Jun 20, 2018

Women's History Calendar

I just launched a really great Kickstarter campaign and I'm so excited to share it with you.  I've been working on creating a 2019 women's history calendar.  Now this isn't your average calendar, it is filled with all kinds of information like birthdays, historic events, and holidays.  It's like women's history month all year long. Find out more about this exciting project here.  On Kickstarter it's all or nothing so please help me bring this project to life. The campaign only lasts for a few days so don't wait.  

Mar 29, 2018

Henrietta Swan Leavitt

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Henrietta Swan Leavitt studied the patterns of Cepheid stars in the Magellanic Clouds.  She worked from photographs on glass plates taken from an observatory in Peru.  She was able to correlate the size and brightness of these variable stars to the duration of their cycle. Her research lead to our understanding of distance of stars and galaxies from Earth.

Mar 28, 2018

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkins

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkins

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkins is best known for discovering the structure of penicillin, insulin, and B12.  She used a process called x-ray crystallography, similar to how Rosalind Franklin discovered the structure of DNA. And in case you were worried, she did receive a Noble Prize for her work.  She's even on a Britrish stamp.

Headstrong: 52 Women who changed Science and the World:
Dorothy and 51 other amazing women are featured in this amazing book.

Mar 27, 2018

Sophie Blanchard

Sophie Blanchard
Sohpie Blanchard may not have been the first female balloonist, but she was the fist female professional balloonist.  She and her husband made a living of ballooning.  They often gave performances such as parachuting down animals and lighting fireworks.  Sophie was also unfortunately the first female to die in a ballooning accident. 

This History Chicks Podcast:

Stuff You Missed in History Podcast:

Mar 26, 2018

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr
Born in Austria-Hungry, Hedwig Keisler moved to America and changed her name to Hedy Lamarr.  Not only did she become a sucessfull actress, she also invented a few things.  She co-invented an alternating frequency technology for use in WWII for torpedos.  Later, this technology was used for Wi-fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.

Gal's Guide to the Galaxy Podcast:

This History Chicks:

Mar 25, 2018

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was an educator best known for creating the Montessori method.  She attended medical school where she was forced to do her cadaver studies alone after hours because she was a woman. After graduation, she spent time working with special needs children.  She then opened the Casa de Bambini and developed a whole new way of educating children.  The methods involved sensory education with colored blocks, chores to keep their workspace tidy, and personal hygiene. 

Stuff You Missed in History Podcast:

BBC Extraordinary Women Series:

Mar 24, 2018

Williamnia Fleming

Williamnia Flemming
Williamnia Fleming was one of the Harvard computers.  She worked as a maid for Charles Pickerning, the head of the  Harvard University.  Pickerning got frustrated with his male computers he exclaimed that his maid could do a better job.  So he hired her.  She worked on coming up with a classification system for stars.  She also discovered the horse head nebula.

Gal's Guide to the Galaxy Podcast:
The episode is on Annie Jump cannon but other Harvard computer women are mentioned.

The Glass Universe:
I just recently heard about this book and am very excited to read it

Mar 23, 2018


Cynane was Alexander the Great's half sister.  She led army's into battle, even defeating a rival queen.

Mar 22, 2018

Katherine McCormick

Katherine McCormick
Katherine Dexter McCormick was a suffragist and an advocate for access to birth control in the early 1900's.  She helps smuggle diaphragms into America from Europe.  After the death of her husband, she funded the research and development of the birth control pill.

Stuff You Missed in History Class:

PBS Program on the Pill:

Mar 21, 2018


Artmesia was the ruler of her city-state under Persian rule.  In 480BCE Artmesia lead a fleet of ships on the Persian side at the battle of Salamis.  At one point in the battle she rammed another Persian ship to convince the ship that was about to attack her ship that she was a Greek vessel.  Prior to the battle, Artmesia was the only one of Xerxes's advisors not in favor of attacking the Greeks.  She received high praise for her part in the battle.

Mar 20, 2018

Ahhotep I

Ahhotep I was an Egyptian princess and later queen.  It is believed that she lead armies into battle against Egypt's enemies.  She was buried with a golden fly necklace which was a military honor. She was also buried with a golden battle ax. 

Mar 19, 2018

Sybil Ludington

Sybil Luddington

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Sybil Ludington.

Sybil Ludington was a teenager during the American Revolutionary war.  Her father was the leader of a local militia.  One night, she rode 40 miles and until dawn to warn local militia of incoming British troops.  Sounds similar to Paul Revere right? except he was 40 and she was 16.  He rode with another man, she rode alone on her horse named Star.  Paul and his buddy were captured by the British a few miles into their ride, Sybil completed her mission. She also carried a big stick to ward off attackers and to pound on doors.  It was also said to be raining that night.  

