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From global icons to quiet pioneers, these are the people who have shaped the world we live in today.

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Marie Curie
This is a timeline of scientist Marie Curie’s remarkable life and career, from 1867 to 1934. At a time when women faced numerous barriers, Marie Curie defied the odds and revolutionized science with her pioneering research on radioactivity, becoming the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
Changunak Antisarlook: The Reindeer Queen
She was known as the Reindeer Queen – and one of the richest women in Alaska. So how did Changunak Antisarlook use her remarkable wealth to benefit the Inupiat community?
María Ruiz de Burton: Chicano Activist Writer
Latina author María Ruiz de Burton raised the plight of Mexicans in America with two satirical and revealing books at a time when female authors were few and far between.
Marian Anderson: The Opera Singer Who Challenged Segregation
When Black singer Marian Anderson was barred from performing in Washington by the Daughters of the Revolution – her Lincoln Memorial performance made her an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.
Emma Tenayuca: Latina Labor Activist
Latina labor leader, Emma Tenayuca, led a major food-industry strike in her early 20s and was eventually ostracized for her political beliefs.
Thomas Garrett and the Underground Railroad
By day he worked as an iron merchant – but by night, Thomas Garrett helped thousands escape slavery as a station master on the Underground Railroad.
Josefa Segovia: The Only Mexican-American Woman Hanged in California
Was Josefa Segovia – the first and only woman hanged in the state of California – killed for her actions or her race? And what can we learn from her tragic story?
Maria Tallchief: America's First Prima Ballerina
In a world dominated by mainly caucasian dancers, Native American Maria Tallchief overcame discrimination to become the United States’ first prima ballerina.
The Enslaved Chef Who Revolutionized American Cuisine
James Hemings was an enslaved man and the first American to learn classic French cuisine. He helped popularise many of the dishes you know and love today.
Fashionable Rebellion: Tignons: From Oppressive Attire to Creative Accoutrement
How free Black women in Spanish Louisiana turned an oppressive headscarf law into a celebration of individuality and culture.
Teaching Ruby Bridges
In the 1960s, Black schoolgirl Ruby Bridges and White teacher Barbara Henry showed America the true power of racial integration in the classroom.
Victoria Woodhull: Fighting for Women's Rights
At a time when women were expected to know their place, activist and businessperson Victoria Woodhull blazed a trail as a fierce advocate for women's suffrage and empowerment.
The Enslaved Household of Thomas Jefferson
This is the story of Ursula, Edith and Frances – three teenagers who Thomas Jefferson brought to the White House to train as his enslaved personal chefs.
Sally Hemings: Surviving Slavery and Sexual Exploitation
Sally Hemings was an enslaved woman who had several children with Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. Her story of agency and eventual emancipation remains an inspiration.
Lozen: Fearless Apache Warrior
At a time when Apache men and women followed specific gender roles, Lozen defied convention – to become one of the finest warriors in the tribe's history.
Polly Bemis: Chinese Immigrant Pioneer
Sold into slavery by her parents, Polly Bemis faced discrimination as a Chinese immigant in America – but became something of a pioneer of the West.
Ellen Ochoa: The First Female Hispanic Astronaut
In 1993, Ellen Ochoa wrote her name in the stars – as the first Hispanic woman to enter orbit. She continues to inspire generations of aspiring astronauts today.
Kofi Annan: Understanding of Global Issues
Kofi Annan learned from a very young age that together, we are stronger. But how did this Nobel Peace Prize winner leave behind a legacy that creates a better world for us all?
Stetson Kennedy: Unmasking The Ku Klux Klan
Folklorist and social crusader, Stetson Kennedy, helped unmask the KKK, one of the deadliest hate groups in US history.
The Shelleys and the Right to Fair Housing
JD and Ethel Shelley fought against restrictive covenants for the basic right to choose their own home. These agreements prevent homes being sold to people of certain races.
Stepping Forward: The Fight for College Integration
For Autherine Lucy and Pollie Anne Myers, trying to get an education was an act of courage in itself.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Thurgood Marshall represented the country's first civil and human rights law firm. Known as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, they raised money, amassed lawyers, and launched lawsuits throughout the country to fight segregation.
Students and the Struggle for School Integration
The story of Barbara Johns and her fellow students fight for school integration resulting in the successful case - Brown v. Board of Education.
Victoria Woodhull: The First Woman To Run for President
Victoria Woodhull ran for President of the United States before most American women were even allowed to vote.
Mercy Otis Warren: Blowing the Whistle on British Rule
Mercy Otis Warren was a poet, playwright and ‘whistleblower’ who used her words to throw some serious shade on British Colonial rule.
Dolley Madison: The First First Lady
As the host of unrivaled skill, First Lady Dolley Madison brought the US political elite together by throwing the best parties Washington, D.C., had ever seen.
Sacagawea: Intrepid Indigenous Explorer
Native American interpreter Sacagawea was the only woman on Lewis and Clark’s expedition into the West. She played a vital role, but was subsequently forgotten.
Charity and Sylvia: A Federal Era Love Story
Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant overcame many challenges to become pioneers of LGBTQ+ visibility in the United States.
Elizabeth Freeman: Abolition Pioneer
Elizabeth Freeman played a critical role in the fight to end slavery in the United States.
George Brittain Lyttle: The Bandit who Couldn't Ride a Horse
History is full of criminal masterminds – people who used cunning and skill to outwit the law. And then there is George Brittain Lyttle, the notorious stagecoach robber who couldn’t ride a horse!
Negotiating the Surrender of New Netherland
How two wives saved New Amsterdam from total destruction by English invaders through the power of negotiation.
Thurgood Marshall: From School Suspension to Supreme Court
Thurgood Marshall, the most successful civil rights lawyer of all time and America’s first Supreme court Justice, was instrumental in the fight for equality in the United States.
