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Important People

PersonDescription
Jane Addams (1860-1935) Founder of Hull House. Very active in social reform involving the rights of children, African Americans, and women. First woman awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) (1820-1906) Very active in reform movements. Worked to end slavery and against alcohol. Women's suffrage. Founded the National American Women Suffrage Association and the American Equal Rights Association.
Vernon Baker (1919-2010) First Lieutenant in infantry during WWII. Was responsible for eliminating 3 enemy machine gun positions and an observation post. Was initially denied Medal of Honor because of race but later became the 1st African American to receive the Medal of Honor.
Roy Benavidez (19351998-) Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from heroics in Vietnam War. Responsible for saving 8 soldiers during intense battle in 1968. Ran through enemy fire to save injured members of Special Forces team. Was awarded Distinguished Service Cross.
Black Panthers Radical group in 1960s that advocated armed self-defense and revolutionary agenda to immediately end black oppression. Dramatically different from MLK Jr. Advocated self-sufficiency for African Americans.
Omar Bradley (1893-1981) Was selected by Eisenhower to command 1st US Army during D-Day invasion. Paris was liberated & Germans were turned back at the Battle of the Bulge under his command. Known as "the soldier's general" because of his compassion.
William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) Supported Woodrow Wilson in election of 1912, served as his Secretary of State. Later resigned because of disagreement over Wilson's stance toward Germany. Badly prosecuted John Scopes for teaching evolution in Dayton, Tennessee.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) One of richest men in the world during early 1900s. Began by working in quickly growing railroad industry. Created steel company to capitalize on growing need for steel. During last years of his life, donated more than $350m to worthy causes.
Charles Carroll (1737-1832) Delegate sent to Continental Congress. Signed Declaration of Independence. Served on the Board of War during Revolution. Involved in setting up the state government of Maryland & served a brief time as the only Catholic in the U.S. Senate.
César Chavez (1927-1993) Organized the migrant farm workers union to defend Hispanic migrant workers. Organized United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. Organized nationwide boycott of grapes. The year after he died, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Bill Clinton (1946-) Governor of Arkansas from 1979-1981 & 1983-1992. Elected 42nd Pres. of US in 1992 & again in 1996. Almost impeached as a result of a relationship with a White House intern.
Hillary Clinton (1947-) As First Lady of Arkansas, she championed health care and education issues. Continued pursuit of health care as First Lady of US. US Senator from NY in 2000 & again in 2006. Ran for president in 2008. Was chosen by Obama to serve as Secretary of State.
Glenn Curtiss (1878-1930) Known as "Father of Naval Aviation" and "Founder of the American Aircraft Industry". Became first person to fly a publicly viewed flight. Lost legal battle with Wright brothers over design of flying machine, though was still able to manufacture airplanes.
Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) Critically acclaimed defense attorney arguing some of the most famous trials in American History. Defended Socialist Eugene V. Debs against charges of criminal conspiracy. Defended John Scopes in the Scopes Monkey Trial.
Alexis de Toqueville (1805-1859) French political thinker and historian. Traveled throughout the US from 1831-1833. Wrote Democracy in America, described the "exceptionalism" he saw in the US. Was impressed with the different religions and tolerance in the US.
Sanford Dole (1844-1926) President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Hawaii after Queen Lilioukalani was overthrown. Attempted to restore the monarchy and delayed plans for annexation of Hawaii by the US.
W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) Leader in civil rights movements for African Americans in 1900s. First African American to receive PhD from Harvard. Wrote The Souls of Black Folks. Helped create the NAACP.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1980-1969) During WWII, was commander of the Allied Forces that landed in North Africa and that fought in Sicily and Italy. Supreme Commander of troops that invaded France on D-Day. Became 34th President of the US and established the Interstate Highway System.
Orval Faubus (1910-1994) Democratic Governor of Arkansas from 1955-1967. Ordered Arkansas National Guard to stop 9 black students from integrating Little Rock Central High School. Eisenhower sent army troops to enforce integration and protect the students.
