Speaker Name Index: Women

Busse Library provides this website as a resource for students and faculty seeking the locations of famous American speeches given by women. The Women's Speaker-Name Index offers the ranked results of the project with links from names to a list that displays full website and print resources.

This project is based upon the 1999 "Top 100 American Speeches of the 20th Century," a project of the communications departments of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M University.

A full ranking of all the speeches and their texts can be found as the "Top 100 Speeches" at AmericanRhetoric.com

Select a female speaker of interest from the list below or browse to view all listings.

Women Speakers: Name, Rank, and Speech Titles

Bush, Barbara. (#47) Commencement Address at Wellesley College. ("Choices and Change")

Catt, Carrie Chapman. (#68) "The Crisis" and (#75) "Address to the United States Congress."

Chisholm, Shirley. (#93) "For the Equal Rights Amendment."

Clinton, Hillary Rodham. (#35) Address to the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women. ("Women's Rights are Human Rights")

Eastman, Crystal. (#85) "Now We Can Begin."

Ferraro, Geraldine. (#58) Speech Accepting the Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination.

Fisher, Mary. (#52) Speech to the RNC ("A Whisper of AIDS").

Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley. (#89) Statement at the Smith Act Trial.

Glaser, Elizabeth. (#81) Speech at the 1992 DNC ("AIDS: A Personal Story").

Goldman, Emma. (#67) Address to the Jury.

Hill, Anita. (#71) Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Jordan, Barbara. (#5) Keynote Speech to 1976 DNC. and (#13) Statement on the Articles of Impeachment.

Le Guin, Ursula. (#84) "A Left-Handed Commencement Address."

Richards, Ann. (#38) Keynote Speech to the 1988 DNC.

Roosevelt, Eleanor. (#57) "The Struggle for Human Rights." and (#100) "Adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights."

Sanger, Margaret. (#46) "A Moral Necessity for Birth Control." and (#83) The Children's Era.

Shaw, Anna Howard. (#27) "Fundamental Principle of a Republic."

Smith, Margaret Chase. (#41) "Declaration of Conscience."

Terrell, Mary Church. (#44) "What it Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States."

 

The Speaker Index: Women

Rank: 5 Jordan, Barbara. Keynote Speech to the Democratic National Convention. 12 July 1976. New York, New York.

-- TEXT: Full text of Jordan's "Who Will Speak for the Common Good" address.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Watch and listen to Jordan's speech at DailyMotion
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph of Jordan delivering address at 1976 DNC.

Rank: 13 Jordan, Barbara. Statement on the Articles of Impeachment. 25 July 1974. San Francisco, California. [Also known as the "Opening Statement to the House Judiciary Committee, Proceedings on the Impeachment of Richard Nixon."]

-- TEXT: Full text of Jordan's speech from The Barbara Jordan Forum, LBJ School of Public Affairs 
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Audio content from YouTube; video excerpt (YouTube)
-- PHOTOGRAPH: July 1974 Jordan photo from Smithsonian Archives' online exhibit "The Congressional Hearings: The Senate Watergate Hearings."

Rank: 27 Shaw, Anna Howard. "The Fundamental Principle of a Republic." 21 June 1915. Ogdensburg, New York.

-- TEXT:Full content of Shaw's address at the "Gifts of Speech" feminist history website from Sweet Briar College.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph of the suffragist and educator at the Anna Howard Shaw Center, Boston University School of Theology.

Rank: 35 Clinton, Hillary Rodham. Address to the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women . 5 September 1995. Beijing, China. [Also known as "Women's Rights are Human Rights"]

-- TEXT:Full content of Clinton's address from "Gifts of Speech" (Sweet Briar College) 
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Video and audio content from YouTube
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photographic still from Clinton's address provided by AAUW Dialog.

Rank: 38 Richards, Ann. Keynote Speech to the Democratic National Convention. 18 July 1988. Atlanta, Georgia.

-- TEXT:Full content of Richards' speech at "Gifts of Speech," a feminist history website, from Sweet Briar College.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Complete audio and video coverage of Richards' DNC speech at C-Span Video Library 
--PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph of Ann Richards (at her inauguration) from the State Library of Texas.

Rank: 41 Smith, Margaret Chase. "Declaration of Conscience." 1 June 1950. Washington, D.C.

-- TEXT: Full content of Smith's speech from the Margaret Chase Smith Library, University of Maine.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO:  No audio available. 
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph and biography of Smith provided by Women in Congress

Rank: 44 Terrell, Mary Church. "What it Means to Be Colored in the Capital of the United States." 10 October 1906. Washington, D.C.

-- TEXT: Complete text of Terrell's speech from Story of the Week, a project of The Library of America
-- AUDIO/VIDEO:  No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph and biography of Terrell provided by the Oxford African American Studies Center.

Rank: 46 Sanger, Margaret. "A Moral Necessity for Birth Control." 1921-22. Delivered several times for the American Birth Control League.

