Daniel Hale Williams III was a pioneering surgeon best known for performing in 1893 one of the world’s first successful open heart surgeries.  

In 1891 Williams co-founded Provident Hospital  on Chicago’s South Side.  At the time only 909 black physicians served 7.5 million African Americans, Provident was the first black-controlled hospital in the nation. The hospital was also the first medical to have an interracial staff.

In 1894 Williams was appointed Chief Surgeon at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, DC. In 1895 he co-founded the National Medical Association (NMA) because black medical practitioners were denied admission to the all-white American Medical Association.  


Mary Davenport Engberg 



The first Female to Conduct a Symphony Orchestra Mary Davenport-Engberg was an American violinist, composer and conductor. 

Engberg went on to organize the 85-member Davenport Engberg Orchestra in Bellingham. She led its opening concert in 1914. 


Nellie Tayloe Ross 

1876 - 1977

From 1925 to 1927, Nellie Tayloe Ross was the sitting governor of Wyoming.  The first female to hold a governor office. Wyoming was the first state to grant women the right to vote, in 1869. Ross was later director of the U.S. Mint from 1933 to 1953. 


  Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi 

 c. 780 – c. 850 

As a Persian mathematician he introduced the modern numbering system to the west. That's why the numeric system is called 'Arabic Numbers'.  

 During the dark ages, Europe had lost almost all previous knowledge and records, but at the same time in the Arab world, scholars were preserving these texts and doing further studies.  


Maria Feodorvna  


Maria Feodorvna was the wife of Tsar Alexander III. She helped save a life by altering a death sentence. Alexander, going through a list of suspected traitors and criminals, had written against one name, ‘pardon impossible, to send to Siberia’. Maria changed it to ‘Pardon, impossible to send to Siberia’ and saved a life with a comma. 

 Marie Feodorovna was also the head of the Russian Red Cross. Her involvement helped to remedy several deficiencies while enlarging both its size and service. She had been trained as a nurse during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, and her personal knowledge of Red Cross duties helped her during her stewardship at its head. 


Alice Coachman 


At the 1948 London Olympics, Alice Coachman won the high jump for the United States, becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic Gold medal. King George VI awarded her medal, and subsequently, President Harry S. Truman congratulated her at a White House ceremony. Coachman was also celebrated in a motorcade that traveled from Atlanta to her hometown of Albany, Georgia.

As a child, Coachman was forbidden from training at athletic fields with white people, which forced her to get creative: she would use ropes and sticks as high jumps, running barefoot. Despite these barriers, she was able to be the first black woman to win an Olympic medal and the first black person to receive an endorsement deal.

“If I had gone to the Games and failed, there wouldn’t be anyone to follow in my footsteps. It encouraged the rest of the women to work harder and fight harder,” Coachman told The New York Times in 1996. And indeed, she paved the way for African-American athletes like Wilma Rudolph, Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith Joyner, and many more.  SOURCE:  https://explorethearchive.com/ 


Nellie Bly 


Nellie Bly was a  groundbreaking investigative journalist that went undercover as a patient in an insane asylum in order to expose abuses there in 1887. 

Committed to an asylum, Bly experienced the deplorable conditions firsthand. After ten days, the asylum released Bly at The World's behest. Her report, later published in book form as Ten Days in a Mad-House, this prompted the asylum to implement reforms.

The following year, another assignment saw her turn the novel Around the World in Eighty Days into reality when she traveled around the globe herself — in just 72 days.

Louis Braille


The Braille language for the blind was developed by Louis Braille in 1824, when he was just 15 years old. He tweaked it and expanded it after that, but, having been blind himself since the age of 3, he was inspired at a young age to conceive of a way to read and write. Braille consists of a code of 63 characters, each made up of one to six raised dots arranged in a six-position matrix or cell. The dots are embossed on paper and are read by using one’s fingers. He published the first Braille book, a three-volume history book, in 1837. 

Source:  https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-Braille 

Tim Berners-Lee


Tim is the inventor of the worldwide web, and Oxford graduate who transformed modern life through the internet in 1989, 

Tim wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined as web technology spread. 

Mary Robinson


 Mary Therese Winifred Robinson is an Irish Independent politician who served as the seventh President of Ireland, becoming the first woman to hold this office. She also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and a Senator for the University of Dublin from 1969 to 1989. 

Beatrice Potter Webb


 January 22, 1858 – April 30, 1943

 was an English sociologist, economist, socialist, labour historian and social reformer. It was Webb who coined the term "collective bargaining". She was among the founders of the London School of Economics and played a crucial role in forming the Fabian Society. 

Daniel Barenboim


Daniel Barenboim - Pianist and conductor Reith lecturer who unites Palestinian and Israeli musicians.

