Thank you to America Comes Alive for this guest post. America Comes Alive is a wonderful resource for parents and families, providing little-known stories of America’s past and information for sharing our rich heritage with children, so be sure to check it out!
In honor of Women’s History Month, historian and author Kate Kelly created a project for her website America Comes Alive that profiled thirty women under age 30 who have made a difference in American History.
These remarkable women range from women of the past, such as the first woman to be accepted as a veteran of the Civil War after having disguised herself as a man in order to fight, to women still living today such as Marian Wright Edelman, who not only established the Children’s Defense Fund but who was the first African American woman to be accepted as a member of the bar in Mississippi, no small accomplishment. A selection of the “30 Under 30” include:
· Nellie Bly (1864-1922) When Nellie Bly is remembered, it is usually in the context of her round-the-world trip; less well known but perhaps more significant was her work as an undercover journalist, getting admitted to a mental institution to write about how mental illness was treated at that time.
· Bessie Coleman (1893-1926) was the first African-American woman to get an international pilot’s license. At a time when it was difficult for a woman to make money as a pilot, Coleman found a way.
· Nancy Kelsey (1823-1896) was 17 years old and the mother of an infant daughter when she became the first woman to travel to California on a wagon train in a group that included her husband, their baby, and about 30 men. Young women like Nancy were vital to settling the West.
· Nancy Lieberman (1958- ) was the first woman to break the gender barrier in order to play professional basketball in the United States Basketball League.
· Kitty O’Neil (1947- ) O’Neil was the first woman to be accepted into Stunts Unlimited (1976), an organization of Hollywood’s top stunt people. (Kitty’s accomplishment is all the more remarkable when readers learn she has been deaf since she was a baby.)
· Loretta Walsh (1896-1925) Walsh was the first woman to serve on active duty in the Navy after enlisting in 1917.
· Sheyann Webb (1956- ) is sometimes referred to as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “smallest freedom fighter.” She took part in “Bloody Sunday” in 1967 and continues to fight for human and civil rights.
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one's best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.