Oprah Winfrey: Effective Communication
A captivating storyteller - how did this girl from Mississippi become the most powerful woman that America has known?
Virginia Hall: Nazi Nemesis
They called her the Limping Lady. The Allied spy who topped the Nazis’ most wanted list. This is the story of Virginia Hall – one of the most decorated special agents of the Second World War.
Patsy Mink: Changing the Rules
The first Asian American woman ever to be elected to Congress, Patsy Mink dedicated her life to participating in the democratic process and improving the lives of others.
Garrett Morgan
Kentucky-born Garrett Morgan invented life saving gadgets, but despite facing racial prejudice all his life, Morgan was recognised as one of America’s most prolific and socially conscious inventors
Anna May Wong: Hollywood's First Asian American Movie Star
At a time when racist laws and shameful stereotyping limited the careers of ethnic minority actors, Anna May Wong broke down doors to become the first Chinese American movie star in history!
Ethel Payne: First Lady of the Black Press
As the First Lady of the Black Press, Ethel Payne wielded her first amendment right to ask the tough questions and hold those in power to account.
Harriet Robinson Scott: A Personal Fight for Emancipation with National Ramifications
The story of the enslaved woman who challenged slavery in the highest court in the United States.
Elizabeth Keckly: From Slavery to the White House
She was enslaved at birth – but became the first lady’s favorite dressmaker and the author of a sensational memoir that shocked the nation. So who was Elizabeth Keckly?
Linda Brown: The Schoolgirl who Changed America
Linda Brown was just 9-years-old when she was thrust into the national spotlight, as she fought - and won - against racial segregation in the American school system.
Catalina Trico: New Netherland's Founding Mother
Catalina Trico was a young trailblazer and the first European mother in what would become New York State.
Margaret Mead: Intercultural Knowledge
Mead brought the central insight of cultural anthropology. A master in her discipline – fearless and freethinking – let’s find out how her determination to help others understand, celebrate, and learn from other cultures, made humanity stronger.
Nelson Mandela: Respect for Difference
After being imprisoned for over 20 years, Nelson Mandela maintained his call for justice and equality. How did he become a symbol of positive change?
Malitzen: Enslaved Interpreter for Hernan Cortés
The enslaved Native woman who acted as the primary interpreter for Hernan Cortés during his conquest of the Aztec Empire.
Amelia Earhart: Flexibility
Most famously known for being the First Woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, how did Amelia Earhart go from defying traditional gender roles - to defying gravity?
Breaking Barriers: Constance Baker Motley
Breaking through the limits placed on women and people of color was all in a day’s work for Constance Baker Motley. She was a civil rights activist, lawyer, judge and state senator.
Dalai Lama: Empathy
The Dalai Lama is known as being the spiritual leader of Tibet. But how does this humble Buddhist monk advocate for love, empathy and compassion all around the world?
Coverture severely restricted women’s political, financial, and personal rights and was imported to the American colonies as a part of English common law. It affected the lives of all American women and although it has been diminished over time vestiges of it remain even today.
Chien-Shiung Wu: The First Lady of Physics
We hear a lot about famous scientists like Marie Curie and Albert Einstein, but have you ever heard of Chien-Shiung Wu and her work on the Manhattan Project?
Rachel Carson's Fight for the Environment
Marine biologist and writer Rachel Carson demanded that the US government take responsibility to protect people and the planet. Her book Silent Spring was a turning point in the modern environmental movement.
Mad Ann Bailey: Heroine of the Kanawha Valley
Historic accounts describe her “wild” appearance. So why did English settler Mad Ann Bailey don men’s clothes to take up the fight against Native American tribes?
Newton Knight: Fighting the Confederacy
Newton Knight was a Confederate soldier in the American Civil War who went AWOL to form a guerrilla force of fellow deserters and escaped slaves, who fought against the Confederacy.
John Rollin Ridge: the Native American Novelist Like No Other
We've had some great American Novelists? You've read some of them in school, right? But one writer you've probably never heard of is John Rollin Ridge, aka Yellow Bird: the first Native American to ever publish a novel about a fictitious Mexican folk hero no less!
Marie van Brittan Brown: Creating CCTV in Queens
How did a hardworking nurse from New York City invent the world's first home security system? When a burglar tried to break into her apartment in the 1960s, this kickass crimefighter went where no-one had gone before.
Frida Kahlo: Self-Awareness
In a time where women struggled to find their voice, Frida was becoming one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. But how did Kahlo's vibrant art change the world?
Wangarĩ Maathai: Global-Mindedness
Born into a culture where a woman’s place was in the home, Wangarĩ Maathai went onto celebrate a Nobel Peace Prize for her Holistic Approach to Sustainable Development. Let's find out how!
Malala Yousafzai: Critical Thinking
Captivated by female innovators, Malala stayed up into the night, imagining the world as fair and united. But how did she change it for the better?
Stephen Hawking: Curiosity
He changed how we see the universe and our place in it. But how did Stephen Hawking’s brilliant mind free him from his physical constraints?
Sojourner Truth: Fierce Warrior for Social Justice
How an enslaved woman became one of the most important social justice activists in American history.
Hedy Lamarr: Mother of WiFi
Did you know? The amazing technology behind Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS was the brainchild of Hollywood actor turned visionary inventor Hedy Lamarr - the Mother of Wi-Fi.
Mary Carson Breckinbridge
Mary Carson, born into the wealthy Breckinridge family in 1881, changed the face of US midwifery. This is her story.
Jim Thorpe: Native American Olympic Hero
Football, baseball, basketball player – he was one of America's most talented sportsmen and the first Native American to achieve Olympic Gold glory! So why don't we see Jim Thorpe's name up in lights?
Madam Queenie: New York's Notorious Crime Boss
America has always been captivated by crime and the sharp-dressed, trigger happy men who dominate the underworld. But one story remains criminally neglected, that of gambling kingpin Stephanie St. Clair, aka Madame Queenie - the Robin Hood of Harlem.
