03-10-2017 03:48 PM
03-10-2017 09:01 PM
Known for: Marie Curie was the:
• first well-known woman scientist in the modern world
• called the "Mother of Modern Physics" -- pioneer in research into radioactivity, a word she coined
• discoverer of and first to isolate polonium and radium; she established the nature of radiation and beta rays
• first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, first person to win Nobel Prizes in two different scientific disciplines: (1903) Physics and Chemistry (1911)
03-10-2017 09:03 PM
Dates: July 14, 1862 - June 18, 1945
Known for: Florence Bascom was the first woman hired by the United States Geological Survey, the second American woman to earn a Ph.D. in geology, and the second woman elected to the Geological Society of America. Her main work was in studying the geomorphology of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont region. Her work with petrographic techniques is still influential today.
03-10-2017 09:06 PM
Patricia Era Bath
Dates: November 4, 1942
Known for: pioneer in the field of community ophthalmology, a branch of public health. She founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness. She was the first African American woman physician to receive a medical-related patent, for a device improving the use of lasers to remove cataracts. She was the first black resident in ophthalmology at New York University and the first black woman staff surgeon at UCLA Medical Center.
03-10-2017 09:09 PM
Dates: June 5, 1887 – September 17, 1948
Known for: Ruth Benedict was an anthropologist who taught at Columbia, following in the footsteps of her mentor, anthropology pioneer Franz Boas. She both carried on and extended his work with her own. Ruth Benedict wrote Patterns of Culture and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. She also wrote "The Races of Mankind," a World War II pamphlet for the troops showing that racism was not grounded in scientific reality.
03-10-2017 09:20 PM - edited 03-10-2017 09:22 PM
Dates: January 29, 1881 - September 5, 1975
Known for: Alice Catherine Evans, working as a research bacteriologist with the Department of Agriculture, discovered that brucellosis, a disease in cows, could be transmitted to human beings, especially to those who drank raw milk. Her discovery eventually led to pasteurization of milk. She was also the first woman to serve as president of the American Society for Microbiology.
03-11-2017 09:32 PM
Fannie Lou Hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer was born in 1917, the 20th child of Lou Ella and James Lee Townsend, sharecroppers east of the Mississippi Delta. She first joined her family in the cotton fields at the age of six. Although she managed to complete several years of school, by adolescence she was picking hundreds of pounds of cotton a day. In the early 1940s she married Perry Hamer, known as Pap, and worked alongside him at W.D. Marlow’s plantation near Ruleville, in Sunflower County. Hamer’s ability to read and write earned her the job of timekeeper, a less physically demanding and more prestigious job within the sharecropping system.
The Hamers adopted two daughters,
girls whose own families were unable to care for them. (They later adopted their two grandchildren after the older daughter’s death.) Hamer’s own pregnancies had all failed, and she was sterilized without her knowledge or consent in 1961. She was given a hysterectomy while in the hospital for minor surgery, a procedure so common it was known as a “Mississippi appendectomy.” “[In] the North Sunflower County Hospital, I would say about six out of the 10 Negro women that go to the hospital are sterilized with the tubes tied,” she told a Washington, DC, audience three years later.
The forced sterilization was one of the moments that set Hamer on the path to the forefront of the Mississippi Civil Rights movement, but the incident that brought her into a leadership role came a year later. On August 31, 1962, not long after attending a voting rights meeting organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Hamer joined 17 of her neighbors on a bus to Indianola, the county seat. Officials blocked most of the group from even attempting to register; Hamer and one man were the only ones allowed to fill out the application and take the literacy test, which both failed.
On the drive back to Ruleville, the bus was stopped and the driver arrested -- the bus was too yellow, the police claimed. While the passengers were held on the bus, the deeply religious Hamer began to sing spirituals. Singing, in particular, “This Little Light of Mine” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” became one of the defining features of her activism.
When the passengers scraped together enough money to cover the driver’s fine, the bus was allowed to return to Ruleville. When Hamer got home, she found that plantation owner W.D. Marlow was already aware that she had tried to register to vote. He demanded that she withdraw her application.
She refused, with an explanation that would become a familiar refrain in her Civil Rights speeches: “I didn’t go down there to register for you. I went down to register for myself.” Marlow ordered her off his land.
Hamer stayed with friends in Ruleville for a few days, but it was clear that there would be reprisals against the people who had gone to Indianola. Pap drove Hamer and their daughters to Tallahatchie County, where they stayed with rural relatives for some time before returning to Sunflower County, ready to take up the fight.
