Women, whether behind the scenes or marching out in front, have played a pivotal role in shaping the course of Philadelphia’s history. While many women’s rights were restricted for much of U.S. history, the women in Philadelphia refused to abide by the cultural norms of their time and place. These proud Philadelphians and their compatriots led the first wave of feminism in the United States, fighting to obtain social equality as well as economic and political rights.
Philadelphia has been called home by many influential women, from cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead to Marian Anderson, one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th Century. Carolyn Davenport Moore, a local civil rights leader who worked from the 1940s through the 1960s, was also from Philadelphia, as was movie star (and Princess of Monaco) Grace Kelly. You can also visit the home of Betsy Ross, one of the most-recognized women from U.S. history, which has been turned into a museum in her honor.