Women's Activism and Social Change
For centuries, women have used activism in the United States to voice their concerns about society and secure their rights as citizens. Activism is an important part of any democracy as it’s the way ordinary people shape nations.
Lorenda Holmes: Loyalist Spy and American Sufferer
Loyalist spy in New York who did everything she could to undermine the American war efforts during the Revolution.
Bayard Rustin: Martin Luther King Jr's 'Out and Proud' Advisor
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the biggest protest America had ever seen. It culminated in Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. But the man who made it all possible, chief organiser Bayard Rustin, was almost written out of history not because he was black, but because he was gay.
Nelly Bly: Breaking Barriers from Asylums to the Skies
We've all got our favourite YouTubers, right? But everyone with a channel has this Pennsylvian lady, Nellie Bly, to thank. You could say she was the world’s first blogger.
Jovita Idar: Voice of the People
Imagine throwing shade at a politician online and police showed up to arrest you! It would be un-American, right? In this video, we'll explain the story of Jovita Idar, a Mexican-American journalist who refused to be silenced!
Claudette Colvin: The Original Rosa Parks
You know the story of David and Goliath, right? Well, America has its own version. Only our hero is 15-year-old African-American, school girl Claudette Colvin and in 1955, she took on the State of Alabama for real. The original Rosa Parks!
Stephen H Long: The Man Who Mapped the West
Stephen H. Long mapped much of the unexplored American West – but he made one big mistake that set Western migration back decades.
Barbara Jordan: The Black Texan Politician who Broke the Glass Ceiling
At a time when women and people of colour were all but excluded from the US government, one woman stormed the corridors of power and made them her own. This is the story of Barbara Jordan, the African American from the South who defied expectations by being selected to serve in Congress and who became one of the finest legislators in US history.
Mary Church Terrell: Championing Suffrage and Civil Rights
Mary Church Terrell was a lifelong activist who advocated for suffrage and equal rights.
Bob Fletcher: WWII Samaritan for Japanese-American Farmers
Good deeds – they happen all the time. Those little acts of kindness that make the world a better place but unless they go viral, they can go unnoticed. Which is why it’s time to celebrate Bob Fletcher: the greatest good Samaritan you've never heard of!
Frances Oldham Kelsey: Standing Up to Big Pharma
Meet Frances Oldham Kelsey - a true American hero! Frances was a pharmacologist working for the FDA who stood up to the big drug companies and ultimately saved thousands of American lives in the process.
Roberto Clemente: True Baseball Hero
Puerto Rican All-Star Roberto Clemente hit 240 home runs and was W a two-time World Series champion. He won the coveted Golden Glove twelve years in a row, but life in America was anything but easy.
Ida B. Wells: Journalist and Anti-Lynching Activist
Investigative journalist Ida B. Wells made it her mission to exposing the horrors of racism in the American South, but it wasn't easy.
Marsha P. Johnson: Transgender Activist
The story of transgender activist, Marsha P. Johnson, who dedicated her life to LGBTQ+ rights.
Antonia Pantoja: Grassroots Organizer and Activist
The story of Latina activist Antonia Pantoja, who fought for bilingual education programs.
Toypurina: Rebelling Against the Mission System
Toypurina, a Tongva woman who led a rebellion against a Spanish mission in Alta California.
Thomas(ine) Hall: Gender Non-conforming in Colonial Virginia
Thomas(ine) Hall was a 17th century intersex person who ran afoul of a small community in colonial Virginia.
Vasco Da Gama
Vasco da Gama was born in the 1460s in Sines on the south-west of Portugal. Find out all about his life and achievements.
Romulus and Remus
The story of Romulus and Remus is one of the most famous in Roman mythology.
Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. He lived an extraordinary life of danger, passion and advances in the field of aeronautics
Martin Luther King Junior
Let's take a look at Martin Luther King Junior’s tireless work in the peaceful fight for justice.
The Wright Brothers
The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilber were the first to fly a motor operated plane.
Emma Goldman: Radical Activist
Anarchist Emma Goldman, once named the most dangerous woman in America by the FBI, left behind a complicated legacy. But who was this young radical and what did she believe in?
Anna May Wong: The First Chinese-American Hollywood Star
Anna May Wong, Hollywood’s first Chinese-American leading lady, broke through racial barriers to change the face of cinema forever.
Dorothy Bolden: Unionizing Domestic Workers
Civil rights activist Dorothy Bolden made it her mission to empower America’s working class. Her activism empowered domestic workers across the nation – and created noticeable change in the workplace for thousands of Black women.
Edith Maude Eaton: Fostering Cultural Understanding Through Writing
In a time when Chinese immigrants in America faced discrimination in all walks of life – simply because of their race – author Edith Maude Eaton channeled the power of the pen to help make positive change.
Mary McLeod Bethune: Fighting for Equality in the Classroom and Beyond
Mary McLeod Bethune, an influential educator activist, recognized that going to school could be a form of activism. Her groundbreaking work helped change America for the better.
Pauli Murray: Breaking Barriers of Race and Gender
As a queer Black lawyer, poet and civil rights activist, Pauli Murray understood how our different identities can overlap to create multiple levels of discrimination. Her groundbreaking work in championing equality for all helped change America for the better.
Patsy Mink: Groundbreaking Congresswoman
What do you think of when you picture Title IX? Inequality has plagued America’s youth for generations. Patsy Mink, a then young Japanese-American, vowed to change the system forever.
Katherine Johnson: Trailblazing NASA Mathematician
At a time when American space exploration was dominated by men, mathematician Katherine Johnson broke through gender and racial barriers to help change our understanding of the cosmos forever.
Louis Brandeis: The First Jewish Supreme Court Justice
Louis Brandeis was the first Jewish associate justice to serve on the US Supreme Court. His appointment changed the legal landscape forever.
