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May 1, 1950 – Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, named Library of Congress’s Consultant in Poetry (later called Poet Laureate) in 1985

May 5, 1938 – Dr. Dorothy H. Andersen presents results of her medical research identifying the disease cystic fibrosis at a meeting of the American Pediatric Association

May 8, 1914 – President Woodrow Wilson signs a Proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day

May 10, 1872 – Victoria Woodhull is nominated as the first woman candidate for U.S. president for the Equal Rights Party

May 12, 1968 – A 12-block Mother’s Day march of “welfare mothers” is held in Washington, D.C., led by Coretta Scott King accompanied by Ethel Kennedy

May 21, 1932 – Amelia Earhart Putnam becomes the first woman to complete a solo transatlantic flight by flying 2,026 miles from Newfoundland to Ireland in just under 15 hours

May 21, 1973 – Lynn Genesko, a swimmer, receives the first athletic scholarship awarded to a woman (University of Miami)

May 29, 1977 – Janet Guthrie becomes the first woman to qualify for and complete the Indy 500

May 29, 1943 – “Rosie the Riveter” by Norman Rockwell appears on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post

May Birthdays

May 1, 1830 (1930) – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, labor leader and organizer

May 3, 1894 (1989) – Phyllis Greenacres, psychoanalyst, interest in physical maturation and psychological development in children led to study of gifted infants, wrote “Swift and Carroll” (1955), a biographical study in applied analysis, held many positions in psychoanalytic societies and associations

May 3, 1898 (1987) – Septima Clark, educator, civil rights activist, called “The Grandmother of the Civil Rights Movement”

May 3, 1901 (1981) – Estelle Massey Osborne, Texas African-American, fought discrimination in nursing, aided by the Rosenwald Fund, awarded a master’s degree in nursing education, integrated the American Nurses Association and served on its board of directors (1948-52)

May 3, 1912 (1995) – May Sarton, prolific writer and poet, professor

May 5, 1864 (1922) – Elizabeth Seaman, pen name “Nelly Bly,” journalist, wrote expose of mental asylum (1887), set a record for circling the world in 72 days (1890)

May 5, 1942 (1998) – Tammy Wynette, country music singer, after first success in 1967 had more than 20 songs go to #1, Grammy Award for “Stand By Your Man” (1968), final recording with Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton in 1993

May 8, 1910 (1981) – Mary Lou Williams, jazz composer, became piano chair and writer for Benny Goodman (1931), wrote “The Zodiac Suite” for jazz ensemble, played at Town Hall (1945) and Carnegie Hall (1946)

May 9, 1906 (1994) – Sarah Boyle, Virginia writer, supported immediate integration in 1962 with “The Desegregated Heart,” was arrested and jailed in St. Augustine (1964), railed against age discrimination in the 1970s and 80s

May 9, 1907 (1978) – Kathryn Kuhlman, evangelist and faith healer, held services in Denver for 2,000 (1933), developed a radio ministry then a healing ministry in Franklin, PA (1947), hosted regular services at Pasadena Civic Auditorium for 2,500 (1965), filled the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium for 10 years

May 9, 1917 (2013) – Fay Kanin, screenwriter, nominated for Academy Award for “Teacher’s Pet” (1958), won two Emmy Awards for “Tell Me Where It Hurts” (1974) and for producing “Friendly Fire” with Carol Burnett (1979), second female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (1979-83)

May 10, 1897 (1985) – Margaret Mahler, psychoanalyst, fled with her husband from the Nazis in 1938, began observational research in 1959 to observe normal mother-infant pairs beginning at four months of child’s age, when problems in development occurred she treated mother and child together

May 11, 1875 (1912) – Harriet Quimby, first American woman to become a licensed airplane pilot (1911), first woman to fly across the English Channel (1912)

May 11, 1894 (1991) – Martha Graham, modern dance innovator and choreographer

May 11, 1906 (1975) – Ethel Weed, military officer in the Women’s Army Corp., promoted women’s rights and suffrage in Japan

May 12, 1907 (2003) – Katherine Hepburn, actor, big break was “A Bill of Divorcement” (1932) with John Barrymore, acted for more than 60 years, won four Academy Awards for best actress including “The Philadelphia Story” and “On Golden Pond,” named top American screen legend of all time by American Film Institute (1999)

May 14, 1890 (1983) – Margaret Naumburg, progressive educator, used Montessori’s and John Dewey’s philosophies (1914-24), researched the power of art spontaneous expression in therapy in the 1980s

