

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

1914

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

1915

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

1916

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

1918

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

1920

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

1926

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

1928

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

1934

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

1930

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

1936

Amelia Earhart Door
Amelia EarhartLibrary of Congress

1940

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

1944

Pearl Harbor Volunteers
Female volunteers at Pearl HarborPinterest

1944

Female Navy
Women in the NavyU.S. Navy Archives

1945

Female Pilots Jackets
Female pilots during World War IIPinterest

1950's

Rosalind Franklin
British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who helped discover DNAPinterest

1954

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

1956

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

1960

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

1961

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

1962

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

1966

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

1969

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

1970

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

1971

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

1972

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

1973

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

1970's

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

1976

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

1983

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

1984

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

1977

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

1981

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

1989

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

1992

Menchu
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

1993

Rbg
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

1996

Albright
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

1997

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

2001

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

2007

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

2008

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

2014

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

2016

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

2017

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
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out the stories to illuminate the past, present, and future.