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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nov 5

Born this day in 1834, Anna Leonwens. Author of "Anna and the King of Siam" based on her life in Thailand. A British travel writer, educator, and social activist. But, it was Anna's travels to Mongkut, where she taught the wives and children of King of Siam and this leading to her book. And the book lead to three films -most memorable Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1951 musical comedy, "The King and I". Ms. Leonwens also co-founded the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Born this day in 1850, Ella Wheeler Wilscox, an American poet. Known as a popular poet, "Laugh and the world world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone". She wrote for the Hearst Newspapers and was syndicated throughout the country.

Nov 4

Born this day in 1803, Sarah Hall Boardman Judson. Sarah and George Boarman(1st husband) sailed for Burma and week after they married. Shortly, there after Sarah was windowed- most women went home- not Sarah. She stayed and preached in the jungles of Karen, supervised schools and translated many books among them, "The Pilgrim's Progress" and her translation is still used today.

On this day in 1965, Dickey Chapelle died in the battlefields of Vietnam. An American photojournalist, and war correspondent during WWII to the Vietnam War; Dickey Chapelle signature uniform: army fatigues, Australian bush hat, harlequin glasses and pearl earrings. She would go beyond the call of duty into war zones traveling with the troops to the front to get the story. Ms. Chapelle's first assignment, she posted with the Marines during the Battle of Iwo Jima and then Okinawa. She learned to jump with the paratroopers- she usually traveled with the troops. This tiny lady received many awards and the respect of the military and the journalism community.
It is sad that a land mine set off by the soldier in front of her- Dickey Chapelle became the first American woman to be killed in action and the first photo-journalist to be killed in the Vietnam War. Courage comes in all sizes.

Nov 3

On this day in 1793, Olympe de Gouges was guillotined. An advocate for Human Rights
Ms. de Gouges led a progressive life style for her time. She married once and that was enough. She used her sharp writing skills to give focus to the plight of women and blacks. Ms. de Gouges wrote a letter in 1791 to Marie-Antoinette declaring "Rights for Women". This is the first document written to support women's rights. Based on the manifesto, "Rights for Men". She was also quoted as saying, "A woman has the right to mount the scaffold(executed) she must possess equally the right to mount the speaker's platform." Through her writing and in her death she achieved both.
Also on this day in 1970, Bella Savitsky Abzug was elected to Congress. A leader in Women's Movement. Known as 'Battling Bella", "Mother Courage" and 'Hurricane Bella"
Ms. Abzug was quoted, "This woman's place is in the House- the House of Representatives!"