Due to the discriminatory past of the U.S., our history books tend to leave out: those of color, females, LGBTQ+ members and many more. In order to shed light on some people left out of our history books, I’ve chosen three historical figures who you most likely do not know about.
Marsha P. Johnson- Johnson was a trangender African American woman born in New Jersey on August 24th of 1945. She was an activist in the LGBTQ+ community as she aided homeless LGBTQ+ youth that were abandoned by their families. Johnson is best known for her important role in the Stonewall riots. When an LGBTQ+ bar, known as the Stonewall Inn, was being raided by NYC police, Johnson encouraged LGBTQ+ members in the bar to resist and fight back. Due to the Stonewall riots, the gay libreation movement began in the United States and Johnson was recognized as an instigator for the movement. After the Stonewall riots, Johnson continued to be an activist in her community by co-founding the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) to help homeless trangender youth. Johnson passed away on July 6th of 1992 at the age of 47.
Sybil Ludington- 16 year-old Ludington traveled forty miles on April 26th of 1777 to warn the continental army about the incoming of the British. When she learned that the British planned to attack Dnabury, Connecticut, Ludington rode her horse to raise the alarm in Putnam County, New York. Unlike Paul Revere, Ludington was able to avoid being captured by the British as she went to raise the alarm. Although Ludgington’s ride did not stop the British’s success in their raid on Danbury, her alarm allowed Patriots to push the British armies back into Long Island Sound. In 1784, Ludington married and had one son. She then died at the age of 77 and was buried beside her father.
Percy Lavon Julian- Julian was am African American man born in Montgomery, Alabama on April 11th, 1899. Julian was a steroid chemist who figured out how to synthesize important medical compounds from plant sources. The method that Julian discovered involved an easier way of extracting significant amounts of the steroid, stigmasterol, from soybeans. Because Julian found how to extract the steroid on such a massive scale, he was able to find a new innovative process to convert the steroid into progesterone. Progesterone is a steroid hormone that can aid in regulating a women’s cycle and plays an important role in preventing miscarriages. Julian was also a civil right’s activist who was part of groups that were seeking to advance conditions for African Americans. On April 19th, 1975, Julian passed away in Waukegan, Illinois at the age of 77 years old.