30 Amazing Women You Never Heard Of

In four short weeks, I can’t begin to honor all the women who should be honored during Women’s History Month. But I’m fascinated to learn about women who’ve dared to be different or make a difference. Here are 30 amazing women you never heard of–at least not in school: Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị  1 – 43 Vietnam Chose 36 women to be generals and successfully drove the Chinese out in 40 A.D. Trắc became queen, abolishing tribute taxes and attempted to revert back to a simpler government. Hypatia of Alexandria 355 – 415 EGYPT An unwed Pagan woman who taught astronomy and mathematics from her home and was a philosopher of the Neoplatonic school. Fatima Al-Fihri 800 – 880 Kairouan, Abbasid Caliphate (Moracco) Founded the world’s oldest continually operating, degree-granting university, the University of Al Qarawiyyin. Tomoe Gozen 1157-1247 Japan A legendary 12th century samurai warrior noted for being a skilled archer, often referred to as a “warrior worth a thousand.” Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz  1651–1695 Mexico Credited as the first published feminist of the New World. Sybil Ludington  1761 – 1839 U.S.A. Riding twice the distance, perhaps she should have been remembered in poem and song instead […]

Hoofing it for the Love of Books

For $28 a month, these librarians loaded books and magazines into saddlebags or pillowcases. They climbed on a horse or mule and rode through the mountains of eastern Kentucky. This was the Packhorse Library project. They were hoofing it for the love of books, to help their community and combat illiteracy. The History of Horse & Books May Stafford, a Kentuckian, raised money in 1913 to take books to rural people on horseback. That program lasted one year. Berea College sponsored a horse-drawn book wagon. The book wagon operated in the late teens and early 1920s. After that, the mountain people had no access to libraries and the books provided there. The Great Depression began in 1929. There was no work. No money. The mountain people of eastern Kentucky suffered. By 1933 the unemployment rate in the Appalachians was 40%. The New Deal President Roosevelt’s New Deal created The Works Progress Administration (WPA). Its function was to create jobs for men (usually unskilled). The President’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, knew many women were the heads of households. She encouraged the creation of WPA projects that would benefit women and children. She knew women would respond best to projects that supported their […]

Inspiration Behind the Scenes with a Female Sniper

She was seventeen years old in June of 1943. Klavdiia Efremovna Kalugina (also spelled Klavdiya Yefremovna Kalugina) a Russian, born in 1926 came from a “not rich” family. She became the youngest sniper-in-training at a school for Komsomol (Communist Union of Youth). All the other pupils were eighteen. She could stay in the school as long as she didn’t “fall behind.” Sniper School They divided the young women into pairs. Marusia Chikhvintseva, Klavdiia’s first partner, became her best friend.  Accustomed to hard work, Klavdiia helped build the firing range for the school. But when it came time to shoot, she could only hit “milk” (jargon for a complete miss). Her squad commander took her aside and gave her private lessons.  She learned tactics and camouflage and ballistics. And she qualified as a sniper.  After graduation, they grouped pairs into squads and sent them all around the front. On March 1, 1944, six pairs of snipers, including Klavdiia and Marusia, were sent to the Belorussian front.  On the Front They rode in cattle cars with heaters as close to the front as they could get. The truck sent to take them to the fighting couldn’t get through the snow. Klavdiia said […]