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Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 11th

Born this day in 1893, Wanda Hazel Gag, artist, author and illustrator. Gag is best known for her children's book, "Millions of Cats" which has never been out of print in since its publication in 1928. Gag grew up in a large creative family, her father an artist from Bohemia and her mother from Germany. Wanda the oldest of the seven children. The family was very loving and creative. Sadly her parents died, leaving Wanda to provide, which she did, as a teacher. Gag's dream of being a working artist were put on hold until she was sure her brothers and sisters were out on their own. And only then did she go to New York leaving the family home in Minnesota, to study art and fulfill her dreams. When Wanda's father died his last words were, "What Papa was unable to accomplish, Wanda will finish". This became the touchstone for Wanda's career.Which began by drawing sketches for fashion, bu at this Gag was published in the The Broom and Liberator an essay titled, "A Hotbed of Feminists". Gag's children's books have charmed generations of children and adults.She had made enough money to buy a farm in New Jersey which she called, "All Creation". Millions of Cats won Gag the Newbery Honor Award. With a secure career in her children's books, this gave Gag time for her innovative artwork of printing with sandpaper and other printmaking styles. Some titles of Gag's books "Growing Pains: Diaries and Drawings from the Years, 1908-1917" , "The ABC Bunny", "Tales from Grimm"

March 10th

Born this day in 1850,Hallie Quinn Brown, educator, author, and public speaker. Brown was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brown's parents (former slaves)then moved to Canada and moved back to the United States in 1870 settling in Ohio. Earning a degree in education, Brown's first post was in Mississippi and then to Columbia, South Carolina. She also began to teach at Allen University, and also served as their Dean of the University, Brown also served as Dean of Women at Tuskegee Institute. It is during this time that Brown's reputation as a public speaker grew the subjects of Temperance and Suffrage. And in 1899, while serving as one of the United States representatives, she spoke before the International Congress of Women meeting in London. Brown also spoke before Queen Victoria.
Brown helped organize the Colored Woman's League in Washington DC. Also,served as president of the National Association for Colored Women.
Brown published several books in her lifetime: Bits and Odds:A Choice Selections of Recitations 1880; Elocution and Physical Culture, 1910; Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction 1926. This her most popular as it profiled African American Women of the time. Brown died in 1949.