Tag Archives: womens history month

Women Who Rock: Patsy Cline

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

PATSY CLINE (1932-1963)

It is visceral; we have to stop and listen every time a Patsy Cline song comes on the radio. That smoky, silky, sultry voice pulls you in and makes you live the lyrics that she sings.

She was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on Sept. 8, 1932, in Winchester, Va., to Sam and Hilda Hensley. Though she had an unhappy childhood, the home appeared happy to others. Patsy was the “poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks.” Sadly, her father abandoned the family when Patsy was 15. Hilda supported the family with her sewing, becoming a master seamstress and making most of Patsy’s “cowgirl” costumes over the years. But Patsy ended up challenging the fashion of country music by ditching the gingham and cowgirl look for cocktail dresses and sequins. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Benazir Bhutto

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

BENAZIR BHUTTO (1953-2007)

Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953 in Karachi, Pakistan. Her parents were well known politicians — her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was a former prime minister. Bhutto was educated at Harvard and Oxford, studying government and law. She was the first woman to lead Pakistan as a prime minister, serving two terms as leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party. She was only 35 when she was elected to her first term, breaking barriers not only as a woman, but also as being the first woman to lead a Muslim-dominated country. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Rachel Carson

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

RACHEL CARSON (1907-1964)

Rachel Carson was quite a woman. She pioneered the position that humans are a part of nature and that their quality of life is impacted by ecology. Even when faced with criticism by the government and chemical companies for her “radical” point of view, she continued to educate the world about the frail beauty of nature. Born in the town of Springdale, PA, on May 27, 1907, her love of nature and biology was cultivated by her mother, who encouraged her to marvel at their wonders. This love for nature was further developed throughout Carson’s education at the Pennsylvania College for Women, where she earned her undergraduate degree, and at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her zoology master’s degree in 1932.
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Women Who Rock: Julia Child

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

JULIA CHILD (1912-2004)

Was there more to America’s first celebrity chef than what we read and saw? Most definitely. Julia Child had a past that most wouldn’t believe, and a number of accomplishments that chefs around the world would envy.

She was born Julia McWilliams on Aug. 15, 1912. After a childhood spent attending Katharine Branson School for Girls, Julia attended Smith College in Massachusetts. Instead of marrying and settling down, she volunteered at the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to today’s CIA. While her title was research assistant, she was actually a spy during World War II. It was during this time that she met Paul Child, her future husband.
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Women Who Rock: Betty Ford

BETTY FORD (1918- )

Former First Lady Betty Ford, born Betty Ann Bloomer in 1918, was a pioneering force for the causes of substance abuse rehabilitation and breast cancer awareness. Never before had a public figure, let alone a First Lady, allowed the people to know so much of her private life. Betty Ford stunned the nation with her public admission of her prescription drug and alcohol abuse. By allowing all to see that drug and alcohol abuse can affect anyone and, more importantly, that a person can recover from those addictions, Ford set an example. Her passion for helping others with the same struggles led her and her husband, President Gerald Ford, to establish the Betty Ford Clinic. Over the years, the Betty Ford Clinic has helped celebrities and ordinary people alike break free of substance abuse.

Not only did Betty Ford speak openly about her substance abuse, but also she revealed her struggle with breast cancer. Going public with her mastectomy raised national awareness for breast cancer. Her life is a living and lasting legacy of how our experiences can shape and make better the lives of countless others.

Further reading:

  • Betty Ford: Candor And Courage In The White House by John Robert Greene
  • The Times of My Life by Betty Ford

    [Photo: AP] Keep reading »

  • Women Who Rock: Judy Blume

    March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

    JUDY BLUME (1938- )

    Born Feb. 12, 1938, Judy Blume is one of the best known authors in America. She has written numerous novels for children and young adults, including Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Deenie, Forever, and Blubber. Her total U.S. book sales exceed $80 million.

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    Women Who Rock: Ellen Ochoa

    March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

    ELLEN OCHOA (1958- )
    Born May 10, 1958, Ellen Ochoa is a student, researcher, inventor, electrical engineer and, of course, an astronaut. Her many talents and accomplishments make her an extraordinary woman and a positive role model to many. She’s best known for co-inventing an optical system for space exploration, as well as for her role as an astronaut. As an astronaut, Ochoa worked with computer hardware, robotics, flight software and more. She served many important roles at NASA, including being a member of the crew aboard the spacewalk mission that was the first to use the robotic arm, which she helped to control. Ochoa has received a great deal of awards and recognitions throughout her life, some of which include various NASA citations, the Harvard Foundation Science Award, the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and the Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award, among others.

    The research conducted by Ellen Ochoa has contributed a great deal to aerospace science and technology. She is a role model not only to women young and old (like Punky Brewster!), but also to the Hispanic community. Two schools thought so highly of her that they have her been named in her honor: the Ellen Ochoa Learning Center (a pre-kindergarten school) and the Ellen Ochoa Middle School.

    Further Reading:

  • National Atomic Museum
  • Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut
  • Ellen Ochoa: Reach For The Stars!
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    Women Who Rock: Dorothy Parker

    March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

    DOROTHY PARKER (1893-1967)

    Renowned writer Dorothy Parker was born Dorothy Rothschild in Long Branch, N.J.. Her mother died shortly after her birth, leaving her to be raised by her father and stepmother, both of whom she grew to detest. Her unhappiness at home contributed largely to the literary work she would soon produce.

    Parker began her career as a poet, writing for Vanity Fair and Vogue magazines. It was at this time that she came into her own, writing comic analyses of the hypocrisies of modern life. After being terminated from these positions due to her acerbic writings, she went to work as an editor for the newly founded New Yorker magazine. There she published poems that comically depicted her own failed romances.
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    Women Who Rock: Nina Simone

    March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

    NINA SIMONE (1933-2003)

    Singer, pianist, composer, and arranger Nina Simone was destined for musical greatness — she started playing the piano at age 4. Born Eurnice Waymon, Simone was the sixth of seven children in a poor North Carolina family. A music teacher set up a fund for her, and she went to study at the Julliard School of Music.
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    Women Who Rock: Madame CJ Walker

    MADAME C.J. WALKER (1867-1919)

    Did you struggle in school? Come from an abusive family? Marry the wrong man? If so, you have the makings of a success, if the amazing life of Madam C.J. Walker is anything to go by.

    One of the most successful female entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on Dec. 23, 1867. She began life in poverty, which included backbreaking work in the cotton fields of Delta, La. By the time she was seven, both her parents were dead, leaving her under the care of an older sister, Louvenia. Unfortunately, Louvenia was married to an abusive man, which led Walker to marry early in order to escape. Four years into the marriage, her husband, Moses McWilliams, died, leaving Walker to raise their only child, Lelia, alone. This marked the turning point of her life. Keep reading »

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