Harvey Milk: Leading the Way
Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay elected official, was assassinated in 1978. His pioneering campaign for LGBTQ+ rights paved the way for more members of the community to serve in government.
Judy Heumann: The Mother of ADA
Teacher Judy Heumann dedicated her life to fighting for disability rights and was one of the architects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), changing U.S. society forever.
Dolores Huerta: "Yes we can!"
The brains behind the political slogan “Yes we can!”, Mexican-American labor leader Dolores Huerta fought for the rights of immigrant workers in the 1960s.
The Unusual Presidency of William Taft
One-term Presidents are often overlooked – but what makes William Taft’s time in office memorable is the fact that it was defined by a series of unusual firsts.
Angela Davis
Despite being on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list, Angela Davis went on to become an international symbol of resistance against social injustice.
Bella Abzug: Pioneering Feminist Icon
At a time when the U.S. House of Representatives was dominated by men, pioneering feminist Bella Abzug became a law-making force to be reckoned with.
Shirley Chisholm: Confronting the Political Machine
As the first Black woman elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm made history in her lifelong struggle to empower minorities and change the United States.
Josephine Baker: Actor, Singer, Spy
Actor and singer Josephine Baker spent her life resisting racial discrimination at home and abroad. During World War II, she bravely used her fame to fight back against the Nazis.
Gladys Bentley: Breaking All the Rules
At a time when homosexuality was illegal in the United States, LGBTQ+ artist and pioneer Gladys Bentley broke all the rules to become one of the wealthiest Black performers of her time.
James Lafayette: Revolutionary Spy
Born enslaved, James Lafayette became one of the most important Patriot spies of the American Revolution, helping to gather vital information on the British Army. His work helped the United States secure independence.
Nelson Mandela
This is a timeline of the life of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black head of state. A tireless and dedicated activist, committed to bringing Apartheid to an end, made him one of the world’s most beloved leaders.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
In 1953, Edmund Hillary, a beekeeper from New Zealand, and Tenzing Norgay, a guide from the Sherpa community, achieved what was once thought impossible: climbing the highest mountain in the world. This is a timeline of the first successful ascent of Everest.
Who was Benjamin Franklin?
Benjamin Franklin wasn't just a founder of the United States, he was also a writer, inventor, scientist, statesman, and a huge celebrity in the thirteen colonies.
Louis Pasteur
This is a timeline of one of the most important scientists in the history of microbiology. Pasteur’s relentless pursuit of knowledge, and groundbreaking research into the causes of disease, helped change our world forever.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler
This is a timeline of the life of the first African American woman to qualify as a doctor, Rebecca Lee Crumpler. Crumpler dedicated her life to treating women and children who lived in poverty, and her book, Medical Discourses, helped others to care for themselves.
Emmeline Pankhurst
This is a timeline of Emmeline Pankhurst’s life, from her birth in 1858 to her death in 1928. A suffragette and leader of the Women's Social and Political Union, she fought tirelessly for women's right to vote, leaving a lasting impact on the pursuit of gender equality.
John Logie Baird
This is a timeline of Scottish engineer and inventor John Logie Baird’s life, from 1888 to 1946. From his early experiments in transmitting moving images to the development of color and three-dimensional television, Baird's groundbreaking innovations revolutionized the entertainment and technology landscape, shaping our world today.
Mary Seacole
This is a timeline of the life of Jamaica-born nurse Mary Seacole. Dedicating her life to caring for the sick, she was known as “Mother Seacole” by those she tended during the Crimean War.
Isaac Newton
This is a timeline of the life of English mathematician and scientist Isaac Newton, a key figure in the Scientific Revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries. Most famous for his theory of gravity, his work on the laws of motion changed our world forever.
Harriet Tubman
This is a timeline of the life of Harriet Tubman, one of the United States’ bravest and most outspoken abolitionists. During the course of her career, she rescued almost 700 Black men, women and children and went on to champion women’s suffrage.
Emily Dickinson
This is a timeline of the life of one of the United States’ most innovative and unique poets, Emily Dickinson. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, she was a private and introverted woman. Her extraordinary poetry was only published following her death.
Greta Thunberg
This is a timeline of the life of Greta Thunberg and her rise as a global climate activist. Swedish activist Greta Thunberg's lone school strike for the climate in 2018 evolved into a worldwide movement, inspiring millions to take action against global warming and demanding immediate change from world leaders.
Olaudah Equiano
This is a timeline of abolitionist Olaudah Equiano who was kidnapped and enslaved as a child. Buying his freedom aged 21, he dedicated his life to abolishing slavery and his famous autobiography heavily influenced public support advocating the end of slavery.
Joseph Stalin
This is a timeline of the life of Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. Shaped by revolutionary forces, he rose through the ranks of the Communist Party to become one of the world's most powerful leaders. He led USSR through the horrors of the Second World War, fighting on the side of the Allies in the defeat of Germany.
Benito Mussolini
From a strong-willed and impetuous child, to the founder of one of the most violent political parties, Italian Fascist leader Benito Musollini took his country to war – and paid the ultimate price. This is a timeline of his life.
This is a timeline of the life of Queen Cleopatra, the last ruling Pharaoh of ancient Egypt. She is remembered for her strategic alliances with powerful generals of the Roman Empire.
Adolf Hitler
This is a timeline of the life of one of the most divisive leaders in history. Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s racist and aggressive policies brought the world to the brink of destruction. His opportunistic rise to power, acts as a warning to us all.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
This is a timeline of the life of American president, Franklin Roosevelt, from 1882 to 1945. His confident Presidential leadership style allowed him to guide the country through one of its most turbulent periods and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Michinomiya Hirohito
This is a timeline of the remarkable life of Michinomiya Hirohito, Japan's longest-serving Emperor. Born into privilege, and thrust into power aged just 25, his decision to surrender in 1945 marked the end of World War II.
