Your browser is not supported. For the best experience, you should upgrade to a modern browser with improved speed and security.
Category: Mighty Girls & Women
  • While working with the French Resistance, Josephine Baker smuggled secrets written in invisible ink on her sheet music.

    The popular image of Josephine Baker is of a daring entertainer, one who often shocked audiences by defying all the conventions of the day. But behind the tabloid fodder of  her dramatic stage performances and glamorous lifestyle — including a pet cheetah — there was a complex woman that many of her fans never saw. Baker was a French Resistance spy, a civil rights activist, and an adoptive mother to a "Rainbow Tribe" of a dozen diverse children that she hoped could model racial unity. "She never thought that anything was impossible," observes Bennetta Jules-Rosette, author of Josephine Baker in Art and Life: The Icon and the Image. "She could do things we would consider ahead of their time, because she never thought she would fail." Continue reading Continue reading

  • 16 Trailblazing Female Wartime Heroes Who Belong in the History Books

    women-in-wartime-blog-websiteOften, the popular image of women in wartime is worried wives, girlfriends, sisters, and daughters, pining at home for the men they love who are risking their lives on the battlefield. The reality, though, is much different! Women have always made significant contributions to war efforts — both on the homefront and on the front lines. While women's contributions at home, especially during WWII, have become more widely known, the stories of their heroism on the battlefield are rarely told. In every war there have been women who dared to spy across enemy lines; treat wounded soldiers in the midst of the fighting; report from the front as journalists, and fight shoulder to shoulder with their male peers. And although we don't hear of them often, women also fought for an equally important cause: peace. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Susie King Taylor's extraordinary life is captured in her memoir, one of the most detailed accounts ever written by a woman about life in a Civil War camp.

    When Susie King Taylor was born in 1848, it was illegal to educate African Americans in Georgia but she learned to read and write thanks to a secret school. That gift of literacy would allow her to become a trailblazing teacher in her teens and, later, the first black Army nurse during the U.S. Civil War; an experience she shared in her remarkable memoir about life in a Union camp. Today, more than a century later, her words show her fortitude and determination to make a contribution to the war effort. "I gave my service willingly for four years and three months without receiving a dollar," she wrote, adding that she was glad "to be allowed to go with the regiment, to care for the sick and afflicted comrades." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Through years of starvation, illness, and fear, the women continued to work together as a nursing unit, caring for thousands of people imprisoned with them.

    In 1942, 77 American Army and Navy nurses were captured by the Japanese, marking the beginning of what would become one of the greatest, yet little known, stories of heroism and sacrifice during World War II. Incredibly, every single woman survived three long years of starvation, illness, and fear as prisoners of war, all while continuing to work as a nursing unit, providing medical care to the thousands of people imprisoned alongside them. "They were a tough bunch. They had a mission," says Lieutenant Colonel Nancy Cantrell, an historian with the Army Nurse Corps. "They were surviving for the boys… and each other. That does give you a bit of added strength." Continue reading Continue reading

  • English paleontologist Mary Anning discovered the first known ichthyosaur skeleton at only 12 years old and went on to make many more discoveries which changed human's understanding of prehistoric life.

    The phrase "she sells seashells by the sea shore" isn't just a tongue twister; many people believe it refers to the trailblazing English paleontologist Mary Anning! When she was only 12 years old, Anning discovered the first complete ichthyosaur skeleton and she spent the rest of her life searching out fossils that helped change humans' understanding of prehistoric life and natural history. Sadly, because she was a woman, she was rarely credited for her critical discoveries, and only in recent years have her wide-ranging contributions received the recognition they deserve. Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of books, toys, and clothing for dino-loving girls of all ages!

    All too often, books, toys, and clothing featuring dinosaurs exclusively feature boys — but what about the countless dino-loving girls out there? There are plenty of girls who know a plesiosaur from a pachycephalosaurus, or who can talk for hours about the plant life of the Jurassic versus Triassic periods! And if you've got a dino-crazy Mighty Girl in your house, you may want to stock her bookshelves, toy box, and closet with things that remind her that dinos are definitely for girls. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Janie Forsyth McKinney stood up to a violent mob to bring aid to the bloodied and beaten Freedom Riders attacked by the Ku Klux Klan.

    12-year-old Janie Forsyth McKinney performed a heroic act of compassion in response to the firebombing of the Freedom Riders bus in Anniston, Alabama on May 14, 1961. It was Mother's Day when the bus carrying civil right activists was viciously attacked in this small Southern town. Horrified by the scene before her, the brave girl pushed through the violent crowd to bring water to the bloodied riders laying on the ground. McKinney knew that her actions would anger the local Ku Klux Klan, but she explained that she was driven to act by one of her favorite passages of scripture: "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do it to me." Continue reading Continue reading

  • "Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"

    "Laws change. Conscience doesn't." — Sophie Scholl

    When Sophie Scholl was born to a German family in Forchtenberg on May 9, 1921, nobody could have expected that she would give her life at age 21 for her anti-Nazi resistance work. Scholl was a key member of the White Rose, a student resistance group in Munich, and remains one of Germany's great dissenting heroes of the World War II. Despite that, few people outside of Germany know of her name or of the courage that allowed her to face death rather than give up her belief in what was right.

    Today, we're sharing Sophie's story, as well as a selection of books for readers of all ages that explore her heroic story, the White Rose, and her impact on history in more depth. Her bravery and sacrifice is a powerful reminder of the importance of standing up against injustice, hatred, and tyranny, even at great personal cost. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dorothy Height was the "the only woman at the highest level of the Civil Rights Movement," though her contributions are largely unknown today.

    When Dorothy Height showed up at Barnard College in 1929 with her admission letter in hand, she was told by a college dean that they had already reached their quota of "two Negro students per year." Height, who had just graduated with honors from an integrated high school in Rankin, Pennsylvania, says that she was crushed, recalling, “I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep for days." Unwilling to defer her dreams, she visited New York University with her Barnard acceptance letter and they admitted her on the spot. It was this determination that would drive Height through the following decades as she became, as President Barack Obama observed, "the only woman at the highest level of the Civil Rights Movement — witnessing every march and milestone along the way." Continue reading Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl's top picks of new biographies about Mighty Women for adult readers.

    Moms can be an incredible source of inspiration, but that doesn’t mean they can’t use a little inspiration themselves! Stories of the incredible women of past and present aren’t just great to share with young readers: they’re also a great gift when you want to honor a special woman in your life. With that in mind, we've gathered a selection of 75 new biographies for adult readers in a blog post which tell the stories of Mighty Women, all perfect for Mother's Day gift giving! Continue reading Continue reading

1–10 of 168 items