CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Women's History Month is a worldwide celebration that highlights the contributions of women in history and society and shows appreciation for women who have made their mark on the world. It's celebrated in March in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia and in October in Canada.
Here are five women who made an impact on our society:
Born in Maryland around 1820, Harriet Tubman lived a hard life as a slave. In 1849, she escaped her master and used the Underground Railroad to make it north to Philadelphia and safety. During the next 11 years, she helped at least 300 other slaves to safety.
Tubman was well known and respected during her life, but after her death, she became an American icon. Often called the "Moses of her people," she was an inspiration to future generations of civil rights activists.
Eleanor Roosevelt is the longest serving First Lady in history, but she is known as much for her charitable involvement and activism as for that role. At a time when other first ladies were primarily hostesses, Roosevelt was revolutionary.
She held her own press conferences, was a prominent public speaker, had her own radio show and wrote newspaper and magazine columns. She sometimes stood in for her disabled husband at public appearances and influenced him to lobby for legislation on things like child welfare, housing reform and equal rights for minorities and women.
She continued her work after her husband died in 1945. In 1946, she was named a delegate to the newly-founded United Nations, and in 1947, she became the first chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights, where she was instrumental in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Roosevelt, who died in 1962, not only forever changed the role of First Lady but also forever changed the world with her activism. In 1968, she posthumously received the UN Human Rights Prize.