Snapshots: The Decades
Western Reserve Public Media

Heroic Women of the Decades

One hundred years ago, many people believed a woman’s place was in the home. Women were excluded from voting booths, most universities and all but a few professions. Now women can be found in the halls of Congress, in science labs, on athletic fields and even in outer space. However, they didn’t arrive there overnight.

Listed below are quotes from some of the extraordinary women who helped redefine a woman’s place in our nation. Read what they had to say. Can you figure out who said it?

  1. “Vice president — It has such a nice ring to it.”
               A. Geraldine Ferraro
               B. Alice Paul
               C. Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. “I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.”
               A. Margaret Sanger
               B. Jane Addams
               C. Dolores Huerta

  3. “Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made beds, shopped for groceries, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, she was afraid to ask the question — ‘Is this all?’”
               A. Gloria Steinem
               B. Betty Friedan
               C. Jane Fonda

  4. “Over increasingly large areas of the United States, spring now comes unheralded by the return of the birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of birdsong.”
               A. Grace Hopper
               B. Dian Fossey
               C. Rachel Carson

  5. “The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera.”
               A. Dorothea Lange
               B. Pearl S. Buck
               C. Oprah Winfrey

  6. “The Army asks ‘Be All You Can Be.’ Today I can honestly tell you that I have been all that I could be. I have risen farther than I ever dared hope.”
               A. Madeleine Albright
               B. Sandra Day O’Connor
               C. Claudia Kennedy


Your Assignment
Choose an influential woman — someone who has left an indelible mark on our nation. Find out as much as you can about her. How did she change what was happening around her? Be sure to include the “hows and whys” of her influence, as well as memorable quotes or words of wisdom and pictures. Be prepared to present your findings to the class.

Choose a form for your presentation.

  • PowerPoint
  • Posters
  • Written report
  • Monologue (in costume)
  • Interview
  • Brochure
  • Journal entries
  • Other


Heroic Women of the Decades (PDF file)
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