Category Archives: On this day snapshots

Brief summaries of Sheroes born on this day in history

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was born on 12th May 1910. She was a  scientist & peace campaigner, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Born in Egypt to British parents, Dorothy developed an interest in chemistry at the young age of 10. At school she and one other girl were allowed to join the boys for their chemistry lessons; when no further science education was offered to her she took private tuition to enable her to gain entry to Oxford University.

The work for which she is known, and which earned her the Nobel Prize, was her development and use of X-ray crystallography, which enabled her to discover the molecular structures of natural substances. She helped confirm the structure of penicillin, worked with insulin for over 34 years studying insulin and revealed the structure of vitamin B12.

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Odette Hallowes

Odette Marie Celine Brailly was born on 28th April 1912. She is one of the most famous Allied spies of the Second World War.

The story for which she is remembered began two years into the Second World War, when the government in England appealed for photos of France which they could use to help them with their operations there. Odette contacted the War Office with photos of her homeland. This act led to her being recruited & trained by the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and in 1942 she was sent to Nazi occupied France to work undercover.

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Emily Davies

Sarah Emily Davies was born on 22nd April 1830 in Southampton, England. She helped start the first college in England for women.

Emily Davies was involved in women’s rights throughout her life. She edited a magazine which focused on women’s rights called The English Woman’s Journal, and was one of a number of like-minded women who formed The Kensington Society, a group where where they met to discuss equality issues such as the right to vote and the right to education.

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Nella Larsen

Nella Larsen was born on 13th April 1891.

Nellallitea ‘Nella’ Larsen was an American writer. Although she only published two novels, she was seen as a significant contributor to what was called ‘The Harlem Renaissance’.

Before she became known for her writing Nella first trained as a nurse, before later becoming a librarian. She was the first black woman to graduate from the New York Public Library school. She soon went to work in the Harlem branch of the library, which is where she met and was inspired by other artists & writers in the Harlem Renaissance.

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Gabriela Mistral

Born 7th April, 1889 was the Chilean poet, Gabriela Mistral.

Born Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, she published her poetry under the name Gabriela Mistral. In 1945 she became the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, and remains the only Latin American woman to do so.

As well as a poet, Gabreila was an educator, a feminist, and was involved in politics throughout her life. She argued for the right to education for children, she spoke up for the rights of women and the poor, and believed strongly in peace and democracy. She defended those who were oppressed and used her essays, poetry and newspaper articles to draw attention to their plight.

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