Susan La Flesche Picotte: America’s First Native American Doctor

Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first first native American female doctor
In the middle of both background images, a young Susan La Flesche is shown in the two different worlds of her 19th-century life. The mature Susan La Flesche in the foreground is the woman who became the first Native American physician.

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”

Life Your Voice and Sing With Dorothy Allen Conley Elam

African American teacher, historian and media producer Dorothy Elam shown in her 1952 classroom in New Jersey.
Dorthy Elam was a teacher, historian, media producer and advocate for African-American studies. She’s shown here in a 1952 classroom in a Berlin, N.J., school that had only recently been desegregated.

This Wednesday’s Woman was born in Virginia, but spent her life in Camden County, New Jersey. Dorothy Allen Conley Elam (1904-1989) was an African American teacher, historian and award-winning advocate of Black studies. Continue reading “Life Your Voice and Sing With Dorothy Allen Conley Elam”

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale: The Godmother of Thanksgiving

Sarah Hale, creator of Thanksgiving holiday
Literary titan and material cultural arbiter of the Victorian Age, Sarah Hale was the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book and credited with making Thanksgiving an official national holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving! Did you know the holiday we celebrate tomorrow with parades, turkey, full bellies and football wouldn’t exist if not for this Wednesday’s Woman? She is Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879), a.k.a. the Godmother of Thanksgiving. Continue reading “Sarah Josepha Buell Hale: The Godmother of Thanksgiving”

Elizabeth Blackwell, MD: America’s First Formally Accredited Female Physician

Elizabeth Blackwell was one of America's most important historical female doctors.
Elizabeth Blackwell played a major role in organizing medical relief facilities for soldiers of the Union Army during the Civil War. The Women’s Central Association for Relief (WCAR) she founded led to the creation of the U.S. Sanitary Commission which operated 30 major facilities like this one in Alexandria, Virginia.

Elizabeth Blackwell, MD., was America’s first formally accredited female doctor. Admitted to medical school as a joke, she proved she who laughs last, laughs best. Continue reading “Elizabeth Blackwell, MD: America’s First Formally Accredited Female Physician”

‘Bloomer Girls’ Baseball Teams

The Ladies Baseball Club of Denver in Aspen in 1989.
Typical of Bloomer Girl baseball teams, the Ladies Baseball Club of Denver, shown here in 1898, traveled the country challenging male and female competitors wherever they could find them.

They’re not the Houston Astros; they never had a movie made about them. But these Wednesday’s Women were once the Girls of Summer. The first women paid to play baseball, they took the field for their first game in 1875. Continue reading “‘Bloomer Girls’ Baseball Teams”

Alse Young: America’s First Witch (And Hanged For It)

Hanging America's first witch, Alse Young, 1647
In this May 26, 1647 diary entry (above, left), Windsor town clerk Matthew Grant recorded, “Alse Young was hanged.”

This is the story of Alse Young, today’s Wednesday’s Woman. Forty-five years before the Salem witch trials in 1692, Alse Young (ca. 1600–1647) of Windsor, CT, was the first woman to be tried, convicted, and executed for witchcraft in America’s 13 colonies. Continue reading “Alse Young: America’s First Witch (And Hanged For It)”