The Historic Women Quiz


By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by Clinton Library

About This Quiz

Women have impacted history in many ways. From the queens to the modern women who have completed firsts, run empires and invented things that we can only dream of, we have a lot to thank them for. But of course, sometimes there are people who impact the world in bad ways. Though we like to focus on people who had a great impact, it's important to note the bad as well. Think you know all about the women who made the world what it is today?

Throughout history, women have made many contributions to the world. For example, actress Hedy Lamarr was much more than an actress. She was an inventor who created the foundation for what has now become WiFi. We have her to thank for our internet connections! The women of our world stand by their families, friends and work and make the world a better place. The ones who have come before us have fought for rights and equality so that we can live better lives today.

If you're an expert on the historic women who have shaped our world, then here's your chance to prove it. Take the quiz to show how much you know about the women of the past!

Pocahontas saved the life of this person. Who was it?

Though it wasn't exactly like the Disney movie, the real Pocahontas saved John Smith, which he wrote about later. Her courageousness and compassion are shown in how she put herself in harm's way to save the life of another.


One of Henry VIII's wives who was sentenced to death, Anne Boleyn was sentenced for which crime?

Though she was accused of multiple crimes, Anne still held her head high even in her last days. Her husband, Henry VIII, was upset that she could not produce an heir to the throne for him. Miraculously, she actually did, and Elizabeth I became the Queen of England.


This striking painter was known for her incredible self-portraits among other works. Who was she?

Frida was a woman who kept her head up, but her life was far from being completely happy. One little-known fact about the artist is that she was involved in a horrific accident that plagued her until the day she passed.


A leader of one of the largest empires ever, what was the name of this revolutionary queen who changed history?

Queen Victoria is a queen who many look up to. She took her place on the throne at the young age of 18 and held her place for more than 60 years. If you're wondering how she may be related to Queen Elizabeth II, she is her great-grandmother.


Laura Secord's actions showed bravery and loyalty to the British at the time of the War of 1812. How did she make her historic trip?

Laura Secord's historic trek to warn the British was 20 miles long, which is pretty far when you're walking it. Her walk paid off for the British, who were able to ready themselves for the American attack. Her legacy lives on in a number of ways, one of which is through a chocolate shop named after her.


It's not history without one of the subject's most famous ladies. A mother of a religious leader known for her miracle birth, do you know what her name is?

The Virgin Mary gave birth to Baby Jesus, which was deemed a miracle. Different denominations celebrate her to different extents. She has the greatest importance to Roman Catholics, with one of the rosary prayers devoted to her.


This princess was known for pushing the boundaries in the royal family, while at the same time having a good heart. Who was she?

The mother of Prince William and Prince Harry, Princess Diana was loved by many all around the world. Though she had her own ways of doing things, she had compassion for people like no other.


Incredible in everything that she set her mind to, Nellie Bly was famous for doing which of the following?

Nellie is an inspiration for women around the world. When challenged to do something that was deemed as something that a woman could never do, she did it, and did it with pride. She really proved that putting your mind to something can make you successful.


Dr. Sally Ride was the first woman to achieve which of the following?

Dr. Sally Ride made history with her journey into space in 1983. You might be interested to find out that she found the opportunity in the newspaper! Sometimes, if you take that chance, you can be one in a million as she proved to the world.


A woman with a big heart, Mother Teresa was loved by many all around he world. Which prestigious prize did she receive for her work?

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to many people for the advancements that they gave the world. Mother Teresa was one of the deserving recipients. Her work with the poor in India was a driving force behind her being made a saint.


This woman is one reason why women today gained the right to vote, but do you know her name?

Susan B. Anthony was so serious about helping women to acquire the right to vote, that she went to jail for it. In fact, for her efforts, Susan was commemorated in the form of her face being printed on coins.


Vera Atkins, a very intelligent person, did which of the following jobs?

Vera Atkins was an important asset to the military when she became an intelligence officer. Her skills proved to be most helpful when she tracked down missing people at the end of World War II, bringing closure to the families back home.


Rosa Parks is known for her civil rights activism. Which word is she best known for saying when faced with racial injustice?

Rosa Parks courageously stood up for not only herself, but on behalf of African-Americans around the country when she said "no" to giving up her seat on the bus. The one word she chose was powerful enough to start a movement that changed the world for the better.


A woman who loved to live lavishly, Marie Antoinette was born as a princess of what country?

Marie Antoinette was married into another royal family at an early age. Her husband was the King of France, Louis XVI, who would go down along with her. Her most famous phrase is known to be, "Let them eat cake!"


Compassionate and kind, Florence Nightingale set a great example for people everywhere. What did she do?

Florence Nightingale made large contributions to improving the healthcare system. She worked tirelessly to make sure that patients were well cared for and found ways to make the system work better. In turn, she saved many lives that the world could have lost without her efforts.


Turning her brands into an empire, which of the following brands is part of Estee Lauder's company?

Estee Lauder built her empire, which is the manufacturer of countless brands, in the '40s. If anyone knew how to create a beauty empire, it was Estee Lauder. Her iconic brands are still around for our enjoyment today.


