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Harriet Tubman became famous as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad during the turbulent 1850s. Born a slave on Maryland's eastern shore, she endured the harsh existence of a field hand, including brutal beatings. In 1849 she fled slavery, despite a bounty on her head, she returned to the South at least 19 times to lead her family & hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy and nurse during the Civil War. #tubman

Pic. of Madame Walker:Born Sarah Breedlove on December 23,1867 on a LA plantation,a daughter of former slaves (who was orphaned at age seven and worked in the cotton fields as a child) transformed herself from farm laborer and laundress into one of he 20th century's most successful, self-made entrepreneurs.Walker made most of her fortune between 1911 and 1917 making Madam C.J. Walker the 1st Afri. Amer. woman to become a millionaire. She lived in a mansion near the Rockefellers. Biddy Craft

Lady Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies (photographed by Camille Silvy, 1862) She was born into a royal West African dynasty, and was orphaned in 1848, when she was around five years old, when her parents were killed in a slave-hunting war. In 1850, Sarah was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift” from the King of Dahomey. She became the queen’s goddaughter and a celebrity known for her extraordinary intelligence. She spent her life between the British royal household and her…

Vivien T. Thomas. In 1944, Hopkins' surgery chief, Alfred Blalock, successfully operated on the heart of a 9-pound child, a "blue baby." Medical experts believed cardiac surgery was impossible. As Blalock prepared to make his historic incision, he looked around the operating room and asked, "Where's Vivien?" Blalock would not begin until Thomas, stationed on a stool behind his right shoulder, was there to guide Blalock through procedures. Prejudice long kept Thomas' crucial role ... @Rexi44

Victoria Woodhull (1838 - 1927). She was quite a lady ... the first woman to run for President of the United States (1872); first woman to start a weekly newspaper, first woman along with her sister to operate a brokerage firm in Wall Street (where she made a fortune). She fought for women's rights, against corruption and for labor reforms. The reforms and ideals espoused by her for the common working class against the corrupt rich business elite were extremely controversial in her time.

Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque or obituaries mention her greatest discovery…Everyone knows Charles Darwin discovered evolution and Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, textbooks simply say the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know? Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a truly extraordinary woman.

U.S. Marshals escorting the brave Ruby Bridges. One of the first African Americans to attend a white school.

"Meet Hawa Abdi. A woman who has never raised her fist in anger against another human being, but also one who could perform three C-sections on dirt-poor women, wash her hands, then go straight outside, stare down an army of gun-toting hardcore fanatical Somali militiamen, and with four words send them running for their lives on a light-speed rainbow of shame and self-loathing without even blinking. A woman once appropriately described once as 'one part Mother Teresa, one part Rambo'.”

Lydia Litvyak. One of two Russian pilots who were the world’s only female fighting aces during World War II. She kicked Nazi butt.

Barack Obama at Harvard Law School in 1990 --- First black person elected to be the President of the Harvard Law School Review. #Greatness

Slave owner and his slaves. Many slaves would be treated like animals, that would explain why they are chained up and look miserable.

Buffalo Calf Road Woman (1850s-1878), was a Northern Cheyenne woman who saved her wounded warrior brother Chief Comes in Sight, in the Battle of Rosebud (as it was called by the US) in 1876. She fought next to her husband in the Battle of the Little Bighorn that same year. In 2005 Northern Cheyenne storytellers broke more than 100 years of silence about the battle, and they credited her with striking the blow that knocked General George Armstrong Custer off his horse before he died.

Amelia Earhart is helped out of her deep sea diving suit after exploring the bottom of the sea off Block Island, Rhode Island. July 25, 1929.

An American Hero you may not remember: "My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I'm going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you. And no fascist-minded people like you will drive me from it. Is that clear? -- Paul Robeson (1898-1976) during his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee, June 12, 1956

A pair of US Marines share their foxhole with an Okinawan boy who wandered into their lines, July 1945

National Geographic Newsfrom National Geographic News

Fourth of July: Nine Myths Debunked

Thomas Jefferson (left), Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776.