Mar 18, 2018

Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard is best known for becoming the first female Prime Minister of Australia. She is also known worldwide for her famous "Misogyny Speech" in parliament in 2012.  As a result of this speech the definition of misogyny was been expanded on to include prejudice against women.

Mar 17, 2018

Abigail Adams

Remember the Ladies
Abigail Adams was more than just the wife of John Adams. The two spent many years of their marriage apart and they often wrote to each other. It is from these letters that we get the famous "remember the ladies" quote. "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

The History Chick Podcast:

Cokie Roberts: Founding Mothers

Mar 16, 2018

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin is most know for discovering the double helix structure of DNA.  She used x-ray crystallography to photograph the structure.  Her lab partners Watson and Crick stole her research and claimed a Noble Prize for her work.  After leaving the laboratory that she shared with Watson and Crick she then studied RNA viruses.  Her parter Aaron Klug got the Noble prize for chemistry for their work.  She was not named on either prizes because she had already died of ovarian cancer at the age of 37.

Science Brunch Podcast:

Mar 15, 2018

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Happy Birthday Ruth Bader Ginsburg! 

The notorious Supreme Court Justice turns 85 today.  She has become famous for her dissents and her fight for equal rights not only for women, but men as well.  Even though she graduated at the top of her class in law school she often faced discrimination.  I highly recommend reading her book, In My Own Words. 

Stuff Mom Never Told You Podcast:

RBG Documentary Trailer:

Mar 14, 2018

Malala Yousafsai

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is most famous for her fight for the right of girls all over the world to get an education.  When she was a girl in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, she watched the Taliban slowly creep into her town.  She wrote secretly for a BBC blog about life under Taliban rule.  Around her girl's schools were being forced to closed or bombed.  She spoke up for the right for girls to receive an education.  The Taliban shot her on her way home from school.  But that did not stop her.  After recovering in a hospital in the U.K., she still fights for the rights of girls around the world to get an education.  She even started attending university herself this year. She also won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work, the youngest recipient of the award. I was very fortunate to see her speak at DePauw University last year.

I recommend reading her book, I Am Malala.  There is also a documentary called He Named me Malala which covers the same material but with wonderful animations and clips of Malala's family and even her meeting the Queen of England.

Mar 13, 2018

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm is most known for being the first African American woman elected to congress as well as the first African American woman to run for President of the United States.  Early i her congressional career she was selected to serve on the House Agricultural Committee.  She was a representative of New York's 12th district (Manhattan) and felt it was a bad placement.   There she helped establish programs like WIC.  Later she was transferred to the Veteran's Affairs Committee, she thought this was a better fit seeing as she had more veterans in her district than agricultural laborers. She ran fro president in 1972. Her famous slogan was "Unbought and Unbossed" She always felt that was was discriminated against more for being a woman than for her race. She has paved the way for women and people of color making a positive impact in her wake.

The History Chicks Podcast:

Mar 12, 2018

Ida B Wells

Ida B Wells was born into slavery a few months before the Emancipation Proclamation.  When both her parents and a sibling died of yellow fever, Ida took a job teaching at a segregated school to support herself and her other siblings.  One day while tracing by train she was asked to move to the smacking car even though she had a first class ticket.  She refused to move and was dragged off the train by several men.  She got a job as a reporter and wrote about lynchings and civil rights issues.  She was also invoked in the Suffrage movement, even participating in the 1917 Washington DC parade.  She was asked to march in the segregated section but snuck into another part of the parade. 

History Chicks Podcast

Ida also makes a brief appearance in the Iron Jawed Angels movie.

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly was a journalist.  Her most famous piece was on how she went undercover at a mental institution to expose on her experience as a patient.  The other experience she is famous for is her trip around the world in 80 days.  She actually made it in 72. She also holds a few patients.

The History Chicks Podcast:

Stuff you Missed in History Class Podcast:

Mar 10, 2018

Harriet Tubman

Happy Harriet Tubman day! Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland (yes in the north).  After her escape, she made many more trips to back to free others via the underground railroad. She also worked with the Union army as a spy and a nurse. She was also active in both civil rights and suffrage. There is a photograph of a young Harriet Tubman recently discovered.  She was one of the first women announced to be put on new redesigned U.S. currency.

Gal's Guide to the Galaxy:

Mar 9, 2018

Susan B Anthony

Susan B Anthony

Susan was born a quaker.  She didn't meet her life long partner Elizabth Cady Staton until she was 31 at a abolitionist meeting. They spent 50 years each fighting for the right for women to vote. Elizabeth wrote all of her speeches and Susan traveled the country spreading the word about women's suffrage.

