22 Influential Women You Probably Didn't Learn About in School

Victoria Woodhull, Althea Gibson, Hypatia
Victoria Woodhull, Althea Gibson, Hypatia / Victoria Woodhull, Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images // Althea Gibson, AFP/AFP via Getty Images // Hypatia, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
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21 and 22. Harriet Lawrence Hemenway and Minna Hall

Finely feathered hats were all the rage in the late 19th century. But what was great for fashion was terrible for birds: People’s desire for feathers nearly drove entire species to extinction. Harriet Lawrence Hemenway, a Boston socialite, and her cousin, Minna Hall, launched a movement to end the feather trade. They invited wealthy women to tea parties, where they educated them on the industry’s alarming avian impact. Hemenway and Hall’s gatherings paved the way for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The organization was part of the effort that spurred the creation of legislation that helped end the commercial feather trade.