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Category: mighty girl heroes
  • 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

  • Dr. Shuping Wang faced violence and intimidation for exposing the truth about epidemics in China that killed more than one million people.

    In the early 1990s, Dr. Shuping Wang discovered a shockingly high rate of contaminated blood at collection centers in China's Henan province. Despite threats, intimidation, and violence, Wang became a two-time whistleblower, exposing first China's hepatitis C epidemic and later its raging HIV epidemic, which killed over one million people in the country during this period. Wang said that there was never any question that she would persevere in exposing the truth about the epidemics even in the face of severe personal consequences. "Being a medical doctor, my primary interest is to my patients and to the public, not to myself," she said in an interview shortly before her death. "Speaking out cost me my job, my marriage and my happiness at the time, but it also helped save the lives of thousands and thousands of people." Continue reading Continue reading

  • The 17-year-old Swedish climate activist was awarded the 2020 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity this week.

    Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist who founded the Youth Strike for Climate Movement,  was awarded the 2020 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity this week!  "[Greta] gave voice to the concerns of young generations about their future, which is at risk due to global warming," the Gulbenkian wrote in a statement about the prize. "Her global influence is unprecedented for someone of her age." The 17-year-old was selected from a field of 136 nominees from 46 countries for the prize which recognizes people for their contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The award comes with a $1.15 million prize (€1 million), which Greta has already pledged to donate to a number of environmental causes. "I’m extremely honoured," she wrote on Twitter. "My foundation will as quickly as possible donate all the prize money of 1 million Euros to support organisations and projects that are fighting for a sustainable world, defending nature and supporting people already facing the worst impacts of the climate- and ecological crisis." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Joanna Cole's bestselling series starring the beloved Ms. Frizzle, which sold more than 93 million copies, made science fun for generations of kids.

    Joanna Cole, the author of the beloved The Magic School Bus book series which made science fun for generations of kids, died this week of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 75. Through her books, Cole aimed to make science fun for kids as they followed the adventures of a group of schoolchildren taking field trips on their 'magic school bus' everywhere from outer space to the inside the human body — all led by their exuberant, red-haired teacher Ms. Frizzle. In the decades since the first book was published, The Magic School Bus has grown to include a variety of books, an animated TV show, a series of science kits; and, this year, plans for a live-action movie adaptation. "Joanna Cole had the perfect touch for blending science and story," Scholastic chairman and CEO Dick Robinson said when announcing her death on July 15. "Joanna's books, packed with equal parts humor and information, made science both easy to understand and fun for the hundreds of millions of children around the world." 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

  • 16 Trailblazing Female Environmentalists Who Have Changed the World.

    In recognition of World Environment Day today, we're celebrating sixteen incredible women who are working to protect the environment and all of the creatures which share our planet. From groundbreaking primatologists to deep-sea explorers to determined activists, each of them has changed the way that we see the world — and our role in protecting it. Equally importantly, these women have shown all of us that we have an effect on the health of our plant: from the smallest decisions of our day-to-day lives to international policy — each of us can make a difference. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Beverly Cleary redefined children's literature for a generation of young readers.

    For decades, children have delighted in the adventures of Ramona and her sister Beezus, Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy, and Ralph, the motorcycle riding mouse! Although these books were written long ago, their characters feel like they could still be living in the house next door thanks to the remarkable writing of their author, Beverly Cleary, who celebrated her 104th birthday this year! When asked about the multi-generational appeal of her books, Cleary credits the spirit of childhood which she believes is just as timeless as her stories. "I think deep down inside children are all the same," she told NPR in a 2006 interview. "They want two loving parents and they would prefer a house with a neighborhood they can play in. They want teachers that they can like. I don't think children themselves have changed that much." 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 Wi-Fi to Kevlar: Twenty Female Inventors Who Changed the World!

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    Around the world and across history, innovative women have imagined, developed, tested, and perfected their creations, and yet most of us would be hard pressed to name even a single woman inventor. In fact, women inventors are behind many of the products and technologies used every day! From life rafts to disposable diapers to rocket fuel, women have invented amazing things — but they're also responsible for some of the things we use for day to day life. In fact, if you use GPS on your cell phone, turn on windshield wipers when you drive in the rain, or eat a chocolate chip cookie, you can thank the woman behind them! Continue reading Continue reading

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