American People You Should Know. Sally Ride First American Woman in Space. Patriots. Nathan Hale. School teacher hung as a spy by the English during the Revolutionary War. Famous words: “I regret I have but one life to give to my country.”. Betsy Ross.
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Sally RideFirst American Woman in Space
School teacher hung as a spy by the English during the Revolutionary War.
Famous words: “I regret I have but one life to give to my country.”
Philadelphia seamstress who supposedly sewed the original American flag.
Boston tax collector whose speeches and letters helped cause the American revolution. Cousin to John Adams, later president of the United States.
Boston silversmith who served as a messenger to warn American leaders of approaching English troops. His rides were immortalized in a famous poem.
Daughter of a chief who saved the life of Capt. John Smith. Later married planter John Rolfe and died in England.
Shoshoni Indian who led Lewis and Clark on their famed exploration of the Louisiana Purchase land in 1803.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Apache chief who frustrated American troops in the American Southwest for years. His name now used as a signal to start.
Cherokee Indian leader who created an entire alphabet for his tribe’s language. His name now associated with giant trees in California.
Chief of the Sioux who with Crazy Horse led the attack and massacre of Gen. George Custer’s troops in the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. The last victory by the Indians. Later toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
First American millionaire. Made his fortune by selling fur in the late 1700s.
Known as the “commodore,” made his fortune controlling shipping in the 1800s.
Scottish immigrant who made a fortune in steel in the late 1800s and then devoted his life to giving away his money. America’s premier performance hall named for him.
Made his fortune in oil in the late 1800s. Died in Ormond Beach. His home now a museum. His name an American idiom for wealth: “as rich as Rockefeller.”
Once Rockefeller’s financial expert, retired and built a railroad down the East Coast to Key West. Responsible for development of St. Augustine, Ormond Beach, West Palm Beach and Miami. Railroad track replaced by bridge to the Keys. Flagler County named for him.
Connecticut-born showman whose mid-1800s wild promotions created the modern circus and advertising hype. He was the first to make millions as a showman. His name remains a byword for extravagant shows. His credo: “There’s a sucker born every minute” has become part of the American lexicon.
Phineas Barnum and Tom Thumb.
Blind, deaf and dumb from the age of 19 months, she nevertheless graduated from college, lectured, wrote books and inspired the world in the 1900s. Her teacher was Annie Sullivan, who training was described in the play and movie, The Miracle Worker.
Outspoken Socialist leader and presidential candidate who fought for child labor laws, minimum wage and Social Security in the early 1900s.
A Russian immigrant who founded NBC, and led the push for radio and then television.
An unknown Birmingham. Alabama seamstress, her refusal to move to the back of the bus in 1955 sparked the Civil Rights movement.
Wife of President Franklin Roosevelt and leading advocate for human rights worldwide.
Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court. His most famous case ended racial discrimination in the U.S. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman. Louis Brandeis was the first Jew. Brandeis University is named for him.
Thurgood Marshall (above) Sandra Day O’Connor (above, right)
In the early 1800s, Horace Mann pushed for better education. He later founded Antioch College (Ohio), the first school to admit women on an equal basis with men. Noah Webster developed the first American dictionary. Booker T. Washington pushed education for African- Americans and founded the Tuskegee Institute.
From left, Noah Webster, Horace Mann, Booker T. Washington
George Washington Carver’s research into peanuts developed hundreds of edible products. Robert Oppenheimer is the father of the atomic bomb. German-born Albert Einstein’s theories set the stage for the modern world.
George Washington Carver (above left), Albert Einstein (above) and Robert Oppenheimer (left)
Sgt. Alvin York, a poor Tennessee farmer, became the most decorated soldier of World War I. Texan Audie Murphy became one of the most decorated soldiers in World War II and went on to a successful acting, writing and composing career. Gen. George Patton was considered American’s best leader in World War II, and led American troops in Africa and Europe. He pushed for mechanized equipment and was America’s first tank commander.
Sgt. Alvin York
Gen. George Patton
In the mid-1800s, Carrie Nation led the fight against alcoholism. A large woman, she attacked saloons with an axe, eventually leading a band of women. Her efforts helped generate the push for prohibition in the 1920s. Davy Crockett was a Tennessee farmer who became known for his hunting prowess in the early 1800s. He served in Congress and died at the Alamo, fighting the Mexicans in 1836. A harmless eccentric, Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman planted apples throughout the Midwest in the 1800s.
Carrie Nation (above left), Davy Crockett (above) and Johnny Appleseed (left)
In 1831, Nat Turner led the largest slave revolt in the U.S. His name created fear in Southerners for decades. Sojourner Truth advocated civil rights for African-Americans and women. Her speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”, stunned an 1851 women’s convention. Susan B. Anthony led the women’s movement to gain voting rights. She was arrested for voting, but refused to pay the fine. Her image appears on $1 coins.
Nat Turner (top left), Susan B. Anthony (left) and Sojourner Truth.
Jesse James led a band of outlaws in the late 1800s. A hero to Southerners still trying to fight the Civil War, he was shot in the back by a gang member. John Dillinger was a bank robber in the 1930s who gained fame for burning bank loans of poor farmers during the Depression. The FBI killed him. Charles Manson tried to start a race war in the 1970s by murdering several people. He has become the symbol of a murderous cultic leader. One follower tried to shoot President Ford. Both are still in jail.