03-09-2017 09:39 PM
March 5, 1931 – Geraldyn (Jerrie) Cobb is born. She became the first woman to pass qualifying exams for astronaut training in 1959 but wasn’t allowed to train because of her gender.
Lovelace’s Woman in Space Program was a short-lived, privately-funded project testing women pilots for astronaut fitness in the early 1960s. Although nothing concrete resulted, the women who participated have since been recognized as trailblazers, whose ambitions to fly the newest and the fastest craft led them to be among the first American women to gain access to sophisticated aerospace medical tests.
The Woman in Space Program began as an Air Force project that grew out of two researchers’ interests in women’s capabilities for spaceflight. Because, on the average, women are smaller and lighter than men are, scientists speculated that they might make good occupants for cramped space vehicles. In 1960, Dr. William Randolph "Randy" Lovelace II and Brig. General Donald Flickinger invited award-winning pilot Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobb to undergo the physical testing regimen that Lovelace’s Albuquerque, New Mexico Foundation had developed to help select NASA’s first astronauts. Although the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research was a private organization, Dr. Lovelace also served as head of NASA’s Special Committee on Bioastronautics. When Cobb became the first woman to pass those tests, Lovelace announced her success at a 1960 conference in Stockholm, Sweden. As Cobb coped with the ensuing publicity, Lovelace invited more women pilots to take the tests. Jacqueline Cochran, the famous pilot, businesswoman, and Lovelace’s old friend, joined the project as an advisor and paid all of the women’s testing expenses.
By the end of the summer of 1961, nineteen women pilots had taken astronaut fitness examinations at the Lovelace Clinic. Unlike NASA’s male candidates, who competed in group, each woman came to Albuquerque either alone or in a pair for the week of tests. All of the women were skilled airplane pilots with commercial ratings. Most of them were recruited through the Ninety-Nines, a women pilot's organization. Others heard about the testing through friends or newspaper articles and volunteered. The oldest candidate, Jane Hart, was a forty-one year old mother of eight and the wife of a U.S. Senator (Philip Hart-D of Michigan). The youngest, Wally Funk, was a twenty-three year old flight instructor .
Since no human being had flown in space yet when the astronaut fitness tests were designed, the Lovelace doctors required very thorough examinations. These included numerous X-rays and a four-hour eye exam. A specially weighted stationary bicycle pushed the women to exhaustion while testing their respiration. The doctors had the women swallow a rubber tube so that they could test their stomach acids. A tilt table tested circulation. Using an electrical pulse, the physicians tested nerve reflexes in their arms. Ice water was shot into the women's ears to induce vertigo so that the doctors could time how quickly they recovered. They calculated the candidates' lean body mass using a nuclear counter in Los Alamos. By the end of the week, the women had no secrets from the Lovelace physicians.
In the end, thirteen women passed the same physical examinations that the Lovelace Foundation had developed for NASA’s astronaut selection process.
03-09-2017 11:16 PM
Great post! If you have girls and boys that are interested in early space pioneers, then I would recommend purchasing or directing them to the library for these two books: Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared-Tanya Lee Stone; and Hidden Figures: Young Readers' Edition-Margot Lee Shetterly. Jerrie Cobb and the other 12 women, would be astronauts, are profiled in the Stone book. Thanks.
03-10-2017 02:42 PM
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was an American writer, a women’s rights activist, and was associated with the Transcendentalist movement.
Sarah Margaret Fuller was born May 23, 1810 in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts. Her father was a lawyer and, for eight years, a representative of Congress, enabling him to move in influential political circles.
Margaret was educated at home and also at the Boston Lyceum for Young Ladies (1821-22). She was a voracious reader and became well-known for being one of the best read people in New England. She became the first woman to have access to Harvard library, when researching a book on the Great Lakes region. She also became fluent in the classics and several modern languages. Her thirst for knowledge was such that she felt little in common with other girls her own age. She was less interested in more conventional pursuits expected of women, Fuller was hopeful of continuing her studies and beginning a career in journalism.