In 1872 she voted. She was arrested three weeks later for voter fraud, because women were not allowed to vote.  The police officer came to her home to arrest her, she demanded to be put in handcuffs just as a man would be (and for the publicity). They then traveled by public transportation to the station.  Susan declared that the officer would pay her fare.  During the trial the judge made a mistake by asking Susan if she had anything to say.

"Yes, your honor, but by forms of law all made by men, interpreted by men, administered by men, in favor of men, and against women; and hence, your honor's ordered verdict of guilty, against a United States citizen for the exercise of "that citizen's right to vote, simply because that citizen was a woman and not a man."

She was found guilty, and ordered to pay a $100 fine.  She stated that she would never pay it, and she never did.

Gal's Guide to the Galaxy:

PBS Not Ourselves Alone

Mar 8, 2018

Nevertheless She Persisted

Nevertheless She Persisted
Happy International Women's Day everyone!  The first Women's Day was celebrated in 1909 in New York City.  Since then many different countries held celebrations on various dates.  In 1977 the United Nations settled on the March 8th date. 

Do you know all the persistent ladies in this piece?  I will share their stories individually later. But first I'll tell you the story behind this piece.  

On Feburary 7th, 29017 during Alabama Senator Jeff Session's confirmation hearing to become Attorney General, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts read a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Wife) against Senator Jeff Session's nomination to become a federal judge previously.  While reading the letter she was interrupted by both the Senate Chair and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky stating a rule that a senator cannot describe another senator in a way that is unbecoming of a senator.  She was asked to take her seat and was barred from speaking for the rest of the hearing.  Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon later finished reading Mrs. Kin's letter on the floor stating that it had already been in the 1986 Congressional record. Afterwards McConnell stated "Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."  

Mar 7, 2018

Gertrude Eredle

Gertrude Ederle
Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. During her famous swim the water became very rough and her coach yelled at her to get out of the water.  She replied, "What for?"  Not only was she the first woman to swim across the English Channel, she also set the world record at the time for doing so beating the previous time by about two hours.  People at that time thought no woman would ever be able to swim across the English Channel, only five men had been able to do so before her.

No Podcasts but I did find this video of vintage footge:

Mar 6, 2018

Empress Theodora of Constantaople

Empress Theodora
Theodora started off as an actress, a dancer, and well basically a high end prostitute. Eventually she bumped into Justinian I, who ended up changing the laws so he could marry this beautiful woman who turned out to also be smart too.  He made her co-regent which meant that they shared the throne. One day a riot broke out and Justinian was ready to leave town in hopes of exile instead of death.  At the docks Theodora put her royal foot down. She told Justinian and his crew that purple makes a fine funeral shroud and that she wasn't going anywhere.  Her speech convinced her hubby and crew to stay.  She helped out the ladies too, passing women's rights laws.

Mar 5, 2018

Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead was an anthropologist who studied gender roles. She wrote and co-wrote many books about her work which was very influential to the Feminist Movement.  Though she had been married three times, she had close possibly romantic relationships with a few women.

Stuff Mom Never Told You Podcast:

Mar 4, 2018

Annie Jump Cannon

Annie Jump Cannon
Annie Jump Cannon was part of a group of women computers at employed at Harvard University.  She created a classification system for stars that we still use today. She was very fast at cataloging these stars, said to have been able to do three stars per minute.  She ended up with a total of over 350,000 stars in her career and still holds the record.  After contracting scarlet fever, she became mostly deaf.  This left it harder for her to socialize but easier to concentrate on her work.  She has a crater on the moon named after her.

Annie was featured on Gal's guide to the Galaxy https://galsguide.org/2017/09/22/annie-jump-cannon-your-gal-friday/

Mar 3, 2018

May Wright Sewall

May Wright Sewall

Similar to Victoria Woodhull, May Wright Sewall has several interesting
about her life

  • May both founded and taught a girl's school in Indianapolis.  She advocated for programs like physical education girls. In the time of corsets, she asked the young ladies to wear clothing better suited ofr physical activity.  

  • She belonged to and founded many clubs.  These ranged from the Indianapolis Women's Club to the Art Association of Indianapolis which later became the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

  • May was heavily involved in the Women's Suffrage Movement both in Indiana and nationally.  She held many positions at many organizations. Like many of the suffragists, she did not live to see the amendment become ratified.  She died about a month prior.

  • She lost both of her husbands to Tuberculosis. After the lost of her first husband she got into Spiritualism.  She believed that they communicated often after his death.