Winston Churchill
One of the finest leaders of his generation, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s inspirational speeches – and steadfast self-confidence – helped rouse a nation to war and ultimately save the world from the destructive forces of Fascism.
Joan of Arc
This is a timeline of events in the life of Joan of Arc, from 1412 to 1431. A deeply religious women, she believed God wanted her to lead the French army against the English during the Hundred Years' War. She was burned at the stake for heresy and witchcraft.
Mahatma Gandhi
This is a timeline of events in the life of Mahatma Gandhi from his birth in 1869 to his death in 1948. A leader of the Indian independence movement, Gandhi was a revolutionary who inspired non-violent resistance to British colonial rule.
Sitting Bull
This is a timeline of events in the life of Sitting Bull, from 1831 to 1890. A Sioux warrior chief and holy man, Sitting Bull fought to protect his tribe's land from being taken by the U.S. government and is remembered as one of the greatest Native American warriors in history.
Charles Darwin
This is a timeline of the events in the life and work of English naturalist Charles Darwin, from 1831 to 1882. Darwin's study of the natural world showed how life developed through evolution. His book 'On the Origin of Species' would prove to be one of the most influential scientific works in history.
Rosa Parks
This is a timeline of the life of Rosa Parks, a woman who made history with a single act of courage, when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in 1955, a time when the U.S. was racially segregated. Her bravery inspired tens of thousands of African Americans to protest by refusing to take the city’s buses in Montgomery, Alabama.
This is a timeline about the life of Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan tribe, who played a crucial role in the relationship between the Native Americans and the English settlers in 17th century Virginia.
William Shakespeare
This is a timeline of the life of William Shakespeare, the Elizabethan playwright, poet, and actor. He is considered to be the greatest writer in the English language and wrote around 37 plays and 154 poems during his lifetime, many of which have become literary classics and have shaped the way we use the English language today.
Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr, an influential activist and Christian minister, led the Civil Rights Movement to fight for the rights of African Americans through the 1950s and 60s. He believed in non-violent protest and his work helped to tear down racial segregation and inspire generations of activists seeking Civil Rights and a more equal society.
Alexander the Great
This is a timeline of the life of Alexander the Great, one of the most successful military generals in ancient history. He became king of Macedon at the age of 20 and went on to create the largest empire ever assembled at that point in history, which included parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and stretched from Greece to northern India.
Julius Caesar
This is a timeline of events in the life of Julius Caesar, a powerful general and ambitious politician of the Roman Republic. He was known for his military conquests and declared himself 'Dictator for life' before his brutal murder in 44 BCE.
Christopher Columbus
This is a timeline of the life of the Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus. An admiral, and navigator, he set sail westwards from Spain in 1492 with the aim of arriving in the Far East, but instead, landed in the Americas, then unknown to Europeans. Seen as a hero and pioneer by some, by others he is seen as someone whose arrival brought suffering to people living in the Americas.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This is a timeline of the life of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from 1756 to 1791. One of the most celebrated and influential composers in the history of music, Mozart began his musical journey as a young child. Despite his untimely death at the age of 35, he left behind a legacy of over 600 compositions, including some of the most renowned works in Classical music.
Vincent van Gogh
This is a timeline of events in the life of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, from 1853 - 1890. Known for his vivid and unique oil paintings, Vincent van Gogh found it hard to make a living from his art and struggled with his mental health during his lifetime.
Che Guevara
This is a timeline of events in the life of revolutionary leader, Che Guevara, from 1928 to 1967. He is remembered for his role in the Cuban Revolution and his strong opposition to U.S influence in developing nations.
Sarah Winnemucca
The first Indigenous woman to publish a memoir, Paiute educator and activist Sarah Winnemucca campaigned tirelessly for the rights of Indigenous Americans.
Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori: A Prince Enslaved
Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori, a Fula prince and former slave, was determined to free his family. His extraordinary story and character caught America's attention at a complicated time in American history.
Susan La Flesche Picotte: The First Female Native American Doctor
At a time when many Native Americans were refused healthcare by racist White doctors, Susan La Flesche Picotte overcame gender discrimination to become the first Indigenous woman in U.S. history to earn a medical degree.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy: Activist for Transgender Rights
Present at the Stonewall Uprising of 1959, pioneering transgender activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy lived through the HIV/AIDS epidemic to fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States and beyond.
Beverly LaHaye
At a time when many women in the United States were campaigning for greater rights, Beverly LaHaye raised her voice for traditional values. An expert activist and founder of Concerned Women for America, today she is admired and reviled in equal measure.
Yuri Kochiyama: Unyielding Voice for Justice
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned on U.S. soil. Determined to right this wrong, Yuri Kochiyama testified to Congress and helped those affected win $20,000 in compensation.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary: Antislavery Activist
The first Black newspaper editor in the history of the United States, Mary Ann Shadd Cary spoke out to champion the cause of freedom in an era when the voices of African Americans were rarely heard.
Ernestine Rose
A pioneering suffragette and free thinker, Ernestine Rose was way ahead of her time. Described as the “first Jewish feminist”, she used her voice to campaign for women’s rights and improve the lives of millions.
Afong Moy
Afong Moy is believed to be the first Chinese woman to step foot on U.S. soil and her presence sparked an American fascination with Chinese culture, but her experience in the United States was far from welcoming.
Wilma Mankiller
Wilma Mankiller, a Native American activist who became the first female chief of her tribe, dedicated her life to the Cherokee Nation and the expansion of Indigenous rights.
Henrietta Lacks' Revolutionary HeLa Cells
The astonishing story of Henrietta Lacks' immortal cells, taken without consent, revolutionized medical research but also exposed ethical dilemmas, leading to crucial changes in consent laws to protect patients' rights in the scientific community.
Charles Willson Peale: Revolutionary Artist
A look at the life and talents of Charles Willson Peale, portrait artist of the American Revolution and Philadelphian Renaissance man.
