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Category: history
  • "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

  • The 23-year-old secret agent hid her codes in knitting to avoid detection by the Nazis.

    In May 1944, a 23-year-old British secret agent named Phyllis Latour Doyle parachuted into occupied Normandy to gather intelligence on Nazi positions in preparation for D-Day. As an agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Doyle – who is celebrating her 99th birthday this week – secretly relayed 135 coded messages to the British military before France's liberation in August. She took advantage of the fact that the Nazi occupiers and their French collaborators were generally less suspicious of women, using the knitting she carried as a way to hide her codes. For seventy years, Doyle's contributions to the war effort were largely unheralded, but she was finally given her due in 2014 when she was awarded France's highest honor, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Continue reading Continue reading

  • From building sets to dolls, toys offer a fun new way to introduce kids to trailblazing women throughout history!

    With all of the excitement, drama, and derring-do of women throughout history, why keep it to books? Women's history is full of impressive figures who smashed boundaries, stood up against injustice, and defiantly insisted on being true to themselves. When we pull their stories off the page, they become even more thrilling — and one way to do that is to bring women's history into the toy box! Dolls, games, building sets, and more provide a new way to spark an interest in women's history and a fun way to make these stories into part of day-to-day play. With options from toddlers to teens, the toys featured in this post will help kids discover remarkable women they may not have learned about in school, and introduce them to a variety of new role models to admire! Continue reading Continue reading

  • Our top picks of history-inspired Mighty Girl costumes from our own Halloween costume collection and photos of Mighty Girls in costume shared by our community!

    Halloween provides a chance to imagine yourself as a different person — and for young history buffs, that can mean dressing up as a favorite figure from history! She might be imagining herself as a specific person, like Amelia Earhart or Cleopatra, or she be intrigued by the culture of a time and place, from Ancient Rome to the prairies of the pioneers. Whatever she chooses, history can provide a tremendous amount of inspiration!

    In this blog post, we share some of our favorite costumes inspired by history. In the first section, we showcase a number of history-themed costumes from A Mighty Girl's costume guide. Of course, many Mighty Girls enjoy the challenge of creating their own costume, so in the second section, we highlight a few of our favorite costumes inspired by historical figures that community members have shared with us in previous years! Between the two, your Mighty Girl is sure to find lots of ideas for a Halloween costume that deserves a place in your family’s history books.

    For even more costume inspiration on themes ranging from superheroes to animals, you'll find hundreds of costumes for all ages from infants through adults in our Girl Empowerment Halloween Costume Guide. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dr. Kazue Togasaki became one of the first Japanese American women to earn a medical degree in the US.

    In the midst of World War II, as many people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in internment camps, a pioneering doctor helped ensure that pregnant women got the best care she could provide. Dr. Kazue Togasaki fought sexism and racism to become one of the first Japanese American women to earn a medical degree in the US. Over the course of her remarkable career, she delivered over 10,000 babies, including 50 during one month at the Tanforan Assembly Center. "In other camps, I know they’d send the pregnant women out to the nearest county hospital to deliver, but I never thought about sending them out from Tanforan," she recalled years later. "I thought it was my duty." Continue reading Continue reading

  • With a one million franc bounty on her head, Witherington presided over the surrender of more than 18,000 German troops.

    On the night of September 22, 1943, a 29-year-old British Special Operations Executive agent parachuted into occupied France. It sounds like the beginning of a spy movie, but it’s actually the real-life story of Pearl Witherington, one of World War II’s little-known female heroes! Witherington led a network of thousands of French Maquis resistance fighters in battle against the Nazis, and even presided over the surrender of 18,000 German troops at the end of the war. Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Lovings' landmark civil rights case overturned bans against interracial marriage in 16 states.

    One morning in 1958, the county sheriff and two deputies burst into Mildred and Richard Loving's bedroom in Central Point, Virginia. Their crime? Mildred was black and Richard was white; the couple had broken Virginia's anti-miscegenation law, which criminalized interracial marriages. The couple decided to fight the ban, becoming plaintiffs in a milestone civil rights case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. When the court sided with the Lovings in their unanimous decision on June 12, 1967 after a nine-year legal battle, the historic ruling overturned bans on interracial marriage in 16 states. Fifty years after the historic change they brought about, the Lovings' granddaughter, Eugenia Cosby, succinctly summed up the lesson they taught the world: "If it's genuine love, color doesn't matter." Continue reading Continue reading

  • 25 Mighty Girl Halloween Costumes Celebrating Mighty Women

    halloween-2016-history-blog-webA popular theme among the over 2,000 photos of Mighty Girls in costume submitted to this year's A Mighty Girl Halloween Gallery were costumes that honored a pioneering woman from history or present day. In this blog post, we've showcased 25 of these Mighty Girl's incredible costumes and, to help you and your Mighty Girl learn more about the amazing women depicted, we've also linked to our character collection and biography section where relevant in a "Teachable Moment" feature. Continue reading Continue reading

  • By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    diary-of-a-young-girl1“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” — Anne Frank

    Stories about the Holocaust can seem very distant to a child today: decades of time and, more importantly, vast differences in life experiences separate them from the life of a persecuted girl suffering from the Nazi regime. And then, at some point, she will read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl (which we recommend for ages 11 and up) and, suddenly, there is a face to this painful history: the face of a girl her age, whose dreams, thoughts, and emotions are like her own.

    When the facts and figures of Holocaust history — the vast numbers of displaced or dead — are inconceivable, the life of this one girl, hiding with her family in a desperate effort to save themselves, is strikingly real.

    And yet the inspiring thing about Anne Frank’s life and writing is that she was never beaten down by the hatred directed at her. Instead, she continued to see the best of humanity. As she wrote, “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” Her astounding optimism and resiliency have inspired girls — and the world — for generations, ever since the loose pages of her diary left Otto Frank’s hands to be published in 1947.

    To honor this amazing spirit, A Mighty Girl has put together this collection of our favorite resources for young people about Anne Frank. This selection features books, movies, and even a poster that make tribute to the girl whose optimism and hope lasted through it all.

    Of course, in addition to reading about Anne Frank, it is important that your child has an understanding of the Holocaust as a whole. You can find reading recommendations for children and teens about other aspects of Holocaust history in our first Holocaust Remembrance Week blog post, Yom HaShoah: A Mighty Girl Recognizes Holocaust Remembrance Week, and in our World War II / Holocaust section.

    Continue reading Continue reading

  • 18775337[1]By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    When we share stories about famous women from history, adults in our community often comment that they’re amazed that they’ve never learned about these world-changing women. And, while people love the biographies we post for children and teens, many adults would also like to learn more about these inspiring women. To that end, in our first-ever post filled with reading recommendations for adults and older teen readers, we're sharing twenty books about incredible women of past and present.

    Our recommendations are all biographies with the exception of one remarkable work of historical fiction, The Invention of Wings. Moreover, to help you discover a few of the amazing new biographies which have been recently released, all of our recommended books have been published in the past two years and several are brand new releases.

    Since A Mighty Girl's website does not have a book section for adult readers, you won't find these recommendations on our site; however, we've included links below to Amazon so you can learn more or order individual titles.

    So whether you're looking for a good book to delve into or a last-minute holiday gift for a friend, these women's stories are sure to inspire! Continue reading Continue reading

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