What is the message we send our daughter when the only accomplishments worthy of state or national recognition are those of men?
The State of Connecticut recognizes twelve holidays; six of which celebrate the accomplishments of men (Martin Luther King Junior Day, Lincoln Day, Washington’s Birthday, Columbus Day, Christmas and Good Friday).The Federal Government recognizes ten holidays, four of which celebrate the accomplishments of men (Martin Luther King Junior Day, Columbus Day, Washington’s Birthday, Christmas).None of our legal holidays (state or federal) recognize the accomplishments of women.Yet many women have made substantive contributions to our state and country.The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame profiles 90 such women, the National Women’s Hall of Fame explores the contributions of 236 women and the National Women’s History Project has collected biographical information on several hundred American women.
Currently, Arkansas is the only state in the United State of America that recognizes the contributions of a woman.Daisy Bates was a civil rights journalist who inspired the Little Rock Nine in 1957.As the first and only woman in the nation to have a state holiday in her name, she was given half a holiday and shares her day with George Washington’s birthday.
Consider the national treasures contributed by these women:
·Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, known as Amazing Grace and the Grandmother of the Computer Age, she invented computer languages and provided the foundation for what we use today
·Brigadier General Vaught, who paved the way for women in the military
·Alice Hamilton, who discovered the effects of lead poisoning
·Betsey Ross, who designed and created the first American flag
·Clara Barton, who founded the Red Cross in 1881
·Harriet Tubman, who having secured her own freedom, risked it over and over to lead more than 300 slaves through the Underground Railroad and to freedom.
·Frances Wisebart Jacobs, who co-founded The United Way
·Eunice Shriver, who founded Special Olympics
The National Women’s Hall of Fame recounts the contributions of these many others at www.greatwomen.org
Copyright by Deborah Spaide, 2008. All Rights Reserved