Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, circa 1818 – February 20, 1895) was born into slavery and is best known for his role in bringing the harsh realities of slavery to the attention of white Americans, at the same time being a living example of the fallacy of claims that black Americans were intellectually inferior to whites. He was an American abolitionist, women's suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer.
George Walton Lucas, Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an Academy Award-nominated American film producer, screenwriter, director and founder/chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd. He is best known for being the creator of the epic science fiction franchise Star Wars and joint creator of the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones. Today, Lucas is one of the American film industry's most financially successful independent directors/producers, with an estimated net worth of $3.0 billion as of 2009.
James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented the state of Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as Speaker of the House (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841) before becoming president. A firm supporter of Andrew Jackson, Polk was the last strong pre-Civil War president. Polk is noted for his foreign policy successes.
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first African American Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to openly play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated African-Americans to the Negro leagues for six decades.
Laura Lane Welch Bush (born November 4, 1946) is the wife of the forty-third President of the United States, George W. Bush, and was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009. Mrs. Bush has had a love for books and reading since childhood, and her life and education have reflected that interest. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1968 with a Bachelor's degree in education, and soon took a job as a second grade school teacher.
Lyman Frank Baum (15 May 1856 - 6 May 1919) was a US author, poet, playwright, actor, and independent filmmaker best known today as the creator - along with illustrator WW Denslow - of one of the most popular books in US children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called the "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement. " On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind: Irene Morgan, in 1946, and Sarah Louise Keys, in 1955, had won rulings before the U.S.
Sojourner Truth (1797 – November 26, 1883) was the self-given name, from 1843, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York. Her best-known speech, Ain't I a Woman?, was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
Thomas John Watson, Sr. (February 17, 1874 – June 19, 1956) was the president of International Business Machines (IBM), who oversaw that company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956. Watson developed IBM's renowned management style and corporate culture, and turned the company into one of the most effective selling organizations yet seen, based largely around punched card tabulating machines.
William McKinley, Jr. (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, and the last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected to the office. He was the last president to serve in the 19th century and the first to serve in the 20th. By the 1880s McKinley was a national Republican leader; his signature issue was high tariffs on imports as a formula for prosperity, as typified by his McKinley Tariff of 1890.
Patrick Jake O'Rourke (born November 14, 1947 in Toledo, Ohio) is an American political satirist, journalist, writer and author. O'Rourke is the H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio's game show Wait Wait...
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1820 or 1821 – March 10, 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she made thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage.
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole (born July 22, 1923) is an attorney and retired United States Senator from Kansas from 1969–1996, serving part of that time as United States Senate Majority Leader, where he set a record as the longest-serving Republican leader. He was his party's 1996 presidential nominee but lost the election to incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton. He was the Republican vice presidential nominee in the 1976 U.S.
William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a blues composer and musician, often known as the "Father of the Blues". Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form.
George Stanley McGovern (born July 19, 1922) is a former United States Representative, Senator, and Democratic presidential nominee. McGovern lost the 1972 presidential election in a landslide to Richard Nixon. As a decorated World War II combat veteran, McGovern was known for his opposition to the Vietnam War. Appointed in 1961 by U.S. President John F.
Lucy Ware Webb Hayes (August 28, 1831–June 25, 1889) was a First Lady of the United States and the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes. While First Lady, she was given the moniker "Lemonade Lucy". Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the daughter of James Webb, a physician, and Maria Cook-Webb, Lucy was descended from seven veterans of the American Revolution. Her father died when she was an infant. With her mother, she moved to Delaware, Ohio, where in 1847 she met Rutherford B. Hayes.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), known as Beyoncé, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and model. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child.
John Nance Garner IV, nicknamed "Cactus Jack" (November 22, 1868 – November 7, 1967), was the 44th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (1931–33) and the 32nd Vice President of the United States (1933–41).
Alben William Barkley (November 24, 1877 – April 30, 1956) was an American politician who served as the 35th Vice President of the United States from 1949 to 1953 under President Harry S. Truman. Prior to the Vice Presidency, Barkley served in the U. S. Senate from Kentucky for over twenty years, and was Majority Leader of that body from 1937 to 1947.
Alfred "Alf" Mossman Landon (September 9, 1887 – October 12, 1987) was an American Republican politician, who served as the 26th Governor of Kansas from 1933–1937. He was best known for being the Republican Party's (GOP) nominee for President of the United States, defeated in a landslide by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election.
Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 30, 1933) is an American country singer-songwriter, author, poet, actor and activist. He reached his greatest fame during the outlaw country movement of the 1970s, but remains iconic, especially in American popular culture. Now in his 70s, he continues to tour and has performed in concerts and fundraisers with other major musicians, including Bob Dylan, and Dave Matthews.
William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was a Cherokee cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer and actor. He was the father of U.S. Representative and WWII veteran Will Rogers, Jr. Known as Oklahoma's favorite son, Rogers was born to a prominent Indian Territory family.