Even More Astonishing Women
(1918 Nov 3 – 2007 Aug 21) became the second female Brigadier General in the US Army, two minutes after Ms. Hayes. She enlisted in the WAACs in 1942. Liz found a tough male sergeant to train her for leadership and command and when trying for OCS (Officer Candidate School), passed with flying colors. She was commissioned and deployed to Europe in ’43. Advancing through the ranks, she commanded WAC units in Japan, Germany and France until ’66. She became director of the WACs serving in Vietnam. Liz believed sending women to Nam would be controversial and deter progress in expanding the role of women in the Army. She retired in ’71. Liz appeared on “Dick Cavett” and “What’s My Line.” She passed in 2007 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Elizabeth Holloway Marston
(February 20, 1893 – March 27, 1993) was an American psychologist. She was involved in various ways in the creation of the comic book character Wonder Woman in the early 1940s with her husband, William Moulton Marston (pen name Charles Moulton). She also participated with Marston in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception.
(1926 Apr 24 – 1965 Jul 4) – Lisa was acting on a soap when she decided to become a news reporter. As the first female news reporter at ABC Lisa met, interviewed and became intimate with Fidel Castro. She was the first woman to host her own national news show but her politics got her fired. Depression ensued and a miscarriage led to her suicide. She left behind two daughters.
Laura and Maude Howe
Laura Howe Richards (1850 Feb 27 – 1943 Jan 14) and Maude Howe Elliott (1854 Nov 9 – 1948 Mar 19) were sisters, authors
and daughters of Julia Ward Howe. Laura wrote over 90 books; Maud was a patron of the arts and founded the Newport
Arts Association; they won a Pulitzer for their collaborative book, The Life of Julia Ward Howe; art and artists were
essential to their lives.
(27 March 1866 – 15 December 1945) founded the International Deserts Conservation League and worked with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration to establish the Joshua Tree National Monument, as well as helping preserve parts of Death Valley and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
In 1660, a professional female actress appeared on the English stage in a production of Othello. It’s one of the earliest known instances of a female role actually being played by a woman in an English production. Up until this time, women were considered too fine and sensitive for the rough life of the theater, and boys or men dressed in drag to play female characters. An earlier attempt to form co-ed theater troupes was met with jeers and hisses and thrown produce. But by the second half of the 17th century, the King’s Company felt that London society could handle it. Before the production, a lengthy disclaimer in iambic pentameter was delivered to the audience, warning them that they were about to see an actual woman in the part. This was, the actor explained, because they felt that men were just too big and burly to play the more delicate roles, With bone so large and nerve so incompliant / When you call Desdemona enter giant.”
(1895 Oct 17 – 1958 Dec 29) was a preeminent dancer who began in Chicago, and due to rough times, in 1918, opened her own dance school. She taught classic, gymnastic and ballroom dance to children and young adults. Four years later, Doris moved to LA to study with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. After ten years, she moved to NYC to create more nuanced, expressionistic modern dance. A dynamic, technique via extreme falling and recovery, (lithe, fluid movement), became Doris’s signature style. She used all movements, all sounds in her pieces. She retired at 44 due to arthritis but became artistic director of the Jose Limon Company. She was part of the Federal Dance Program and, on the faculty of Juilliard and Bennington.
(born 1973 Mar 15), is the founder and designer of Funomena. Robin is working on her PhD in Artificial Intelligence. Currently, a professor of game design at UC Santa Cruz. Robin researches dynamic difficulty adjustment, and how the notions of fate, meaning and consequence can be communicated via video games. Designer and producer: Electronic Arts (MySims), thatgamecompany (Journey), Tiny Speck (Glitch). Robin and Martin Middleton co-founded Funomena. that supports independent game development, experimentation in game design, and the advocacy of women within the games industry. She also organizes and teaches at video games industry conferences and events: She was chosen for “Gamasutra’s 20,” “honoring the Top 20 women working in the video game industry.”
(1591–1643) Religious protestor and founder of Rhode Island. A Puritan spiritual adviser and a mother of 15. Her strong religious convictions were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma helped create a theological schism that threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious experiment in New England. She was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the colony.