May 15, 1937 – Madeline Albright, first woman U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001)

May 18, 1970 – Tina Fey, television writer, began in Chicago’s “The Second City” then wrote for “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), began acted in movies in 2004, won five screen Actors Guild Awards, youngest winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American humor (2010)

May 19, 1930 (1965) – Lorraine Hansberry, first African-American woman to produce a play on Broadway, “A Raisin in the Sun” (1959)

May 20, 1894 (1988) – Adele St. Johns, journalist, hired by William Randolph Hearst for her social contacts, became a feature writer with interviews and investigative stories on the New Deal, abdication of Edward VIII, and death of Gandhi

May 20, 1900 (1991) – Lydia Cabbera, Cuban artist, studied art from 1917, moved to Miami in 1960 after studying in Europe (1920-38), her greatest legacy is recording Afro-Cuban beliefs, rituals, songs and language

May 24, 1898 (1986) – Helen Taussig, pediatric cardiologist, first full woman professor at Johns Hopkins (1959), with talented African-American technician Vivien Thomas perfected the Blalock-Taussig surgical techniques which corrected “blue baby” syndrome (1944), contributed to the ban on thalidomide in the 1960s, president of the American Heart Association (1965), awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

May 25, 1905 (1995) – Dorothy Wesley, librarian and historian, one of the first African-American women to earn a master’s degree in library science (Howard University, 1932), her collection of books by black authors grew to tens of thousands of items including black music and the papers of Angelina Grimké

May 25, 1910 (1997) – Mary Keyserling, became general secretary of the National Consumers’ League (1938) to improve labor conditions and wages, worked to pass the Fair Labor Standards and defended National Labor Relations, later supported the ERA, adequate minimum wages, strong unions, and high-quality childcare, won the Distinguished Service Award of the National Conference on Social Welfare (1972)

May 25, 1928 – Mary Wells Lawrence, executive, leader in humorous and creative advertising from 1964, first female CEO of a company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, named Advertising Woman of the Year (1971)

May 26, 1916 (1976) – Helen Kanahele, labor organizer, while touring as a talented 7-year-old hula dancer became greatly disturbed by the “No Colored” signs on mainland, worked with the Women’s Auxiliary of the International Longshoreman’s and Warehousemen’s Union (1949-51)

which was on strike for wage parity, faced red-baiting and retaliation in job placement because of her activism, campaigned for women’s rights including right to serve on juries, for world peace, and against the death penalty

May 26, 1924 (1977) – Thelma Hill, dancer, educator, began with tap dance then concentrated on ballet about 1949 at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet school, ballerina in Les Ballets Negres (1955), joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1959

May 26, 1951 (2012) – Sally Ride, astrophysicist, first American woman astronaut

May 27, 1907 (1964) – Rachel Carson, scientist and environmentalist, wrote “The Silent Spring” which became a cornerstone of the modern environmental protection movement

May 27, 1909 (1997) – Mary Fieser, organic chemist (1932-56), developed research on steroids, wrote guide to existing literature in the field, “Reagents for Organic Synthesis,” now a constantly updated standard laboratory reference

May 28, 1913 (1989) – May Swenson, poet, first generation immigrant from Sweden, wrote 11 volumes of poetry (plus four published posthumously), showed a great love of the outdoors and nature, 59 poems published in the New Yorker, taught as writer-in-residence at Purdue University

May 28, 1932 (1999) – Lucille Kallen, television comedy writer, novelist, wrote humorous skits with Mel Tolkin for Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar (1950-54), also wrote for Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, wrote mysteries in her late 70s

May 31, 1910 (1989) – Maria Teresa Babin, Puerto Rican literary critic, supported Spanish authors and values after occupation by U.S. in 1898, recognized pre-Columbian culture, taught in U.S. schools and universities as well as in Puerto Rico

May 31, 1912 (1997) – Chien-Shiung Wu, renowned physicist, elected to National Academy of Science (1958), first woman elected President of American Physical Society (1975), received National Medal of Science (1975)

May 31, 1924 (1985) – Patricia Harris, lawyer and ambassador, participated in sit-ins while student at Howard University, executive director of Delta Sigma Theta (1953-59), first female African-American Ambassador (Luxembourg, 1965), Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1979-83)

Reproduce freely. Compiled by the National Women’s History Project. Visit us on Facebook or at

National Women’s History Project
730 Second Street #469
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
(707) 636-2888

Read the news. The old-boys are patting themselves on the back for coming into the 21st century. Two women: former secretary of state Condolezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore, can now don the coveted green jackets. Moore is Vice President of Rainwater, Inc., a private investment company, and founder and chair of the Palmetto Institute, a nonprofit think tank that works to bolster per capita income in South Carolina.