However, after the unexpected death of her father from Cholera in 1836, Fuller found herself in a position of having to look after her family. Also, she did not benefit from her father’s estate, with the bulk of the family fortune going to two uncles (her father did not make a will). To supplement her income she took a job as a teacher in Boston and later Providence, Rhode Island.
In 1839, Fuller moved the family to Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Fuller began women’s discussion groups where Fuller would lead talks about the role of women in society.
In 1839, Fuller was offered the job of editing the Transcendentalists’ magazine – The Dial’ by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The Transcendentalists were an influential philosophical movement in the Nineteenth Century. They believed in personal transformation and looking beyond religious dogmas. Fuller accepted the position and became a leading figure within the Transcendentalist movement. Although she was sympathetic to the movement, she had some reservations about the label ‘Transcendentalist’ being applied to her. However, she frequently visited leading Transcendentalists, and wrote about her experiences in her book called ‘Summer on the Lakes‘ (1844)
With growing confidence as a writer, Fuller also returned to themes of female emancipation and the role of women in society. In 1845, she published – ‘Women in the Nineteenth Century‘ – It investigated the role of women in society and how they could play a greater role in society. (Fuller had originally intended to call it The Great lawsuit: Men ‘versus’ Men, Woman ‘versus’ Women.)
Beliefs of Fuller
Fuller was interested in a range of social topics. She believed in social reform from women’s rights to the prison system. In particular, she believed women had a right to a full education. She felt a complete education would enable women to be more independent and enable a wider horizon of possibilities than the social conventions of the Nineteenth Century allowed. She also abhorred slavery and felt the Native Americans had been unfairly treated. She wrote extensively on a range of social issues from homelessness to women’s equality and played a role in promoting progressive ideas, which were later taken up by women rights activists and social campaigners.
Fuller was an influential early feminist whose writings had a profound impact on later women suffrage campaigners, such as Susan B. Anthony.
03-10-2017 02:50 PM
Madam C.J. Walker Biography
Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, near Delta, Louisiana. After suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss, she invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905. She promoted her products by traveling around the country giving lecture-demonstrations and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Her savvy business acumen led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire. She was also known for her philanthropic endeavors including donating the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.
Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, on a cotton plantation near Delta, Louisiana. Her parents, Owen and Minerva, were recently freed slaves, and Sarah, who was their fifth child, was the first in her family to be free-born. Minerva Breedlove died in 1874 and Owen passed away the following year, both due to unknown causes, and Sarah became an orphan at the age of 7. After her parents' passing, Sarah was sent to live with her sister, Louvinia, and her brother-in-law. The three moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1877, where Sarah picked cotton and was likely employed doing household work, although no documentation exists verifying her employment at the time.
During the 1890s, Sarah Breedlove developed a scalp disorder that caused her to lose much of her hair, and she began to experiment with both home remedies and store-bought hair care treatments in an attempt to improve her condition. In 1905, Breedlove was hired as a commission agent by Annie Turnbo Malone—a successful, black, hair care product entrepreneur—and she moved to Denver, Colorado. While there, Breedlove's husband Charles helped her create advertisements for a hair care treatment for African Americans that she was perfecting. Her husband also encouraged her to use the more recognizable name "Madam C.J. Walker," by which she was thereafter known.
In 1907, Walker and her husband traveled around the South and Southeast promoting her products and giving lecture demonstrations of her "Walker Method"—involving her own formula for pomade, brushing and the use of heated combs.
Success and Philanthropy
As profits continued to grow, in 1908 Walker opened a factory and a beauty school in Pittsburgh, and by 1910, when Walker transferred her business operations to Indianapolis, the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company had become wildly successful, with profits that were the modern-day equivalent of several million dollars. In Indianapolis, the company not only manufactured cosmetics, but trained sales beauticians. These "Walker Agents" became well known throughout the black communities of the United States. In turn, they promoted Walker's philosophy of "cleanliness and loveliness" as a means of advancing the status of African-Americans. An innovator, Walker organized clubs and conventions for her representatives, which recognized not only successful sales, but also philanthropic and educational efforts among African-Americans.
