femalepioneers

Back in August, we announced that LEGO was launching a set featuring female scientists that include a paleontologist, astronomer, and a chemist. Much to the excitement and adoration of many young girls, the anticipated collection was sold out in one day. Now these awesome female scientists are rockin’ with their own Twitter account! Click here to see what these inspiring academics have been up to. 

The Little Known Heroine of Thanksgiving

via a mighty girl:

Did you know that the celebration of Thanksgiving is largely due to the efforts of one very persistent woman who dreamed of creating a national holiday that would bring Americans together on a unifying day of thanks?

The little known heroine of Thanksgiving, writer Sarah Hale, who was incidentally also the author of the famous children’s poem, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” was born in 1788. For forty years, Hale served as the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most widely circulated US magazine in the pre-Civil War period. This role made Hale incredibly influential in everything from women’s fashion to literature to architecture; however, the personal mission that drove her for 36 years was to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Hale believed that the US had too few national holidays that brought people across the country together. At the time, Thanksgiving was celebrated in certain states primarily in the North and was observed on different days in different locations. Hale sought to create a single holiday that would help unify the nation around a single day of gratitude for one’s blessings.

During her years of advocacy, Hale wrote countless editorials in support of the holiday and lobbied governors, businesspeople and others to support her cause. Beginning in 1849, she also made an annual tradition of writing to the president about the holiday – one of her letters to President Lincoln is pictured here. Finally, in 1863, Lincoln, who saw the benefit of such a unifying holiday during the stress of the U.S. Civil War, supported legislation to establish the new national holiday. With Lincoln’s proclamation declaring a national day of Thanksgiving on October 3, 1863, Hale’s 36-year quest for Thanksgiving was finally a success.

For two wonderful children’s books about Hale, both for ages 4 to 8, we recommend: Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving and Sarah Gives Thanks.

Hope you all had a happy & meaningful thanksgiving!

brainpickings.org
German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt on Memory, the Elasticity of Time, and what Free Will really means

What was considered then a bona fide boys’ club, Hannah Arendt made history by being the first woman ever to speak at the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1973. Her exquisite lecture was later expanded and published as The Life of the Mind.

The volume is divided into two parts: the first, titled Thinking, explores the crucial difference between truth and meaning; the second, Willing, is an investigation of “the nature of the willing capability and its function in the life of the mind” — in other words, that eternal question of what it means to have free will in a universe of fixed laws

 

Mercury 13 & the First Female Astronaut Trainees

spacetravelco:

“The men go off and fight the wars and fly the airplanes and come back and help design and build and test them. The fact that women are not in this field is a fact of our social order.”

- John Glenn of Mercury 7, testifying before a House subcommittee in 1962

“The women underwent the identical tests that the male candidates had undergone. In the end, 68% of the women passed with ‘no medical reservations’ compared to 56% of the men. The 13 females who passed were known as the Mercury 13. They were Bernice ‘Bea’ Steadman, Janey Hart, Geraldine ‘Jerri’ Sloan Truhill, Rhea Allison Woltman, Sarah Lee Gorelick Ratley, Jan Dietrich, Marion Dietrich, Myrtle Cagle, Irene Leverton, Gene Nora Jessen, Jean Hixson, Wally Funk and Geraldyn ‘Jerrie’ Cobb…

Cobb had tested in the top 2% of all tested candidates, male and female.”

Read more:

The Lovelace Woman in Space Program (1960-1962)

The First Lady Astronaut Trainees / Mercury 13

thedailybeast.com
Two Decades After Genocide, Rwanda’s Women Have Made the Nation Thrive

Rwanda has the highest percentage of women appointed to government in the world. Women account for 64 percent of its parliament. (In comparison, America ranks 83rd with 18 percent.) After genocide decimated Rwanda two decades ago, the country’s women spearheaded the efforts to rebuild and heal. Click here to read more about the admirable women of Rwanda and learn how they are restoring their nation with resilience.