Catherine II, called Catherine the Great (2 May 1729 – 17 November 1796). Reigned as Empress of Russia from 9 July 1762 until her death. Under her direct auspices the Russian Empire expanded, improved its administration, and continued to westernize. Catherine’s rule re-vitalised Russia, which grew ever stronger and became recognized as one of the great powers of Europe. Her successes in complex foreign policy and her sometimes brutal reprisals in the wake of rebellion (most notably Pugachev’s Rebellion) complemented her hectic private life. She frequently occasioned scandal — given her propensity for relationships which often resulted in gossip flourishing within more than one European court.
Thomas E. Starzl (March 11, 1926) is an American physician, researcher, and is an expert on organ transplants. He performed the first human liver transplants, and has often been referred to as “the father of modern transplantation.”
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, author, and editor. Historian David Levering Lewis wrote, “In the course of his long, turbulent career, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth-century racism— scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity.
Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women’s rights movement to introduce women’s suffrage into the United States. She traveled the United States and Europe, and gave 75 to 100 speeches per year on women’s rights for 45 years.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States and he is frequently referenced as a human rights icon today.
In 1848 Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. Stanton noted the Seneca Falls Convention was the first public women’s rights meeting in the United States. Stanton’s resolution that it was “the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves the sacred right to the elective franchise” was passed despite Mott’s opposition. Mott viewed politics as corrupted by slavery and moral compromises, but she soon concluded that women’s “right to the elective franchise however, is the same, and should be yielded to her, whether she exercises that right or not.