The Flying Tigers AKA the American Volunteer Group in China--group of US pilots during WWII. Were volunteers because US had not yet entered the war. First Americans to fight the Japanese in WWII and won over 300 victories. Received Distinguished Flying Cross.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) Engineer who became the most significant person in the development of the US automobile industry, creating Ford Motors in 1903. Released the Model-T in 1908. In 1918, lost bid for a seat in the US Senate.
Betty Friedan (1921-2006) Writer and activist, helped create the National Organization for Women--given credit for the modern women's movement. Published the book The Feminine Mystique in 1963. Key leader in the struggle for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Hector P. Garcia (1914-1996) Served in Medical Corps during WWII, was stationed in the European theater. Witnessed discrimination against Mexican-Americans then founded the American GI forum. Awarded American Medal of Freedom in 1984--was first Mexican-American to receive this.
Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) Became first African American to speak openly and publicly about African nationalism. Believed the only way for blacks to achieve equality was to go back to Africa (leader of the "Back to Africa" movement) and build a great country of their own.
Bill Gates (1955-) Created the MS-DOS system & in 1980 sold the contract to IBM. Windows program led to the rapid expansion of personal computer ownership. Very active philanthropist focusing on education, world health, and low income communities.
Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) US Senator from Arizona from 1953-1965 & 1969-1987. Republican candidate for President in 1964, defeated by LBJ. Considered to be the founder of the modern conservative movement within the Republican Party.
Billy Graham (1918-2018) Leading religious revivalist as well as spiritual and moral advisor to many US Presidents. Spoke out against communism during Cold War.
John Hancock (1736-1793) Spoke out against British Stamp Act & reminded Americans about the Boston Massacre. Elected President of the Second Continental Congress and was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Warren Harding (1865-1923) In 1920 the Republican Party nominated him as its candidate for President. He was elected the nation’s 29th President but died in 1923 before completing his term. President during the "return to normalcy" after WWI and the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Dolores Huerta (1930-) She cofounded the United Farm Workers of America in 1962 along with César Chavez. Three years later she directed the national grape boycott that would resulted in the California grape industry agreeing to the collective bargaining rights of workers.
John Jay (1745-1829) Considered one of the Founding Fathers. Helped negotiate the treaty to end the American Revolutionary war, authored part of the Federalist Papers to support the ratification of the Constitution, and became the 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Robert Johnson (1946- ) Noticing that African American television audiences were largely ignored by the industry, he used his business connections to start Black Entertainment Television (BET). He later sold the network to Viacom and became the 1st African American billionaire.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Was inaugurated as the first Catholic President and the youngest elected President. Responsible for the Bay of Pigs invasion and the resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was assassinated in Dallas before the end of his first term.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) A civil rights leader; member of the Executive Committee of the NAACP and in 1957 was elected President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Famous for his "I Had a Dream" speech.
Estee Lauder (1908-2004) An American entrepreneur who built a global cosmetic company through dedication and hard work. She is credited with pioneering the marketing idea of receiving a gift with a purchase.
Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) 1st pilot to complete a nonstop, solo transatlantic flight. He flew from the United States to Paris aboard his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis in 1927.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. (1850-1924) Forming a close alliance with Teddy Roosevelt, he endorsed the building of the Panama Canal, war with Spain in 1898, and acquisition of the Philippines as well as other territories in the Pacific. Opposed President Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles.
Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was in charge of the Philippines and vowed, "I shall return" when the Japanese took the islands. He did return after using the "island hopping" strategy. He was the head UN forces after conflict broke out in Korea.
Lester Maddox (1915-2003 ) Challenged the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by refusing to desegregate his Georgia restaurant. He later was elected governor.
Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) His book, The Influence of Sea Power on History, published in 1890, detailed the important relationship between a strong navy and successful world commerce and influenced US foreign policy and imperialism.
