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)”

Alice Huyler Ramsey : Cross Country Daredevil

1909 Daredevil Alice Ramsey one of the first women race car drivers
Named Woman Motorist of the Century, Alice Ramsey was the first woman inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

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”

Margaret Abbott: The First Female Olympic Champion

America's first female Olympic champion Margaret Ives Abbott
Margaret Ives Abbott was a 1900 Olympic champion — but didn’t know it.

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”