In 1913, Walker and Charles divorced, and she traveled throughout Latin America and the Caribbean promoting her business and recruiting others to teach her hair care methods. While her mother traveled, A'Lelia Walker helped facilitate the purchase of property in Harlem, New York, recognizing that the area would be an important base for future business operations. In 1916, upon returning from her travels, Walker moved to her new townhouse in Harlem. From there, she would continue to operate her business, while leaving the day-to-day operations of her factory in Indianapolis to its forelady.
Walker quickly immersed herself in Harlem's social and political culture. She founded philanthropies that included educational scholarships and donations to homes for the elderly, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the National Conference on Lynching, among other organizations focused on improving the lives of African-Americans. She also donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.
03-10-2017 03:00 PM
A Chicana folk singer who uses her music as an avenue for social change, Joan Baez has long been a force for equity and justice in entertainment. Early in her prolific music career, Baez declined to play any segregated venues, only playing black colleges when touring the South.
For more than 50 years, Baez has been a fierce advocate for a wide range of social justice topics, including nonviolence, civil rights and environmental causes. Her lyrics are a constant nod to this activism, even including notable protest hymns like "We Shall Overcome" on her early albums. Baez has received wide recognition for her activism, often performing to benefit activist causes. Now 75 years old, Baez still uses her music as a form of activism, releasing more than 30 albums in several languages, including Spanish.
03-10-2017 03:04 PM - edited 03-10-2017 03:08 PM
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR FACTS
Known for: the first* Hispanic justice on the United States Supreme Court
Dates: June 25, 1954 -
Occupation: lawyer, judge
SONIA SOTOMAYOR BIOGRAPHY
Sonia Sotomayor, raised in poverty, was nominated on May 26, 2009, for the United States Supreme Court by President Barack Obama. After contentious confirmation hearings, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Justice and third woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sonia Sotomayor was raised in the Bronx in a housing project. Her parents were born in Puerto Rico, and came to New York during World War II.
Sonia Sotomayor was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes (Type I) when she was 8. She spoke mostly Spanish until the death of her father, a tool and die maker, when she was 9. Her mother, Celina, worked for a methadone clinic as a nurse, and sent her two children, Juan (now a physician) and Sonia, to private Catholic schools.
Sonia Sotomayor excelled in school, and finished her undergraduate study at Princeton with honors including membership in Phi Beta Kappa and the M. Taylor Pyne Prize, the highest honor give to undergraduates at Princeton. She earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 1979. At Yale, she had the distinction of being the editor in 1979 of the Yale University Law Review and managing editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order.
PROSECUTOR AND PRIVATE PRACTICE
She served as a prosecutor in New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979 to 1984, an assistant to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgentha. Sotomayor was in private practice in New York City from 1984 to 1992 as an associate and partner at Pavia and Harcourt in New York City.
Sonia Sotomayor was nominated by George H. W. Bush on November 27, 1991, to serve as a federal judge, and she was confirmed by the Senate on August 11 of 1992. She was nominated on June 25, 1997, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, by President William J. Clinton, and was confirmed by the Senate on October 2, 1998, after a long delay by Senate Republicans. President Barack Obama nominated her as a justice on the United States Supreme Court in May, 2009, for the seat held by Justice David Souter. She was confirmed by the Senate in August, 2009.
OTHER LEGAL WORK
Sonia Sotomayor has also served as an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law, 1998 to 2007, and a lecturer at Columbia Law School beginning in 1999.
Sonia Sotomayor's legal practice included general civil litigation, trademark and copyright.
03-10-2017 03:44 PM
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