Her singing on the bus and her willingness to challenge the county registrar had been noticed by local organizers, and SNCC field secretary Bob Moses saw her as a potential leader. He sent Charles McLaurin, a young activist, to find Hamer and bring her to a SNCC conference at Fisk University in Nashville in the fall of 1962. The conference was a success, and Hamer left Nashville eager to take on her new role as a community organizer.
Pap Hamer had stayed at the Marlow plantation, working through the harvest to pay off the family’s sharecropping debt, but in the fall of 1962 he rejoined his wife and daughters. Marlow took possession of the Hamers’ car, as well as the contents of the house they had rented from him, so they started over in Ruleville. The family’s main source of income was Hamer’s $10 weekly stipend from SNCC.
Through 1962 and 1963, Hamer continued to work for desegregation and voter registration. She would also become involved in relief work, distributing donated food and clothes to the poorest Delta residents. Hamer had spent her entire life in poverty, and she understood that the fight for economic security was a crucial component of the Civil Rights movement. At the same time, she was willing to use the donations as leverage, and sometimes refused to hand over food until the recipients agreed to register to vote.
03-13-2017 12:33 PM
Helen Adams Keller was born a healthy child in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880. Her parents were Kate Adams Keller and Colonel Arthur Keller.
On her father's side she was descended from Colonel Alexander Spottswood, a colonial governor of Virginia, and on her mother's side, she was related to a number of prominent New England families. Helen's father, Arthur Keller, was a captain in the Confederate army. The family lost most of its wealth during the Civil War and lived modestly.
After the war, Captain Keller edited a local newspaper, the North Alabamian, and in 1885, under the Cleveland administration, he was appointed Marshal of North Alabama.
At the age of 19 months, Helen became deaf and blind as a result of an unknown illness, perhaps rubella or scarlet fever. As Helen grew from infancy into childhood, she became wild and unruly.
Helen Keller's Education and Literary Career
From a very young age, Helen was determined to go to college. In 1898, she entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies to prepare for Radcliffe College. She entered Radcliffe in the fall of 1900 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree ****** laude in 1904, the first deaf-blind person to do so.
The achievement was as much Anne's as it was Helen's. Anne's eyes suffered immensely from reading everything that she then signed into her pupil's hand. Anne continued to labor by her pupil's side until her death in 1936, at which time Polly Thomson took over the task. Polly had joined Helen and Anne in 1914 as a secretary.
While still a student at Radcliffe, Helen began a writing career that was to continue throughout her life. In 1903, her autobiography, The Story of My Life, was published. This had appeared in serial form the previous year in Ladies' Home Journal magazine.
Her autobiography has been translated into 50 languages and remains in print to this day. Helen's other published works include Optimism, an essay; The World I Live In; The Song of the Stone Wall; Out of the Dark; My Religion; Midstream—My Later Life; Peace at Eventide; Helen Keller in Scotland; Helen Keller's Journal; Let Us Have Faith; Teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy; and The Open Door. In addition, she was a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers.
The Helen Keller Archives contain over 475 speeches and essays that she wrote on topics such as faith, blindness prevention, birth control, the rise of fascism in Europe, and atomic energy. Helen used a braille typewriter to prepare her manuscripts and then copied them on a regular typewriter.
Helen Keller's Political and Social Activism
Helen saw herself as a writer first—her passport listed her profession as "author." It was through the medium of the typewritten word that Helen communicated with Americans and ultimately with thousands across the globe.
From an early age, she championed the rights of the underdog and used her skills as a writer to speak truth to power. A pacifist, she protested U.S. involvement in World War I. A committed socialist, she took up the cause of workers' rights. She was also a tireless advocate for women's suffrage and an early member of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Helen's ideals found their purest, most lasting expression in her work for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Helen joined AFB in 1924 and worked for the organization for over 40 years.
The foundation provided her with a global platform to advocate for the needs of people with vision loss and she wasted no opportunity. As a result of her travels across the United States, state commissions for the blind were created, rehabilitation centers were built, and education was made accessible to those with vision loss.
The scoop on everything Q, from helpful tips to interesting tidbits, questions, answers, and more.
QVC is not responsible for the availability, content, security, policies, or practices of the above referenced third-party linked sites, nor liable for statements, claims, opinions, or representations contained therein. QVC's Privacy Statement does not apply to these third-party web sites.
© 1995–2016 QVC, Inc. All rights reserved. Trademark Notice