-- TEXT: Widely delivered version of speech from the Archive of Women's Political Communication, Iowa State University.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photographs and biography of Sanger available at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project, NYU.

Rank: 47 Bush, Barbara. Commencement Speech at Wellesley College. 1 June 1990. Wellesley, Massachusetts. [Also known as "Choices and Change"]

-- TEXT: Complete text of Bush's address at Gifts of Speech, a feminist oral history project of Sweet Briar College.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Video of Bush's address at YouTube
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photo of Barbara Bush at Wellesley available at the Bush Presidential Library.

Rank: 52 Fisher, Mary. Speech to the Republican National Convention. 19 August 1992. Houston, Texas. [Also known as "A Whisper of AIDS"]

-- TEXT: Full content of Fisher's landmark AIDS address at Gifts of Speech, sponsored by Sweet Briar College.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Video footage from YouTube
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph and biography of Fisher (MaryFisher.com)

Rank: 57 Roosevelt, Eleanor. "The Struggle for Human Rights." 28 September 1948. Paris, France.

-- TEXT: Full content of Roosevelt's speech from the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, George Washington University
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Roosevelt human rights discussion from the FDR Presidential Library
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Roosevelt biography and timeline from American Experience (PBS).

Rank: 58 Ferraro, Geraldine. Speech Accepting the Democratic Vice-Presidential Nomination. 19 July 1984. San Francisco, California.

-- TEXT: Complete text of Ferraro's acceptance speech at Gifts of Speech, sponsored by Sweet Briar College.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Full audio of Ferraro's address from YouTube.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Image of Ferraro and Walter Mondale on the 1984 campaign trail. Image from the Minnesota State Historical Society.

Rank: 67 Goldman, Emma. Address to the Jury. 9 July 1917. New York, New York.

-- TEXT: Complete text of Goldman's defense in her anti-conscription trial found at the Emma Goldman Papers Project, UC Berkeley.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph and detailed biography from "American Experience" (PBS)

Rank: 68 Catt, Carrie Chapman. "The Crisis." 7 September 1916. Atlantic City, New Jersey.

-- TEXT: Entire content of Catt's speech available from the Social Justice Speeches Project.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Biography and photo available at the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, Iowa State University.

Rank: 71 Hill, Anita. Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 11 October 1991. Washington, D.C.

-- TEXT: Excerpt of Hill testimony and Thomas's prepared statement provided by the University of Maryland.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Audio excerpt of testimony from YouTube
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Image of Hill testifying at Thomas hearings provided by PBS's NewsHour series, "Double Standard" feature (March 18, 1998).

Rank: 75 Catt, Carrie Chapman. "Address to the United States Congress." November 1917. Washington, D.C.

-- TEXT: Full text of Catt's speech provided by Gifts of Speech, Sweet Briar College. 
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Images and biography of Catt offered by her childhood home's foundation in Charles City, Iowa.

Rank: 81 Glaser, Elizabeth. Speech at the Democratic National Convention. 14 July 1992. New York, New York. [Also known as"AIDS: A Personal Story."]

-- TEXT: Complete text of Glaser's emotional address at AmericanRhetoric.com.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO:  Audio available at AmericanRhetoric.com
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph and biography of Glaser, founder of the Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.

Rank: 83 Sanger, Margaret. The Children's Era. March 1925. New York, New York.

-- TEXT: Entire content of Sanger's speech at the Social Justice Speeches Project.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Several images of Sanger at the Margaret Sanger Papers Project, NYU.

Rank: 84 Le Guin, Ursula. "A Left-Handed Commencement Address." 22 May 1983. Oakland, California.

-- TEXT: Full text of graduation speech from Le Guin's website
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photographs and biography of LeGuin at her official website.

Rank: 85 Eastman, Crystal. "Now We Can Begin." September-October 1920. New York, New York.

-- TEXT: Total speech content found through Women's History division of About.com.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph and biography of Eastman from the National Women's Hall of Fame 

Rank: 89 Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley. Statement at the Smith Act Trial. 2 February 1953. New York, New York.

-- TEXT: Full content of Flynn's defense speech at AmericanRhetoric.com.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: No audio available.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Biography and photos of Flynn from the PBS series "Faces of Protest."

Rank: 93 Chisholm, Shirley. "For the Equal Rights Amendment." 10 August 1970. Washington, D.C.

-- TEXT: Full content of Chisholm's address from Gifts of Speech, Sweet Briar College.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Excerpts of 1972 addresses on YouTube.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Photographs and biography from the National Women's Hall of Fame

Rank: 100 Roosevelt, Eleanor. "Adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights." 9 December 1948. Paris, France.

-- TEXT: Full UN address coverage from the Social Justice Speeches Project.
-- AUDIO/VIDEO: Short audio excerpt from Roosevelt's speech at AmericanRhetoric.com.
-- PHOTOGRAPH: Image of Roosevelt holding copy of declaration provided by United Nations website.