Would You Have Been the First?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be the first at something? Standing up for what you believe no matter the ridicule or hatred can be scary. So intimidating that many of us either turn away or simply don’t see that opportunity when it arises. Women have stood up throughout history. They’ve taken walked a lonely path sometimes. A path sometimes strewn with ridicule, hate, imprisonment, and death. Fellow women, if you’d been alive in the 1600s would you have been the first to stand up and demand the right to vote? Who Was Margaret Brent? Thirty-seven-year-old Margaret Brent, her sister and two brothers arrived at St. Mary’s, Maryland on November 22, 1638. They came to the Colonies to improve their fortune since the family’s wealth all went to their elder brother, the firstborn son. A wealthy Catholic English family, the Brents had close ties with the Calverts, the proprietors of Maryland. Governor Calvert gave Margaret and each of her siblings a large land grant. The law allowed a single woman to own and manage property. She could make contracts and collect debts in a court of law. A married woman lost the power to make […]

First Woman of Color Elected to Congress

Women of History are strong women who have marched before us. Patsy Takemoto Mink is one such woman. A political pioneer, Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress. She was an ardent advocate for marginalized groups. She fought for equity, education, environmental causes, and social justice.  Early Life Patsy Takemoto was born on Dec. 6, 1927, in Paia, Hawaii. As a young girl, she first noticed the inequality between people who owned Maui’s plantations and the workers. the haole or white people owned the plantations. The workers were Filipino and Japanese. Inequality and injustice came up close and personal after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her father was detained questioned simply because of his Japanese heritage. She’s been quoted as saying the experience made her realize “that one could not take citizenship and the promise of the U.S. Constitution for granted.” Education and her First First A junior at Maui High School, Mink became the first female class president. She graduated Valedictorian of the class of 1944. She started pre-med at the University of Hawaii. When WWII ended and travel bans to the U.S. Mainland were lifted, she transferred to Wilson College in Pennsylvania. But Wilson didn’t have […]

An Inspiring Woman In Space And On The Ground

From last week’s strong Mohawk woman of the revolutionary war era we’re coming forward hundreds of years. This week’s Women’s History Month spotlight is on an inspiring woman in space and on the ground, Ellen Ochoa. Ms. Ochoa, a Hispanic-American Woman, made history in our lifetime. Engineer, inventor, astronaut, and administrator, she is a champion of and for women. “We do a disservice to society as a whole, if we are not providing the same kinds of encouragement to women to contribute as we do to men.” – Ellen Ochoa Early Life Ochoa’s paternal grandparents immigrated from Sonora, Mexico to Arizona. They later moved to California where Ochoa’s father, Joseph, was born. Ellen Ochoa was born May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Her parents were Joseph and Rosanne (née Deardorf) Ochoa. She loved math and science in school, even if other kids looked down on her for that. She played the flute and wanted to be a musician. Like many of us, she watched the moon landing. She was eleven. It never occurred to her to want to be an astronaut. There were no female astronauts then. Education Ochoa’s parents divorced while she attended  Grossmont High School in El Cajon. She graduated […]