Sadly, no podcasts that I've seen for May.
Ray Boomhower has  written several books on her.
The Indianapolis Central Library has a collection of her letters
I also found this tour of the Propylaeum with a May Wright Sewall reenactor

Mar 2, 2018

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace is the only legitimate child of Lord Byron.  Her parents separated when she was a baby.  Her mother wanted Ada to turn out nothing like her poet father so she encouraged her daughter to study mathematics and science.   Her mother was given the nickname "The Princess of Parallelograms".  Ada was eventually given the nickname "The Enchantress of Numbers".  Ada eventually met Charles Babbage who was working on his Analytical Engine which was an early computer.  Ada was commissioned by Babbage to do some translation.  She took notes, which ended up being longer than the document she was translating for Babbage.  This Note G is believed to be the first computer program.  She suggested that the machine could one day do more than just calculate numbers but do other tasks as well, like compose music.  This all happened in the early 1800's.

In this piece, I created Ada our of all the mathematics of Note G.

Gal's Guide to the Galaxy has many goodies on Ada at https://galsguide.org/2017/07/21/ada-lovelace-your-gal-friday/

Stuff You Missed in History Podcast: https://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts/who-was-the-enchantress-of-numbers.htm

I recently discovered this adorable steam punk historical fiction comic by Sydeny Paudua. http://sydneypadua.com/2dgoggles/

Mar 1, 2018

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull is best known for being the first woman to officially run for President of the United States in 1872, but the rest of her life was pretty interesting too. 

  • When she was young, her father made Victoria and her sister Tennessee work as spiritual mediums.  Spiritualism was pretty big back then.  

  • When she was 15 she married a doctor.  Which, besides being too young, would sound great.  However, her husband was an alcoholic, often too drunk to work. She divorced him. 

  • She was a supporter of Free Love, which sounds like something out of the hippie era. There was a social sigma attached to women who got divorced, but not on men to have mistresses. That comes up again later.

  • She was a suffragist.  She believed that woman already had the right to vote under the constitution.  All people born in the United States were citizens, and every citizen had the right to vote. The other suffragists didn't seem to care for her much.  They liked her ideals, perhaps it was her personality?

  • She was the first woman to address congress. 

  • Victoria and her sister are considered the first women stockbrokers.  They made friends with Cornelius Vanderbilt and he taught them about the stock exchange.

  • The sisters then used some of that money to start their own newspaper.  It was in this paper that she announced her candidacy for President of the United States.  She ran under the Equal Rights Party and named Fredric Douglass as her running mate, though he never accepted. She also published a story about a rival minister who didn't like her Free Love ideals.  He was committing adultery, which was a thing you went on trial for back in those days. She and her sister were arrested for publishing the "obscene" story in the paper, this was the Comstock Law era.  She spent election day in jail. 

The History Chicks: http://thehistorychicks.com/episode-76-victoria-woodhull/
Stuff You Missed in History Class: https://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts/little-queen-for-president.htm

There may be a movie coming out in 2019 on Victoria Woohull which is very exciting. 

Women's History Month

It's my favorite time of year, Women's History Month!  Every day in March I will tell you about the amazing women that I have featured in my artwork.  Every time I display my work I always include a short paragraph about each woman. Every day this month I will have even more information about each woman and some goodies like links to some great podcasts or books. Which women do you want to hear about first?  As always, if you have a particular woman you'd like to see me paint let me know.

Jan 18, 2018

Book Recomendations

I got through quite a few books last year and they were fantastic.  I thought I would share them with you since it's the season for hibernating under blankets with a good book.

I am Malala 
Yes, the book covers the shooting and so much more.   She talks about how her parents met, her relationships with her brothers, the origins of her name, the struggles of her father's school, the arrival of the Taliban to the Swat valley, her secret writings for a British blog. I hope that one day she can return to the Swat valley that she so beautifully describes. 

My own Words 
While reading this book I was wishing I had gone into law.  I envy anyone who was lucky enough to have Ruth for a law professor.  This book goes over times in her life as well as many cases that she has been a part of.  

Founding Mothers

This book goes into all the women how had a hand in forming our county.  It is where I found that wonderful quote from Abigail Addams.  

Capital Dames

This book covers women around the time of the civil war; women like Mary Todd Lincoln, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, and Clara Barton.

Wonder Women

This is the book I am currently reading and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Not only is it super informative, its hilarious.  One of my favorite lines so far has been: "If you love science and equality but hate leprosy (and who doesn't?), Alice Ball is 100 percent your kind of gal." The author mentions serval times that the running theme in the book will be men taking credit for women's accomplishments, women underestimated, etc.  Which is infuriating, depressing, and all the other emotions.  However the stories are told in such a lighthearted manor that you want to go play with a chemistry set instead of just giving the evil eye to all the men in your life.

Many of these books I borrow from my local library with an app called Overdrive.  It allows you to check out e-books, audiobooks, and more.  I just watched a really good documentary on Dolley Madison the other day through it. I'll do another post soon about some other great media I consumed last year.