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Tag: Mighty Women
  • Julie Andrews, star of beloved classics "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins," celebrates her 88th birthday!

    Whether you first met her on stage at the West End in London or Broadway in New York; on the screen as Mary Poppins, Maria von Trapp, or Queen Clarisse Renaldi; or as the author of a beloved children's book like Mandy or The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles; or her memoirs Home and Home Work, chances are good you've been charmed by Julie Andrews! The legendary English performer and author is celebrating her 88th birthday today, and she's still touching the hearts of people around the world. Andrews is also quick to point out that her success over the years was far from smooth, however, providing an inspiring model of resilience for her fans young and old: "Perseverance," she says, "is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dr. Frances Kelsey resisted intense industry pressure to approve thalidomide; the drug was the cause of severe birth defects in over 10,000 infants in other countries.

    When pharmacologist Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey started working at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1960, one of the first files to cross her desk was an approval request for thalidomide. The drug had already been prescribed widely in Europe and other countries as a treatment for morning sickness in pregnant women, but Kelsey wasn't convinced it was safe. Her refusal to approve the drug, despite intense pressure from its manufacturer, likely saved tens of thousands of babies in America from devastating birth defects. "Representatives for the company thought I was crazy because it was such a popular drug in Europe, and they were losing money by my pigheadedness," asserted Kelsey in a later interview. "I held my ground. I just wouldn't approve it." Continue reading Continue reading

  • On an April night in 1933, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt slipped away from a formal White House dinner for a spontaneous flight together — all while dressed in evening gowns!

    Eleanor Roosevelt was one of America's most beloved First Ladies; Amelia Earhart was called the "First Lady of the Air." These two groundbreaking and unconventional women met and became close friends in 1932, the same year that Earhart made history with her record-breaking nonstop trans-Atlantic flight. Their individualism and sense of cheeky fun famously culminated in an escapade during a White House dinner on April 20, 1933; the pair led the party, all dressed in formal dinner attire to a nearby airfield, and Earhart and Roosevelt shared the cockpit for a spontaneous flight to Baltimore and back. The story is a testament to their spirit of adventure, and to the bond of friendship between two of the 20th century's most extraordinary women. 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

  • Janet Yellen was sworn in as U.S. Treasury Secretary today, making her the first woman in the Treasury's 232-year history to hold the position.

    Janet Yellen was sworn in as U.S. Treasury Secretary today, making her the first woman in the Treasury's 232-year history to hold the nation's most powerful economic position. Yellen was confirmed with broad bipartisan support on a 84-15 vote by the Senate yesterday. She is now the first woman to hold all three top economic job in the federal government having previously served as the chair of Council of Economic Advisors and the chair of the Federal Reserve. Yellen's first priority in her new role will be steering the administration's new stimulus plan, designed to revive the pandemic-battered economy, through Congress and, once approved, oversee the deployment of relief aid to individuals and businesses. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in alongside President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.

    In a historic first, Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first female vice president in America's 244-year history alongside President Joe Biden! When he announced Harris' historic selection in August, Biden praised Harris as a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.” The daughter of an immigrant mother from India and an immigrant father from Jamaica, Harris will be the first African American and first South Asian American vice president in history. Harris has said that she hopes to be the first of many capable women in her new role: "My mother would look at me and she’d say, 'Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last. That’s why breaking those barriers is worth it. As much as anything else, it is also to create that path for those who will come after us." Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Nobel committee praised Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."

    The acclaimed American poet and essayist Louise Glück has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature! The Nobel committee praised Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal." The 77-year-old Yale professor is best known for lyric poems focused on intense personal experiences, such as those involving loss, rejection, desire, and healing. She has been honored with a Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris and a National Book Award for Faithful and Virtuous Night, as well as serving as the Poet Laureate of the United States for 2003 to 2004. In announcing the award, the Nobel Prize committee chair Anders Olsson, praised Glück's unique voice, observing: "It is candid and uncompromising, and it signals that this poet wants to be understood — but it is also a voice full of humor and biting wit.” Continue reading Continue reading

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