Francis Marion: The Swamp Fox
In 1780, when the British took Charleston, it looked as if the rest of South Carolina might end up in Loyalist hands. But a band of Patriot partisans, operating out of the Pee Dee River swamp areas, kept humiliating the British with repeated surprise attacks. Their leader? Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox.
Robert Morris: Financier of the Revolution
Robert Morris was a shipping tycoon, financier and Founding Father who was crucial to the Continental war effort. But was he genuinely committed to the cause – or just trying to make a quick buck?
John Paul Jones: America's First Sailor
Denounced as a pirate by the British and a hero by the Patriots, how did John Paul Jones, a Scottish sailor, become a Continental naval legend - and founder of the United States Navy?
Phillis Wheatley: Pioneering Black Poet
Phillis Wheatley, a young enslaved woman, became one of the most celebrated poets in the Amercian colonies. Her writings on faith, slavery and freedom were published around the world and inspire audiences to this day.
Molly Pitcher: The Heroine of Monmouth
The story of Molly Pitcher - cannon firing heroine of the Battle of Monmouth - is famous. But is it a myth? Or was there a real Molly Pitcher?
Black Soldiers of the Revolutionary War
It’s a little known fact that many black soldiers fought and died on both sides of the conflict in the Revolutionary War. They joined up for many different reasons - some from belief in the cause, some to earn a wage, some to win their freedom.
Nathanael Greene: The Savior of the South
Nathanael Greene, a Quaker from Rhode Island, was George Washington’s right hand man during the Revolutionary War and twice saved the Continental Army from potential disaster.
Joseph Plumb Martin: Private Yankee Doodle
What were the day to day struggles faced by the common soldiers of the Continental Army? How did they stay alive? The memoir of Joseph Plumb Martin - or ‘Private Yankee Doodle’, veteran of battles and harsh winters - paints a vivid picture.
Thomas Gage: The Two-Faced Governor?
Thomas Gage was the British Commander charged with keeping the peace in the colonies. Did he face an impossible task - or did he fail spectacularly in his mission?
Thomas Hutchinson: Governor of a Rebellious Colony
Did you know that during the Revolutionary War, not all colonists wanted to become independent? Those who chose to remain loyal to the British crown included Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson. But was he a traitor - or simply a public servant doing his job?
Patrick Ferguson: The British Bulldog
Major Patrick ‘Bulldog’ Ferguson was one of the most fierce, and fiercely hated, British commanders of the Revolutionary War. But when he tried to subdue Patriot activity in the Appalachian mountains, he took a step too far…
Lord George Germain: Long Distance Government
Have you ever tried to video call a friend on bad wi-fi? What if you had to direct a war from 3500 miles away - and the communication lag was two months?! That's what Lord George Germain, the British Secretary of State for America had to deal with during the Revolutionary War.
Lord North: Britain's Worst Prime Minister?
When Lord North became Prime Minister of Britain in 1770, the protests in the Thirteen Colonies were just a minor inconvenience. But his response to the Boston Tea Party started a war that would ultimately end his career.
John Burgoyne: Gentleman General
When General John Burgoyne took command of the British Army in Canada in 1777, he was confident of success. He had the command experience and the plan to end the war. So how did his campaign unravel so spectacularly?
John Laurens: Defender of Freedom
A look at the brief but bright life of John Laurens – close friend of Alexander Hamilton, true believer in the Continental cause, and passionate advocate for the ending of slavery.
Tadeusz Kosciuszko: Engineer of the Revolution
Tadeusz Kosciusko was a Polish nobleman; an architect, engineer and idealist who’s genius for fortification was a major asset to the Continentals during the Revolutionary War.
Colonel Tye: Scourge of Patriots
Escaping slavery at a young age, ‘Colonel Tye’ became an extremely effective guerilla commander, fighting for the British. Nobody could stop his Black Brigade - and they didn’t just raid Patriot targets, they also freed many slaves.
Banastre Tarleton: The Bloody Butcher of Waxhaws
Perhaps no fighter on Revolutionary War battlefields created such a name for themselves as Redcoat cavalry officer Banastre Tarleton. His aggressive tactics earned him the devotion of his men, and the burning hatred of the Patriots.
Cornwallis: A Great British General
Who was Charles Cornwallis, Britain’s commander of the Southern Armies in the Revolutionary War? A respected and long serving general, his doomed attempts to win hearts and minds in the Southern colonies led directly to the British defeat at Yorktown.
Thayendanega: Native American Warrior, AKA Joseph Brant
Warrior, scholar and diplomat, Joseph Brant was a powerful leader of the Mohawk Nation. Forced to choose sides at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, he fought for the future of his people until his death.
John Montresor: Mapping the American Revolution
Eighteenth century military commanders did not have the benefits of technology to learn the position of their enemies in the field. They relied on the skill and hard work of cartographers: map makers like John Montresor.
George III: The King Who Lost the Colonies
Before the Revolutionary War took hold, there was hope amongst several American colonists that the British King, George III, would ultimately intervene to stop his government imposing their will on the North American continent. But those American revolutionaries had overestimated both the monarch’s power over parliament and his desire to avoid conflict.
Charles Lee: Washington's Most Arrogant General
Before George Washington led America to Independence, and victory over the British, he needed to defeat insubordination within his own ranks. Major General Charles Lee offered him the chance to do just that at the Battle of Monmouth.
Ona Judge: Self-Emancipated from the Presidential Mansion
Born into slavery on George Washington's plantation, Ona Judge's daring escape highlights the ideological contradictions of personal liberty in early America.
Kateri Tekakwitha: First North American Indigenous Saint
Kateri Tekakwitha's journey from a Mohawk village to Catholic sainthood reflects the intertwined tales of faith and colonization in 17th century America.
Lois Lowry
Being a teenager isn’t always easy – but sometimes, books can provide the comfort and guidance we need. Few authors capture the adolescent experience better than young adult author Lois Lowry.