But wait! Why wasn’t the IBM CEO asked??? Virginia M. Rometty, chief executive of International Business Machines has been excluded, despite the fact that IBM is one of the Masters longtime corporate sponsors. Ms. Rometty, who plays golf but is more partial to scuba diving, is the technology giant’s first female CEO.

Somehow, the tone of self-congratulations on the part Bill Payne, Augusta’s National Chairman is almost ludicrous. “This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club,” Payne said in a statement.” But in April, Payne declined to answer questions about the lack of female members.

Wonder what changed his tune?

(Reuters Health) – Women who eat a lot of red meat may be putting themselves at increased risk of stroke, a new study in more than 30,000 Swedish women hints.

The study team found that those in the top tenth for red meat consumption, who ate at least 102 grams or 3.6 ounces daily, were 42 percent more likely to suffer a stroke due to blocked blood flow in the brain compared to women who ate less than 25 grams (just under an ounce) of red meat daily. Read the entire article at Reuters.

To: My Dear Reader,
From: The “Woman of Independent Means”

I laugh as I write this last line. Funny but it seems to capture all the vigor and verve of self-sufficiency, achievement and hard core measurable goals which marked my passage and intentions upon entering the decade of the 90s. I was determined to change the world, to make quantum leaps in financial gain, to publish and to produce. After all, 40 was upon me and time a’fleeting.

Now, fully 20 plus years later, I realize that the better triumphs have not come from reaching these goals but in the shadows and nuances of missing them. When things have not gone as planned and I am forced to stop in pain and confusion, I learn and grow more. And I discover how very dependent we are upon an external world to help us see meaning and discover the deeper purpose behind the seemingly meaningless. It is impossible to truly be a “woman or man of independent means.”

I have discovered that for every beast in the wilderness, there are angels in attendance. Just at that point when I am whipping myself for failures, someone comes along to remind me of some difference I never knew I made. I was looking to “win them all”. The far greater impact came from “winning one”. When I’m feeling most unlovable, some angel appears to whisper in my ear. Yes, I am dependent upon my angels.

I have discovered that unspeakable moments of beauty abound when least expected. In a juvenile “shelter” for girls from the ages of 12-17, where street-smarts and supposed hard hearts conspire to create a short lifespan of crime, I found honesty, fear and a deep desire to be loved and to love.

In the bewildered, child-like brain of a failing mother, I found humor and humanity.

And in the frightening onslaught of a lightening and hail storm atop a 12,000-foot peak, I found a sliver moon behind the clouds. I am dependent upon the experience.

I have discovered that the road away from self-absorption is other-absorption. When I am throwing a pity party, the quickest cure is to help someone else. It can be as simple as telling the store clerk that she has beautiful eyes. It can be as time-consuming as sitting with a lonely widow and letting her recall stories of her past.. Truth be told, often I’d rather whine and complain. I am dependent upon the needs of others to move me out of myself.

I have also discovered that I like myself better as a human being rather than a human doing. Talking to roses can sometimes be better than speaking to thousands. Giving myself permission to “be” rather than “do” remains a daily struggle. I am dependent upon the tug of time.

And lastly, dear reader, I do not wish to go quietly into the next decade. I’ll admit to needing bifocals and estrogen but I have no intention of aging. I’ll trade exercise for cheesecake and Chardonnay. I’ll forgo naps for too-late parties and choose time with my sweet spouse over a bursting bank account. I’ll arrange to throw my old self away, to molt the dry skin of complacency so I can discover what is new to be learned and experienced.

These are intentions, not goals. Some days I live intentionally – other days, unintentionally. We’ve all been in that knee-jerk, where-did-the day go mode. I need daily reminders to pay attention to what I intend to create: a life by design and not default.

By realizing my dependency on life as my teacher, my greatest wisdom comes from just plain showing up today and living NOW. From NOW comes a day that is WON.

This is what I intend for 2011… and beyond. I’m also here to support you on YOUR journey.

Happy New Year!

Eileen McDargh

A great forum for women is located at  Obviously you can discuss health on this forum but it also covers other topics including beauty & style, fitness & nutrition, family & relationships, sex & sexual health, physical & mental health and girl talk.  If you want to chat with other women on a variety of topics check out this site.