A century before civil rights icon Rosa Parks kept her seat at the front of an Alabama bus, a 24-year-old African American woman was forced off a New York City streetcar and jeeringly told to seek redress if she could. She could, and she did, ultimately desegregating New York City’s public transportation system. She is this Wednesday’s Woman, Elizabeth Jennings.
The life story of Edmonia Lewis, a Civil War-era mixed-race orphan who succeeded as an artist only after she expatriated herself to Italy, is a tale of personal triumph in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. And it’s one that makes for a poignant Wednesday’s Woman episode.
The idea that “it was only an Indian and it did not matter” if a person received adequate medical care or not changed the life of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte (1865-1915), the first Native American woman in the United States to receive a medical degree. Continue reading “Susan La Flesche Picotte: America’s First Native American Doctor”
According to Jersey girl Alice Huyler Ramsey, “Good driving has nothing to do with sex. It’s all above the collar.” Born in 1886 and a Vassar grad when fewer than 7% of women went to college, she got her first car in 1908 and went on to become an inspiration for future women race car drivers. Continue reading “Alice Huyler Ramsey : Cross Country Daredevil”
How do you win an Olympics event without even knowing it? That’s the story of this Wednesday’s Woman — Margaret Ives Abbott (1878-1955), America’s first female Olympic champion. She played in and won the women’s nine-hole golf tournament at the 1900 Paris Games. Her prize? A gilded porcelain tournament bowl that she never knew was an Olympic honor. Continue reading “Margaret Abbott: The First Female Olympic Champion”
A day late and a dollar short, this week’s Wednesday Woman is Lotta Crabtree. Born Charlotte Mignon Crabtree, she was one of America’s wealthiest, most beloved entertainers of the late 1800s who lived along Lake Hopatcong, NJ, in her later years. Continue reading “Lotta Crabtree, California Gold Rush Show Girl and Millionaire”