Lorraine Hansberry
The first African-American woman to have a play staged on Broadway, Lorraine Hansberry was a writer who broke down racial and gender barriers.
Alice Walker
As the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Alice Walker helped to bring the Black experience to readers across the globe. A true trailblazer, her work continues to entertain and enlighten.
Harriet R. Gold Boudinot: Interracial Marriage in Early America
The interracial marriage of Harriet R. Gold and Elias Boudinot transcended racial taboos of the 1800s, leaving a lasting impact on both the Cherokee and Cornwall communities.
Letitia Carson: Defiant Pioneer
In the mid-19th century, only around 3% of those who traveled West on the Oregon Trail were Black. Among them was Letitia Carson, the only Black woman in Oregon to successfully receive land through the Homestead Act.
Matilda Hughes: Fighting for Family
Enduring slavery and loss, Matilda Hughes's relentless quest to reunite and rebuild her family showcases the indomitable spirit of love amidst America's darkest chapters.
Shirley Jackson
A master of the macabre, Shirley Jackson explores the creepy underbelly of domestic life, with a sharp focus on the challenges that women face.
Ray Bradbury
Awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, recognizing a lifetime of influential literary works, Ray Bradbury wrote from a desire to “live forever”. Through sci fi, fantasy, horror and mystery to themes of death, loneliness and the dark side of human nature.
Tommy Orange
Tommy Orange, a groundbreaking Indigenous American author, illuminates urban Indigenous experiences with a unique narrative.
Clara Brown: Pioneering Philanthropist
Clara Brown made history as a founding settler of Central City Colorado. After gaining her freedom from slavery, she became a philanthropic force for good.
Sequoyah: Inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary
Cherokee blacksmith, soldier, and community leader Sequoyah ensured that his people’s language and culture would be preserved – by developing the Cherokee syllabary.
Joseph Smith: American Prophet
Inspired by the religious fervor of the Second Great Awakening, Joseph Smith founded the most widely-practiced religion founded in the United States, the Mormon faith.
Charles Willson Peale: Artist of the Revolution
Charles Willson Peale was not just a painter; he was also a soldier, politician, and educator. His life and work offer us a vivid snapshot of Revolutionary America and its heroes.
Anne Frank
Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who wrote a diary about her life in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Her powerful story reflects resilience, hope, and the tragic impact of the Holocaust.
Author W.W. Jacobs crafted a unique blend of Gothic horror and dark comedy in his writings, most notably in 'The Monkey’s Paw', to inspire horror icons like Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock.
Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas transformed her challenging experiences into groundbreaking novels, inspiring young African Americans to raise their voices.
Laurie Halse Anderson
For author Laurie Halse Anderson, a survivor of trauma, putting pen to paper allowed her to make sense of the world. Discover how the acclaimed Young Adult author has connected with readers across the globe.
Pam Muñoz Ryan
Author of groundbreaking novels like “Esperanza Rising" and "Echo," Pam Muñoz Ryan has made literature more representative by expertly mining her own rich Mexican American heritage.
Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde, a trailblazing Black feminist, poet, and essayist, passionately explored intersectionality, identity, and activism, leaving an enduring impact on literature and social justice.
Madeleine L'Engle
For Madeleine L’Engle, the starry night sky sparked profound questions about life, the universe, and her place in it. Inspired by science and spirituality, her extraordinary works of fiction have captured the hearts and minds of millions.
Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez's remarkable contributions to Hispanic literature explore immigrant experiences, cultural identity, and resistance against injustice.
Barbara McClintock: Scientific Persistence Pays Off
Barbara McClintock used corn to make pioneering discoveries in genetics, despite facing gender bias and initial skepticism from the scientific community.
Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson's journey, from her upbringing during the Civil Rights movement to becoming a celebrated children's author, showcases her dedication to creating stories that resonate with diverse experiences, especially for young Black readers.
Walter Dean Myers
Author of more than 100 books for young readers, Walter Dean Myers overcame many struggles in his personal life to write stories that represented the Black experience and the struggles of young Americans.
Ibi Zoboi
Ibi Zoboi's journey from Haiti to New York inspired her to write novels that capture the immigrant experience's diversity and challenges, blending elements of fantasy, social justice and cultural identity in her impactful young adult fiction.
Jason Reynolds
Author Jason Reynolds has transformed young adult literature with his unique writing style, merging poetry with colloquial language to reflect the lives of Black and Brown youth in the US and beyond.
Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin's groundbreaking novels and short stories drew on her experiences of growing up and living in the multicultural South, and boldly explores taboo themes of race, class, and female sexuality in 19th century society.
Nic Stone
Author Nic Stone tried many jobs before finding passion in writing, when her travels abroad inspired her to write stories and novels that spotlight issues faced by marginalized groups across the globe.
Mildred Cohn: Trailblazing Biochemist
Mildred Cohn shattered gender and religious barriers to revolutionize biochemistry, developing techniques with far-reaching applications in medicine and agriculture.
Julia Stockton Rush: Love and Family Amid War
Julia Stockton Rush's letters offer a unique glimpse into the lives of women during the American Revolution, capturing a nation's birth from a female perspective.
Gary Soto
Gary Soto, a Mexican-American author and poet, captures the essence of youth and Chicano experiences in his stories, blending humor and the magic of everyday life.
Octavia Butler
First popularized as a genre of literature in the 1920s, for decades science fiction was dominated by white male authors. That is until Octavia Butler, an African American woman, rewrote the script.
Gwendolyn Brooks
The first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Gwendolyn Brooks wrote about the hardship and struggles of ordinary people.
Sandra Cisneros
A trailblazer in more ways than one, Sandra Cisneros was the first Mexican-American woman to be published by a mainstream publisher. Her work brought Hispanic culture to a wider audience of readers.
The Brontë Sisters
In the 19th century, amidst societal expectations for women to stay home, the Brontë Sisters defied norms, pursuing their literary dreams. Their novels unveiled the genuine aspirations of women at the time.