 In 1999, Barenboim and Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said jointly founded the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra.[77][78] This initiative brings together, every summer, a group of young classical musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and Arab countries to study, perform and to promote mutual reflection and understanding.[79][80][81] Barenboim and Said jointly received the 2002 Prince of Asturias Awards for their work in "improving understanding between nations." Together they wrote the book Parallels and Paradoxes, based on a series of public discussions held at New York's Carnegie Hall, (Source:  Wikipedia )

Ethel Payne


Ethel L. Payne: Payne was one of three accredited African Americans in the White House press corps. She covered the American Civil Rights Movement, the White House and international affairs. Payne is often regarded as the first lady of the black press.

Bob Geldof


 Geldof is widely recognized for his activism, especially anti-poverty efforts concerning Africa. In 1984 he and Midge Ure founded the charity supergroup Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in  Africa They went on to organize the charity super-concert LIve Aid the following year. Geldof currently serves as an adviser to the ONE Campaign, founded by fellow Irishman Bono and is a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. A single father, Geldof has also been outspoken for the fathers rights movement.  

Mary Lou Williams


May 8, 1910 – May 28, 1981)  Mary Lou Williams was an American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements and recorded more than one hundred records. Already having an illustrious career as a musician, in the 1960s Mary Lou formed her own record label and publishing companies.

Elizabeth Jennings Graham


Elizabeth Jennings Graham heroic act against racism took place before the Civil War, when slavery was still legal in fifteen states. On Sunday, July 16, 1854, Elizabeth was running late to church and boarded a streetcar. The conductor ordered her to get off, but she refused. When he tried to remove her by force, she struggled to stay onboard. Eventually, it took a police officer to remove her from the streetcar. Graham’s story inspired African American New Yorkers to stand up for their rights and fight against racial discrimination in public transportation. Graham won her case and the court declared that African American persons should have the same rights as other persons. The public transit system in New York was desegregated by 1861 as a result –all about 100 years before Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on the bus.

Annie Smith Peck


At the  age of 58, set the record for the highest climb in the Western Hemisphere.  In 1885, while pursuing her education in Europe, Peck discovered her enthusiasm for mountaineering. She ascended moderate-sized mountains in Europe and in the United States, including  14,380-foot Mount Shasta. While in Greece, she climbed Mount Hymettus  and Mount Pentecus, which ranged between 3,000 feet and 4,000 feet. She was the first  to climb the north peak of the 22,205 ft Huascarán in Peru. 

Joseph Warren


Joseph Warren While during his time he was regarded as the architect of the American Revolution and at least fourteen US states have a Warren County named after him, few people recognize the name Joseph Warren.

Dr. Joseph Warren wrote a series of resolves that helped serve as the blueprints for the first American government, he sent Paul Revere on his famous ride, he fought in the battles of Lexington and Concord, and he was a close associate with other leading revolutionaries such as John Hancock, John Adams and Samuel Addams. 

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell


Dr. Blackwell was the first female MD and also helped form the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.  When she graduated from New York's Geneva Medical College, in 1849,  She supported medical education for women and helped many other women's careers. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in America to earn the M.D. degree. 

Mary Ellen Pleasant


Mary Ellen Pleasant was aneEntrepreneur and Activist. Once an indentured servant to a Nantucket shopkeeper she learned the basics of running a business early on. She also learned about the abolitionist movement, working to help slaves escape to the North and funded abolitionist causes (including, it is said, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry).

Andrew Haswell Green


Andrew Haswell Green pushed for the creation of bouroughs we now know as Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Before 1898 they  weren't part of New York City. Andrew Haswell Green was also instrumental in the creation of Central Park, the Bronx Zoo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Washington Bridge, and the New York City Public Library.

Wilm Hosenfeld



Wladyslaw Szpilman, the talented Polish pianist on whom the movie The Piano was based, was rounded up and transported to Treblinka (a concentration camp)  in 1942. In 1944, he was discovered by a German officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld. Szpilman expected to be turned in, but in an act of kindness, Hosenfeld did the exact opposite - he helped Szpilman evade capture, bringing him food for sustenance and giving him a safe refuge.  The surprising act of kindness at the end of this story reminds us that there is good in everyone. 

Jack Andraka


 Jack Andraka was just 16 years old when he created a groundbreaking way to diagnose pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers in the world. In 2012, Andraka won the grand prize of $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with his method for detecting a pancreatic cancer protein with 90% accuracy. His autobiography, Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator Is Changing the World,  encourages young people to get involved in science. He is currently studying at Stanford University.  

Samantha Smith


 Samantha Smith (1972-1985)

In 1982 Samantha wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov the leader of the Soviet Union. After being published in Pravda Andropov replied and Samantha was invited to visit the Soviet Union. Intensely followed by international media she was quoted as saying that she found the Russian people were just like American people. Acting America’s youngest ambassador she visited Japan in 1983. Unfortunately this remarkable young leaders life was cut short when she was killed in a plane crash at ag

Nellie Bly


Nellie Bly  

pioneered investigative journalist and investigative methods still used today. 

 Her writing career began with writing a response to a piece that referred to working woman as a "monstrosity."