In 1900, Abbott made history as the first woman to come first place in an Olympic event. The rub? She didn't know it--and for decades, neither did anyone else.
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A clever woman who rose from obscurity to become a political force, playing nations against each other to protect her people.
When invaders threatened her island home, she declared herself a living god, raised an army, and fought them tooth, nail, and occasional grenade.
Sex worker who became empress of the Byzantine Empire, and used her political power to safeguard her interests, and her…
Socialite turned sniper turned socialist politician - Ireland's first woman elected to office had quite a life.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the by-the-book Victorian rebel who revolutionized the field of medicine who stood in stark to Mary Seacole's jolly reliance on folk remedies and home comforts.
Possibly the most prolific female serial killer in history, a primary inspiration for Dracula, one of the most reviled women in history, and, I argue, innocent.
Stephanie St. Clair
This audacious black gangster fought the Italian mob for control of Harlem and won, taunting them in full-page newspaper ads as she went.
This princess held her father to his word in the most unexpected way: by demanding to marry the stupidest man in Korea.
Christine de Pizan
When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.
When the most powerful man in the world made plans on her country, she: turned down his marriage proposal, destroyed his armies, and defiled his head so famously that she became legend for centuries thereafter.