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10 Immigrant Women Who Changed the Course of US History

As the war on immigration rages all around, taking stock of our history may be our best hope for gaining the perspective necessary to move forward. After all, history is the story of everyday people and movements over time.

Consider America’s original inhabitants, who crossed the Bering Strait tens of thousands of years ago, followed by the first wave of European settlers in 1500 and the violent, forced migration of African slaves starting in the 1600s. Later, in the 1890s, a new generation of people entered America, starting with Annie Moore, a young Irish woman who was the first of many immigrants processed at Ellis Island. Immigration is our shared history; moving to new lands that promise greater opportunity is human nature.

Here, we reflect on 10 immigrant women who helped shape America’s history and culture. And once you’ve clicked through, take a moment to consider how different your life might be without Hedy Lamarr’s inventions or Dr. Elizabeth Stern’s research.
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