Colson Whitehead
The first author to win the Pulitzer Prize for two consecutive novels, Colson Whitehead is one of the United States’ most versatile writers.
Richard Wright
At a time when Jim Crow laws made racial segregation legal across much of the United States, author Richard Wright gave voice to a struggle – as the first African American author to achieve widespread critical and commercial success.
Mark Twain
Known as the Father of American Literature, Mark Twain used satire and a sharp wit to explore and reveal the realities of US society in the 19th century. In doing so he developed an all-new “American style” of writing.
Amanda Gorman
The youngest inaugural poet in history, Amanda Gorman introduced a new generation to the lyrical power of poetry and became a modern-day icon in the process.
Tituba: The First Accused Witch
The Salem Witch Trials are one of the most infamous tragedies in American history, yet most people do not know the story of the enslaved woman at the heart of the hysteria, the first accused witch, Tituba.
Susan Clark Holley: Breaking Barriers in Education
Facing racial barriers in 19th-century Iowa, Susan Clark Holley’s legal battle pioneered school desegregation, laying early groundwork for the monumental Brown v. Board of Education case.
Elizabeth Blackwell: Trailblazer for Women in Medicine
The first woman to graduate from a U.S. medical college, Elizabeth Blackwell broke through gender barriers to make history. Her remarkable story of courage and perseverance serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit.
Charles Curtis: Native American Vice President, Untold
In 1929, Charles Curtis – a member of the Kaw Nation – made history by becoming the first Vice President of color in the U.S. Yet he left behind a complicated legacy that some claim had a lasting negative impact on Native Americans.
Marco Polo
Marco Polo left his home as a young man in 1271, setting off on a voyage that took him to the heart of the Chinese Empire, and through many Asian countries. The book he wrote about his travels influenced Europeans' understanding of the world.
Born as a Frankish prince in a fragmented Europe, Charlemagne unified France and served as the Pope’s protector - gaining the title of Holy Roman Emperor.
Confucius was a philosopher in ancient China who taught that the powerful needed to rule with virtue. He put his ideas into practice - changing the way the government was run, and eventually founding a religion called Confucianism.
Karl Marx
Karl Marx was a writer who dreamed of a classless society. After he died, his work became widely shared as a political ideology called communism - and directly influenced the Russian Revolution.
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud transformed the way we think of the human mind. In his work as a doctor, who studied the mind, he invented the idea of the subconscious and tried to unlock the mysteries of dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt is known as being the longest serving First Lady in all of American history. She spent her life working to further social causes, from women voting to universal human rights.
Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel invented a better way to blow things up and became a successful industrialist. But he believed in peace and progress, and so he set up the world’s most important awards for achievement to humankind.
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was a master navigator who was convinced he could find a quicker route to Asia. His crossing of the Atlantic Ocean changed the world forever - but he didn’t find what he expected…
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein is known as the father of modern physics. As a young man, he spent his time thinking about the nature of space and time. When he published his ideas, they changed the world - and gave us a whole new view of the universe!
Aristotle’s way of describing the world changed the way we think and reason. He wrote about everything from biology to politics and the universe - applying a system of logic and observation which laid the groundwork for modern science.
This Rebel girl was a mysterious queen who ruled Egypt. And disappeared without a trace. We find out who Nefertiti was. Based on the bestselling books 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Ada Lovelace
This Rebel Girl was a mathematician and a digital pioneer, who programmed her way into the history books. We find out who Ada Lovelace was. Based on the bestselling books 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
This Rebel girl was a revolutionary poet who lived in ancient Greece. And wrote about women, friendship and love in a way that had never been done before. We discover who Sappho was. Based on the bestselling series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Billie Jean King
This Rebel Girl smashed the patriarchy. One of the greatest women tennis players of all time, An American who turned women’s tennis into a pro sport and fought for equal pay. We discover who Billie Jean King was. Based on the bestselling books 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Jane Austen
This Rebel Girl loved writing novels about women and marriage, society and manners, at a time when female authors were thoroughly disapproved of. And went on to become a literary superstar. We explore who Jane Austen was. Based on the bestselling books 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Mary Shelley
This Rebel Girl took up the challenge to write a horror story to scare her friends, And ended up creating a novel that has terrified readers for generations. We explore who Mary Shelley was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Beatrix Potter
This Rebel Girl captured our imaginations with her much-loved tales. An English writer who took matters into her own hands when no one would publish her stories, And went on to become one of the world's bestselling children’s authors. We explore who Beatrix Potter was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Lilian Bland
For this Rebel Girl, the sky was the limit.An aviator who was determined to fly into the history books as the first woman to design, build and pilot her own plane. We explore who Lilian Bland was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This Rebel Girl wanted the world to read stories that were a true reflection of life in Nigeria. So she wrote her own stories about Africa which inspired a new generation of readers around the world. We explore who Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Mary Anning
This Rebel Girl dug her way into the history books. A dinosaur hunter whose fossil discoveries helped prove that there was life on Earth millions of years before the human race. So, who was Mary Anning?
Grace Hopper
This Rebel Girl wanted to know what made things tick. She turned a fascination with puzzles into a career in computer programming: then sailed into the history books as the oldest commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. We explore who Grace Hopper was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Queen Elizabeth I
This Rebel Girl never expected to be queen of England and Ireland. She came to the throne when she was just 25 years old; And ruled over one of the greatest periods in English history. We explore who Queen Elizabeth I was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
This Rebel Girl was a fearless warrior; Queen of an ancient British tribe called the Iceni, who spearheaded a rebellion against the Romans to protect her Kingdom. We explore who Boudicca was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.
Florence Nightingale
This Rebel Girl revolutionized health care. A British Nurse whose work saved millions of lives, by the simple act of encouraging us to wash our hands. We discover who Florence Nightingale was. Based on the best-selling book series 'Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls'.