Women's History Quiz

Answers to Questions 11 - 20

11. Q. Who was the first woman to run for President of the United States?

A. Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927)
Victoria Woodhull became the first woman stockbroker in history when she opened Woodhull, Claflin & Company in 1870.  The following year, the Equal Rights Party nominated her to run for President on their ticket, but, unable to gain the funds for an effective campaign and unable to receive votes from women who could not vote, Victoria failed to receive the majority of votes during the election.  She was ahead of her time in even trying to run for President and showed foresight by supporting issues like an eight-hour workday, graduated income tax, and social welfare programs that we enjoy today

12. Q. What woman played a pivotal role in the founding of Miami, Florida?

A. Julia Tuttle (1840-1898)
An Ohio native, Tuttle decided to move to Florida after visiting it in 1875.  Buying several hundred acres of land, she realized the area would never prosper unless it could be accessed by railroads.  Eventually, Tuttle convinced railroad executive Henry M. Flagler to extend his Florida East Coast Railroad to what is now called Miami in 1896.  In exchange, Flagler received hundreds of acres of land from Tuttle and the other major property holders in the region, the Brickells.  He extended the railroad that same year, and he laid the foundations for a city on either side of the Miami River.  Tuttle’s foresight proved correct and Miami grew into a major U.S. city.

13. Q. Who is the woman responsible for inventing the concept of a franchise, something that covers the American landscape today, such as Subway, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks?

A.  Martha Matilda Harper (1857-1950)
After perfecting a formula for organic hair shampoo, Martha Matilda Harper saved up enough money to By 1888, Harper had saved enough money to open a combined beauty parlor and factory for producing shampoo and called it the Harper Method Shop. She developed the concept of a professional salon; prior to her salons, hairdressers visited customers at their homes. As the demand for her products and services rose quickly, and Harper opened additional salons around the country and found women to purchase and run her shops for her, providing them with a rare opportunity for financial independence.  All of the salons/shops were opened under the Harper Method Shop name and used Harper's trademark, making her company the first franchise. Harper also ran several beauty training schools and developed additional organic beauty products under her trademark. At the height of its success, there were over 500 Harper salons in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. 

14. Q. Who were the sisters that wrote the song "Happy Birthday"?

A. Mildred Jane Hill (1859-1916) and Patty Smith Hill (1868-1946)
In 1893, Mildred Hill, a church organist, concert pianist, and musical scholar from Kentucky wrote the melody for the song that would become “Happy Birthday to You,” for her kindergarten teacher sister Patty Smith Hill.  Patty wrote the original lyrics of “Good morning to you” to the melody and published the song in a book called Song Stories for the Kindergarten.  In the early 1930s, the song was used with the lyrics “Happy birthday to you” in various musicals, popularizing the song; it is unclear if Patty wrote the new lyrics.  A third Hill sister, Jessica, filed a law suit and was able to secure the copyright of the song for her sisters in 1934.  The song is considered in the top three most popular songs in the English language

15. Q. Whose dedication to helping girls reach their full potential led her to create the Girls Scouts?

A. Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927)
Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low believed that all girls should have the freedom to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually through activities like community service, hiking, and learning first aid.  Juliette decided to start an organization in the U.S. where girls could do those types of activities.  She held the first Girls Scout’s meeting in Savannah, Georgia in 1912.  A few years later, girls all over the country were joining Girl Scouts groups.  Juliette’s organization allowed girls from all backgrounds to join together, enjoy the outdoors, learn about nature, and develop self-reliance and resourcefulness.  She encouraged girls to prepare themselves not only for traditional homemaking roles, but also for possible future roles as professional women and for active citizenship outside the home.  Partially deaf herself, Juliette made sure that disabled girls were included in Girl Scouting at a time when they were excluded from many other activities.  Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of nearly four million girls and adults, and more than 50 million women in the U.S. are Girl Scout alumnae.

16. Q. What astronomer catalogued the most stars of any person to date during her career?

A. Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941)
After finishing graduate studies in physics at Wellesley College and Radcliffe, Cannon joined Harvard’s observatory as an assistant.  While there, she contributed significantly to the field of astronomy, yet she did not receive the rank of professor until 1938, after working at the observatory for almost fifty years.  During that time, she catalogued over 350,000 stars in the Draper Catalog and perfected the universal system of classifying stars by temperature, called stellar classification, which is still used today.  She received numerous awards, such as the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, and she was the first woman elected an officer of the American Astronomical Society.

17. Q. What reporter pioneered investigative journalism?

A. Nellie Bly, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran (1864-1922)
Newspaper reporter Bly was the inventor of investigative reporting and became an expert at under-cover work. For one of her reports, she posed as a sweatshop worker to expose the cruelty and dire conditions under which women toiled.  For another report, she had herself committed to a mental institution for 10 days so she could study firsthand how the mentally ill were treated.  When she traveled around the world in 72 days, she became a world celebrity.  Many considered her the best reporter of her time.  After her husband’s death in 1905, Bly turned his industries into multimillion-dollar companies, and continued her social reforms by paying her workers well, providing them with gymnasiums, staffed libraries, and health care

18. Q. Who was America’s first female self-made millionaire?

A. Madam C. J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove (1867-1919)
Born to former slaves in Louisiana and orphaned at age seven, Walker supported herself washing laundry.  Later, after losing some of her hair, Walker came up with a formula to grow hair and decided to market it.  After years of hard work, she had a factory, training schools, and a national network of licensed sales agents selling her product, providing black women all over the nation with jobs.  The total sales of her company during the final year of her life reached over $500,000, and with the value of her personal assets, she had over one million dollars.  In addition to running a lucrative business, Walker worked with the NAACP and donated money to causes like the anti-lynching movement.

19. Q. What Native Alaskan woman translator became the wealthiest woman in the Alaska territory?

A. Sinrock Mary (1870-1948)
Daughter of a Russian trader and Inupiat Eskimo, Mary could speak Inupiaq, Russian and English, and she became the translator for the captain of a Russian ship who transported the first Siberian reindeer to Alaska.  After years of assisting with government reindeer herds, Mary and her Inupiat husband became the first Alaska Native reindeer owners.  After her husband’s death in 1900, Mary fought for and won the right to own half of the couple's 500 reindeer.  Around this time, 20,000 people came to the area looking for gold.  Mary sold reindeer meat to them and became the richest Native woman in the North.  Miners tried to gain her herds for food and to be pack animals by intimidation, marriage proposals, and bribes, but Mary would not listen and retained her herds, wealth and autonomy.  She adopted several children to whom she passed on her herds.

20. Q. What trailblazer entered the male-dominated field of architecture and became the designer of over 700 buildings, including Hearst Castle in California?

A. Julia Morgan (1872-1957)
After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, Morgan became the first woman to attend the top architecture school in the world, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.  Returning to California, Morgan designed buildings for a range of individuals and organizations, including renovating San Francisco’s luxurious Fairmont Hotel after the 1906 earthquake and fire and YWCAs all over the nation.  Her most famous work was building a “castle” for newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in San Simeon.  Not only did Morgan open the field of architecture to women through her example but also by hiring and training women as artists, drafters, and architects for her projects


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