Acknowledging Women's Contributions

I was looking through my book "Venerable Women: Transform Ourselves, Transform the World" the other day. A section that intrigues me every time is the one where I list women who did amazing things and were not acknowledged. It's good to know that is changing. Enjoy this excerpt:

"American grade-schoolers know about colonial hero Paul Revere and his midnight ride to warn of the British army's arrival. But another hero, not found in my history textbook, was Sybil Ludington, daughter of American Revolution militia volunteer, Colonel Henry Ludington. At age sixteen, she rode her horse, Star, in freezing rain at night more than forty miles (twice the distance Paul Revere rode), to go to each of the men's farms in
her father's regiment and notify them to reassemble for battle. The 400 troops successfully defeated the British. Sybil Ludington was commended by General George Washington who came to her home to offer his gratitude to her.

British writer Mary Shelley, born in 1797, wrote "Frankenstein;" or "The Modern
Prometheus" at age nineteen, virtually inventing the genre of science fiction.

Famed poet Lord Byron was the father of the lesser-known Ada Lovelace (Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace). Ada, born in London in 1815, showed a gift for mathematics as a young child. Though not customary at the time for girls to receive mathematics or science instruction, her mother insisted that Ada do so. As a teenager, she was mentored by inventor and mathematician, Charles Babbage. The two worked together on the earliest computer models, and Ada became one of the first computer programmers.

Clara Brown overcame tremendous obstacles in her life. Born a slave in Virginia in 1800, she married another slave and bore four children. Her heart was broken as family members were sold at auction and the family was split apart. Clara spent years searching for her lost family, became a businesswoman, founding a successful laundry service. She located some of her children, reunited what family was left and, along the way, helped many slaves to freedom.

Pitching for the Chattanooga Lookouts Class AA, Jackie Mitchell was one of the first female pitchers in professional baseball. The very first was Lizzie Arlington in 1898. In an exhibition game against the New York Yankees on April 2, 1931, Jackie struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Just days later, Jackie was banned from both minor
and major league baseball by Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis because baseball was considered "too strenuous" for a woman."

Have an amazing week and remember to acknowledge your own contributions--and those of others you encounter.
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