This week, we honor the birthday’s of phenomenal women leaders in America. Click on the names of these women to learn more detailed information:
- February 4, 1865-1921 – Lila Valentine, Southern suffrage leader, introduced kindergartens and vocational training into public education in Virginia, recognized health needs with the Visiting Nurse Association fighting tuberculosis, supported the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia and the National American Woman Suffrage Association after visiting England and realizing that many health issues required women’s voice, made 100 speeches in Virginia.
- February 4, 1918-1995 – Ida Lupino, prolific American woman director and actress, born in England, emigrated to Hollywood in the 1930’s, involved with movies dealing with social issues, bigamy, polio, unwed mothers, and rape more than 40 years before the topics were widely discussed
- February 4, 1913-2005 – Rosa Parks, “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” her arrest after refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked a boycott of the bus system, which eventually led to the Supreme Court decision to integrate buses
- February 4, 1921-2006 – Betty Friedan, author and activist, wrote The Feminine Mystique (1963), cofounded the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966.
- February 5, 1905-1999 – Mirra Komarovsky, Russian born, fled first to Kansas and then to Brooklyn, studied effect of male unemployment in families and conflicts in women’s lives, wrote Women in the Modern World (1953), predating Betty Friedan by 10 years
- February 5, 1914-1994 – Hazel Smith, Mississippi journalist, first woman to win Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing (1954), although a segregationist, she supported law and justice and wrote that society must follow the law on integration, which led to bankruptcy and extreme poverty, a TV movie, “A Passion for Justice,” (1994) was based on her life.
- February 6, 1887-1985 – Florence Luscomb, architect and reformer, first woman to graduate from MIT (as an architectural graduate) in 1909, gave 222 speeches for woman suffrage in 14 weeks, learned to drive and repair her party’s touring car, sold copies of “The Woman’s Journal,” ardent outdoorswoman, joined ACLU in 1919, helped to derail anti-communism crusade in Massachusetts, NAACP official (1948), ardent opponent of the Vietnam War
- February 7, 1867-1957 – Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of beloved Little House books
- February 7, 1918 (1997) – Ruth Sager, scientist, graduate of the University of Chicago, worked on corn genetic research in plants, studied cancer research after 1975, became professor of cellular genetics and chief of the Cancer Genetics Division at Harvard Medical School
- February 8, 1911 (1979) – Elizabeth Bishop, poet and writer, graduate of Vassar, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1956, struggled with depression, alcoholism and asthma, wrote on a variety of subjects, probably her most enduring work is Geography III (1976)
These women all exemplified a large amount of courage, scholarship and dedication to make positive changes for the world we live in today!