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Woman's History Wednesday: Spotlight: Princess Ruth

Princess Ruth Luka Keanolani Kauanahoahoa Keʻelikōlani was a strong supporter of Hawaiian language and traditional cultural practices. Born in 1826, Keʻelikōlani was a descendant of senior royal lines on both sides of her family. During a time when many Hawaiians were converting to Christianity, Keʻelikōlani retained many traditional Hawaiian religious practices even though it had been abolished in 1819. As a member of the royal family, Keʻelikōlani served as Royal Governor of the Island of Hawaii. Keʻelikōlani understood English, however, she insisted that she be addressed only in Hawaiian and required non-Hawaiian speakers to use translators if they wished to communicate with her. By the 1

Woman's History Wednesday: Spotlight- Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper

Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first compiler related tools. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today. Hopper had attempted to enlist in the Navy during World War II, but she was rejected by the military because she was 34 years of age and too old to enlist. She instead joined the Navy Reserves. Hopper began her computing career when she worked on the Harvard Mark I team that was led by

Women's History Wednesday: Spotlight- Frida Kahlo

Artist Frida Kahlo was and is considered one of Mexico's greatest artists who began painting mostly self-portraits after she was severely injured in a bus accident. Kahlo later became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera in 1929. She exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954. Kahlo painted mostly self-portraits. She was inspired by Mexican popular culture, native folk art, and early Mexican mass media. Her style of art explored questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the p

Women's History Wednesday: Spotlight - Cathay Williams

Cathay Williams (1844 – 1892), a.k.a. William Cathay, was the first known African American woman to enlist in the United States Army, and the only black woman documented to serve in the US army in the 19th century. Born a slave in Independence, Missouri in 1844, Cathay worked as a house servant on a nearby plantation on the outskirts of Jefferson City. After the Civil War, employment opportunities were scarce for many African-Americans, especially in the south. Many of them looked to military service, where they could earn not only steady pay but also education, health care, and a pension. Cathay had a cousin and a friend who enlisted, and she decided that in order to earn a living, she woul

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