Jessie: In New Hampshire where the signs of spring are doing a great job of remaining hidden!
March is Women’s History Month and I for one could not be more pleased! I love real history, historical fiction and unapologetic tall tales, myths and legends. I love all of thoses things even more when they feature women.
For those of you as enamoured of the topic as I, here are a few things I’ve encountered lately.
In 1715 Sybilla Masters was the first American Colonist, regardless of gender, to have a patent granted on an invention. Unfortunately, at the time British law did not allow married women to receive patents in their own names. The patent was granted to her husband, Thomas Masters, with a mention of the credit for it going to Sybilla.
A jury in Barrington, MA, August, 1781 agreed with Elizabeth Freeman, an enslaved African American woman, that the newly ratified Massachusetts declared all people were born free and equal. Her groundbreaking case set a precedent for changes that lead to abolition in Massachusetts.
On January 1, 1892, a young woman, Annie Moore, was the first person to be processed at Ellis Island.
Mary Roberts Rhinehart was not only a famous novelist known especially for her mysteries but was also the very first journalist to reach the front during WWI and her experiences influenced her work.
In 1922, despite deep-seated prejudice against Americans of Chinese descent, Anna May Wong had a leading role in the very first technicolor film, The Toll of the Sea. Not only was the movie the first of its kind technologically, Anna was the first American-born Asian actor to star in a major Hollywood movie.
Margaret Rudkin’s family faced a serious economic downturn in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929. Driven by financial necessity and inspired by the benefit to her son’s health from a bread recipe she developed Margaret went on to build the business that would become Pepperidge Farms. She later sold the company to Campbell Soup and became the first woman to serve on their board of directors.
Readers, have you a story about a newsworthy woman to share with us? Is there someone in your personal life or in your community that you would like to celebrate?