In the past, beliefs were enough to get you killed in some cases. Mary Anning changed the belief of what during her life?

Mary Anning might not have been a name that you've heard before, but she was able to help change an entire belief system through evidence. In fact, she was a paleontologist who went seeking fossils to prove her theories and claims, changing our look at the past.


Though she lived in the 1800s, this famous woman was a talented mathematician and computer programmer. What is her name?

Ada Lovelace was a top-notch computer programmer in her day. Ada was known to have imagined what technology could be like in the future. Some of her predictions have even come true, showing how advanced she was for her time.


Jane Goodall is known for showing compassion and kindness toward animals. Which animal is she known for working the most with during her life?

One unique fact about Jane Goodall is that her love of chimpanzees is all thanks to her father. She still has a stuffed chimp that her father gave her when she was a child. It's easy to see that she has always had a passion for the animals!


Mary Wollstonecraft fought for the rights of who?

Mary Wollstonecraft fought for women and is often remembered as someone who set a foundation for feminism. She was a talented author who wrote the book "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman," which is all about calling out the problems that women faced at that time.


It's time to go way back in history to remember this fearless woman. Most often thought of for her beauty, do you know the name of this pharaoh?

When someone hears Cleopatra's name, their mind usually goes straight to her beauty. But she was also an awesome ruler and an intelligent one at that. Her rule lasted almost three decades.


This woman was just a young teen when she showed how fearless she was. What was the name of this woman who is now hailed as a martyr?

While at 18, many of us were just finishing up high school, Joan of Arc was leading entire armies out to fight. Unfortunately, this ultimately led to her death in which she was sentenced to be burned at the stake.


Emily Dickinson was very talented at her craft. What was it?

Emily had a way with words like no other poet. She was praised for her refreshing style, some of which presumably came from the education she received on literature. One of her most famous poems is "I'm Nobody! Who are you?"


You know her as the talent behind the original American flag design, but do you know what kind of business Betsy Ross ran?

Betsy was very talented at creating upholstery, which she got into through an internship. Later, she and her husband created their own business since they both had the talents. As it turns out, she was more than just an upholsterer, she was an artist.


An organization that is still around today was founded by an incredible woman by the name of Clara Barton. Which organization is it?

Clara was a woman with so much compassion for others. It shows through her work during the Civil War where she tended to as many of the wounded as she could. The American Red Cross is incredibly proud of its loving founder.


She was the mother of Richard the Lionheart, but that's not all! She was a famed queen herself. Who is she?

Eleanor of Aquitaine was a dedicated mother who even though she had her own hardships in life, still fought for herself and her family. She supported her sons just as any mother would and worked with the hand she was dealt to make the most of her life.


A talented pilot, Amelia Earhart was believed to have been involved in a crash. Who was with her?

Amelia asked Fred to accompany her on the flight that eventually led to the disappearance of both of them. Though there have been countless searches for the two aviators, the two have never been found and are thought to have passed shortly after the crash.


Famous writer Jane Austen authored many books during her time that are considered to be classics. Which of the following is not one of her books?

Among one of the most famous books authored by Jane was "Pride & Prejudice." It's hard not to wonder what Jane's opinion of the 2005 movie that is based on the book would be. If she were still here today, she might have just taken part in it as well!


A woman who we all have to thank for her contributions to the world of health, what did Marie Curie find a treatment for?

Marie Curie is hailed a hero for finding an accurate treatment for cancer. While it may not always be able to cure the patients, it can give them a fighting chance at beating the horrible, life-threatening disease.


While multiple members of her family took power all around her, she never had the chance to rule on the throne on her own. Who was this powerful Queen Mother of France?

Catherine de' Medici was married quite young as most girls were in the past. While she became the queen of France, she didn't truly have much power until her husband died and her young sons took control.


This famed actress became a princess through marriage, but do you know her name?

Grace Kelly was known for roles in countless movie classics where she stole the hearts of everyone. For her, it was a prince who stole her heart and through marriage, she became the Princess of Monaco.


Maya Angelou was a famous poet who impressed the world with her creativity. Which of the following is a poem of hers?

One of her most famous poems was "Still I Rise," which many can relate to. Maya writes of the courage and power it takes to rise above injustice that works so hard to keep you down. She has put strength into the hearts of many people with the words that she crafts.


A young girl who was a victim of mass genocide, what was Anne Frank famous for writing?

Anne Frank was an inspiring young girl who tragically had her life cut short during the Holocaust. Before she was captured and taken to a concentration camp, she wrote a diary which gives us a glimpse into her life at the time.


While Calamity Jane spent much of her life on the American Frontier, she participated in what traveling show?

Calamity Jane was part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show as a sharpshooter. A true woman of the West, Calamity Jane was a celebrity in her own right who even penned her own autobiography.


Catherine the Great was successful in producing an heir to the throne. Which of the following was her biological son?

In the past, one of the most important duties that a royal woman had was to produce an heir to the throne. Catherine the Great was pretty great at many things, including ruling over her empire, but she was also successful in making sure that there was someone to succeed her.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!