Join Cristen as she dishes out some information on five very important mothers of history!
10 Famous Mothers: http://people.howstuffworks.com/10-famous-mothers.htm
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Music Attribution: "Alive" by Jahzzar
• Anna Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day celebration on May 10, 1908 in Grafton West Virginia. It was to encourage families to honor their mothers at simple home gatherings. She later protested Mother’s Day events and floral and candy sales. She thought it detracted from the gratitude to mothers and grandmothers.
• Cristen’s Author Note: Mother’s are usually described in terms of their children and parenting. “I also wanted to call out women who managed incredible things (like Nobel prizes) while also raising kids.”
• So here are 5 Famous Mothers that made the cut for going above and beyond.
• Mary Wollstonecraft
• In 1787 she published “Thoughts on the Education of Daughters: with Reflections on Female Conduct in the more important Duties of Life.”
• It outline her theories on raising women as reasonable thinkers, rather than just wives and future mothers.
• Then in 1792 she published “Vindication of the Rights of Women.”
• It was pretty radical for her to call for gender equality when women enjoyed little autonomy and few legal rights.
• She died in 1797, without a chance to educate her own daughters. However, daughter Mary did go on to write the literary classic “Frankenstein.”
• Marie Curie
• Earned the 1903 Nobel prize for Physics with her husband Pierre for isolating the radioactive isotopes polonium and radium.
• Earned the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry when her daughter Ève was only 7 years old.
• Her husband was killed by a horse-drawn wagon in 1906. She then devoted even more time to researching radioactivity than raising her children.
• However, Ève wrote a best-selling biography of her mother in 1943.
• And Irène carried on the tradition of studying radioactivity, sharing a Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband in 1935.
• Both Marie and Irène died from leukemia, which some suspect as a result of their laboratory work.
• Florence Owens Thompson
• Became the “face of the Great Depression” in 1936 when Dorthea Lange snapped a famous photograph of Thompson looking worried.
• Thompson was a pea picker at a U.S. government Resettlement Administration camp to assist migrant farm workers in Nipomo, California.
• Her family lived off of frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields and birds that her children killed.
• The iconic photo was republished numerous times, titled “Migrant Mother,” as an illustration of severe poverty. After its publication, the government delivered 22,000 pounds of food to the encampment.
• It wasn’t until 1975 that Thompson identified herself as the woman in the photo. Her family had survived the Great Depression with no trace of their starvation.
• Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn
• Earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and history in 1899. And a masters in chemistry and physics in 1900! (One year?!?!) Both from Bryn Mawr college. This was an uncommon achievement at the time.
• Became a suffragette, picketing for women’s right to vote.
• Also championed access to birth control. Helped lobby the U.S. government to loosen restrictions on birth control clinics and sex education by working with the National Committee on Federal legislation for Birth Control in the 1930s. She was unfazed by accusations of moral depravity hurled at her by critics.
• Raised 6 children with her husband and educated them about women’s rights and sexual health. One of them was movie star Katharine Hepburn, who also worked alongside Planned Parenthood as an adult.
• Coretta Scott King
• After her husband Martin Luther King Jr.’s death in 1968, she became the single mother of four children. She also continued to bear King’s torch for nationwide racial equality.
• She continued a life of travel and public speaking engagements while still maintaining a home life for her children.
• She lobbied U.S. Congress to establish a federal holiday commemorating her husband’s life and work. President Reagan signed it into existence in 1983.
• In Atlanta she founded the King Center to promote non-violent social change.
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