Noor Inayat Khan
(1914 Jan 1 – 1944 Sept 13) was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France. She was of Indian and American descent and Muslim. She escaped to England after the fall of France in 1940. Noor signed up with the WAAF. In ’42, she was recruited to join the SOE (Special Ops). Although her trainers were not sure of her abilities, they believed in her utter commitment to defeating Germany. During this time, the life span of an operator was 6 weeks. Noor left for France in June, 1943. By September, 1944 she had been caught, shackled, tortured, shot and killed. In 1949, Noor was posthumously awarded the George Cross, and became England’s first Muslim heroine of WWII. I
(1911 Oct 26 – 1972 Jan 27) was born in New Orleans. Working as a maid at five, Mahalia would be beaten if the house was not “white glove” clean. She moved to Chicago at 15 and began singing and touring with the Johnson Gospel Singers. Her recording of “Move On Up a Little Higher,” sold eight million copies, astonishing in 1947. In 1950, she became the first gospel singer at Carnegie Hall. Mahalia toured Europe, cut albums, had her own radio series, and criticized for bringing “jazz” into the church. In the 60’s, she sang at Kennedy’s inaugural ball, joined Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout his early marches, sang at King’s funeral and contributed financially to the movement.
Mae Carol Jemison
(born October 17, 1956) is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. After medical school and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps from 1985 until 1987, when she was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps. She resigned from NASA in 1993 to found a company researching the application of technology to daily life. She has appeared on television several times, including as an actress in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is a dancer and holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities. She is the current principal of the 100 Year Starship organization.
(15 November 1968 – 15 September 2016) was a much-honored physicist who created and explored matter that exists only at a sliver of a degree above absolute zero — or minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. She received a MacArthur Genius award and was the second-youngest woman ever to be introduced into the National Academy of Sciences.
Mamie “Peanut” Johnson
(1935 Sept 27 – 2017 Dec 18), was the first female pitcher in the Negro Leagues. Slider, circle changeup, curveball, screwball and knuckleball—Mamie could throw them all. She got pointers from Satchel Paige. She played for the Kansas City Clowns and had a batting average of .262 to .284. Mamie struck out the male ballplayer who thought she was a little bitty thing, calling her a peanut. The nickname stuck! After retiring, a 30-year nursing career and in 2005, she was honored at the Clinton White House as a female baseball legend.
(1936–1996) – Barbara Jordan was a U.S. congressional representative from Texas and was the first African American congresswoman to come from the Deep South. She captured the attention of President Lyndon Johnson, who invited her to the White House for a preview of his 1967 civil rights message.
(born 1962 Mar 3) was voted by Sports Illustrated as the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century. She overcame severe
asthma to compete and she became Time magazine’s Athlete of the Year (1988). She has won 8 gold medals in the Olympic, World Championship and Pan American Games. In 1987, in Indianapolis, Jackie jumped 24 feet and 5¼ inches. The Jesse Owens Award added the Jackie Joyner Kersee award, given to the female USATF “athlete of the year.” Jackie has established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation that provides athletic lessons and resources; and Athletes for Hope, that inspires millions of athletes and non-athletes to volunteer and support their community.
(15 May 1894 – 28 February 1978) was an American photographer and writer who became well known for her photographs of African-Americans. Her photography was championed by Edward Steichen, who included her in The Family of Man exhibition in 1955 and her photographs are now in the permanent exhibitions of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Anna Louise Karsch
(1722 Dec 1 – 1791 Oct 12) was known as the German Sappho or “Die Karschin.” Anna was the first German woman to live from the proceeds of her own literary work.” She taught herself to read in secret as her stepfather thought her obsessed with books. Married at 16, she had 3 children. By that third pregnancy, she filed for the first divorce in Prussia. She then married a drunkard. Now a famous poetess, she used her influence to press him into military service, never to be seen again. Befriended by King Friedrich William II, he promised her a house and pension. After his death, she got just that. A poet to the end, she has been honored and commemorated throughout Germany.
Coretta Scott King
(27 April 1927 – 30 January 2006) was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and wife of Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1936 Jan 5 – 2016 Jan 6) wrote a column, “the Misanthrope’s Corner,” for the National Review magazine. She described herself as a “conservative lesbian feminist!” She was also referred to as “the World’s Funniest Bisexual Republican.” After retiring in 2006, she came back to NR with a new column, “The Bent Pin.” Some quotes: “Hell hath no fury like a liberal arts major scorned.” from Lump It or Leave It; from “Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, “in the South, Sunday morning sex is always accompanied by church bells.” and “I don’t suffer fools and I like to see fools suffer.”