At a self-defence demonstration a woman uses a judo heel and leg turnover against a kicking attacker.

How American Women First Learned Self-Defense

Jiu-jitsu, judo, boxing, and wrestling raised eyebrows. But physical strength and political empowerment went hand in hand.
Big Jim Colosimo by Pauline Boty and Portrait fragmenté by Evelyne Axell

The Women of Pop

In addition to bringing attention to overlooked artists, one scholar argues that art criticism has contributed to their obscurity.
This 1964 poster featured what at that time, was CDC’s national symbol of public health, the “Wellbee”, who here was reminding the public to get a booster vaccination.

How Three Women Led the Fight against Pertussis

As whooping cough killed thousands of kids annually, a trio of public health workers were deeply involved in the production and distribution of a vaccine.
Mary Ritter Beard

Mary Beard and the Beginning of Women’s History

She was one half of a powerhouse academic couple and an influential historian in her own right. But she's still often overlooked.
Cover illustration for "Female Convict" by Vincent E. Burns. Illustration by Robert Maguire, 1952

Lesbians in Prison: The Making of a Threat

A scandal at a Massachusetts women's prison marked a change in the construction of the "dangerous" female homosexual.
Martha Hughes Cannon

Suffrage and Polygamy in Utah

Women began voting legally in Utah Territory in 1870, only to have that right taken away from them later.
Photograph: Gloria Reynolds, a shop assistant in London's King's Road. 

Source: Graham Wood/Getty

Why Black Women Activists Started Wearing Denim

Members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee adopted denim clothing for activist work. This had special significance for Black women.
American feminist, abolitionist, journalist and writer Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Child and the American Way of Censorship

Facing ostracism by literary elites and attacks from pro-slavery mobs, an abolitionist blunted her politics.
A man in a uniform holding a camel

The U.S. Army’s Remarkable Camel Corps of the 1850s

Imported from Mediterranean ports, the marvelous pack animals served to great acclaim in the military.
An African-American miner poses with a shovel in Auburn Ravine during the Gold Rush, California, 1852.

Slavery in a Free State: The Case of California

California came into the Union as a free state in 1850, but proslavery politicians held considerable sway there.