George Marshall (1880-1959) He became FDR’s chief consultant during World War II. Proposed the Marshall Plan which was an economic plan to rebuild post war Europe and insure that the spread of communism would be contained.
Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) The nation’s first African American Supreme Court Justice and a leader in the civil rights movement. As a lawyer he represented people like Rosa Parks and Linda Brown (Brown v. Board of Education).
Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) U. S. Senator from 1947 to 1957 who accused numerous individuals in the United States government of being Communists.Many of these accusations were unsupported but gained credibility because of the tensions of the Cold War.
The Navajo Code Talkers Served as an elite unit during WWII in the Pacific Theatre. They would use traditional Navajo words to describe events and then created new words that were only known to those who had been trained. The code was never broken.
Richard Nixon (1913-1994) As the 37th President of the US, he was instrumental in the normalization of relations with China and in creating the policy of détente. In 1974 he became the only President to resign because of impending impeachment due the Watergate scandal..
Chester Nimitz (1885-1966) Command the Pacific Fleet during WWII. In 1945, he represented the US when the Japanese surrendered aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Because of his knowledge of submarines, he became one of the leading naval authorities of his time.
Barack Obama (1961- ) First African American president and one of few presidents to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sandra Day O’Connor (1930- ) The first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Rosa Parks (1913-2005) Best known as the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement." Her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus started the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the beginning of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
George Patton (1885-1945) Became the first member of the newly established U. S. Tank Corps, where he would win fame in World War II. In the war he was with the allied forces during the invasion of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy.
General John J. Pershing (1860-1948) With America’s entry into WWI in 1917, he was named Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces. His troops were instrumental in the defeat of the Germans in the critical battle of Argonne Forest.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) 40th president, is given credit for playing a critical role in the fall of the Soviet Union and the ending of the Cold War.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) Commanded the volunteer cavalry unit known as the "Rough Riders" in the Spanish-American War at the Battle of San Juan. As president, he was known for trust busting, sponsoring the building of the Panama Canal, and establishing the national park system.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) As First Lady to President Franklin Roosevelt, she acted as his eyes and ears to inform him on the state of the country during the Great Depression. After her husband’s death, she served as a delegate to the United Nations.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) US President who proposed a sweeping economic reform package known as the New Deal to combat the Great Depression. He was elected to an unprecedented 3rd term and 4th term. He asked Congress for a declaration of war after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Phyllis Schlafly (1924 - 2016) An outspoken opponent of what she considered the radical feminist movement. She actively campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment and founded her own pro-family movement.
Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) Muckraker and author of The Jungle, a book that caused a national outrage over the state of America's meat packing industry and led to the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.
Sonia Sotomayor (1954- ) Appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 2009 by President Barack Obama and is the first person of Puerto Rican descent to serve on the high court.
Harry Truman (1884-1972) As President, he made the decision to use the atomic bomb against to bring an end to WWII. He convinced Congress to aid countries that were being threatened by communism, a policy known as the Truman Doctrine that was followed throughout the Cold War.
The Tuskegee Airmen The first African American military aviators to serve during World War II. Their service influenced President Truman to issue Executive Order 9981 in 1948 directing the desegregation of the U. S. armed forces
George Wallace (1919-1998) In his inaugural speech as governor of Alabama, he proclaimed, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.‖ In June, 1963, he stood in the door of the University of Alabama to block the admission of two African American students.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) A civil rights activist with a focus on anti-lynching laws, she worked for desegregation of public schools, women's suffrage, and was one of the founding members of the NAACP.
Frances Willard (1839-1898) She was the founder of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group concerned about the destructive effects of alcohol, and an advocate for the passage of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition).
Oprah Winfrey (1954- ) In 2003 Forbes Magazine listed her as the first African American woman billionaire. She is known for her long running talk show and for her philanthropy.
Alvin York (1887-1964) A Congressional Medal of Honor Winner who fought in WWI. Although he was originally a pacifist, a friend convinced him that the Bible said it was okay to serve in the military.
Created by: nchaplinlewis