Lutie Stearns, “the Johnny Appleseed of books,” started free libraries all over Wisconsin and was an outspoken advocate for social justice.
Jewish activist Hannah Rosenthal served as a U.S. special envoy to work against anti-Semitism.
Sister Joel Read served for 35 years as president of Alverno College and became widely known and respected for her innovative education reforms.
Mabel Raimey was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attend Marquette University Law School, and practice law in Wisconsin.
Vel Phillips achieved many firsts, including first woman and first African American to be elected to the statewide office of secretary of state.
At age 16, Caroline Quarlls was the first known person to escape slavery through Wisconsin’s Underground Railroad network.
Barbara Nichols was the first African American president of the Wisconsin Nursing Association and of the American Nursing Association.
Gwen Moore was the first African American from the state of Wisconsin to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Golda Meir was a teacher and organizer in Milwaukee before becoming Israel's first female prime minister in 1969.