Category Archives: Activists & Revolutionaries

Lucinda Hinsdale Stone

Lucinda Hinsdale was born September 30, 1814 in Hinesburg, VT to Aaron & Lucinda (Mitchell) Hinsdale. Lucinda spent her early years attending the public school, briefly attending a female seminary before finding the academic rigor less than what she desired and at age 13 went to Hinesburg Academy, a boys’ high school. Though she surpassed her male counterparts in the curriculum of Greek, Latin, French, and literature, the gender biases of the time kept her from continuing on to college studies, so at age 15 she became a schoolteacher, which was a common occurrence during that time. Continue reading Lucinda Hinsdale Stone

Julia Varley: champion of the woman worker

In September 2016, as part of Birmingham Heritage Week, Sheroes of History organised an event about Birmingham Sheroes at The Library of Birmingham. It was a pleasure to hear Dr Cathy Hunt speak about Julia Varley. Below is a transcript of her talk. [Not to be cited without the author’s permission.]

The woman I am going to talk about this evening was not a native Brummie. She was born in Bradford in 1871, but I think that the fact that there is a blue plaque on the house in which she lived in Bournville for a large part of her adult life, highlighting the work that she did for women’s suffrage and for trade unionism gives her at least honorary Brummie status – and well deserved it is too. Continue reading Julia Varley: champion of the woman worker

Rachel Carson and the Paradigm Shift

In 2007, a member of the United States Senate drafted a resolution to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of a famous biologist; a woman who had been most at home with her nose in a book or on the shores of the sea. Things didn’t go as planned. Havoc ensued as a senator from Oklahoma mounted an outraged resistance against the woman’s memory. The controversial woman was Rachel Carson.

Carson grew up in Pennsylvania and was born with a gift for words—she talked early and had a story published in a St. Nicholas magazine when she was eleven . Continue reading Rachel Carson and the Paradigm Shift

Sheila Kitzinger

Sheila Kitzinger was a British natural childbirth advocate who campaigned for women to have more say in their birth choices. She was an anthropologist and author who was referred to as ‘the Birth Mother of the nation’ and the ‘high priestess of natural childbirth.’

Sheila was born in Taunton on 29th March 1929. Her father, Alec, was a tailor, while her mother, Clare, was Sheila’s inspiration – working for a family planning clinic, campaigning for access to birth control and counselling women from the family living room. It was observing her mother fulfil these roles that sowed the seeds of Sheila’s own passion to support expectant and new mothers. She said about her mother,  Continue reading Sheila Kitzinger

June Anderson

“I have become deeply convinced that if you are not actively a part of seeking of the solution of women’s rights you are a part of the problem.” June Anderson

As fall is here and the kiddos are back in school, it’s the perfect time to pay tribute to a shero who worked tirelessly to make her campus safer and more accessible for women and non-traditional students.

June Anderson was born in Tipton County, Tennessee in 1926. She received a B.S. in chemistry and biology in 1947, and earned her M.A. in chemistry and English the following year. She taught high school science for over a decade, and Tennessee honored Anderson’s excellence in teaching with the Distinguished Science Teachers Award in 1957. However, she never lost sight of her own educational goals. In 1954, she received a General Electric Fellowship to complete a second undergraduate degree in physics. Continue reading June Anderson

Susette La Flesche; Native American Activist

Born in Nebraska in 1854, Susette, also called Inshata Theumba (Bright Eyes), had French and Native American ancestry. That year the United States government promised the Omaha tribe would keep 300,000 acres of their traditional lands for their reservation. Susette’s father believed the Omaha must accept reservation life to survive. Young Susette learned to read and write English at the reservation missionary school.

But corrupt government agents pocketed tribal funds while doling out shoddy goods and poor food. The Omaha faced hunger and suffering. And they knew, like other tribes, that treaties did not protect them from the threat of removal to Indian Territory, an arid, harsh land in present-day Oklahoma. Continue reading Susette La Flesche; Native American Activist

Annie Dodge Wauneka

Annie Dodge Wauneka was a member of the Navajo tribe, who dedicated her life to improving the health & well-being of her people.

Born on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, Annie was the daughter of Navajo leader, Henry Chee Dodge. Her father was wealthy and could speak English; he had acted as a translator between the US government and the Navajo people, and become a successful businessman with a ranch, where Annie and her siblings grew up.

As a girl Annie tended to the sheep on her father’s ranch, which she enjoyed. Like many other young Navajo children, when she was 8 she was sent to the government-run boarding school. Her experience of leaving home and being sent to school led to her campaign later in life for schools to be built much closer to people’s homes across the reservation, so that children did not have to leave their families.  Continue reading Annie Dodge Wauneka