International Women's Birthdays
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Welcome to International Women’s Birthdays! From Adams & Addams to Zaharias and beyond: each day we celebrate the birthday of one woman whose aspirational & inspirational accomplishments merit recognition as much as any man born in January, February, or even December. DM to suggest a future honoree.
08:35 AM - Mar 01, 2023
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International Women's Birthdays
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Happy Birthday, Ann Lee(1736-1784)!

What better way to celebrate Leap Day than with the founder of the Shakers, perhaps the most influential religious sect started by a woman, begun in England but spread to the US by Lee, whose vision launched their uniquely simple egalitarianism. #MotherAnn bio:
12:53 PM - Feb 29, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Svetlana Alliluyeva(1926-2011)!

Stalin’s only daughter lost her 1st love to her father’s labor camps, cycled through religions & spouses, & defected to the US in her 4th husband’s native India, denouncing Moscow’s “moral & spiritual monster” in a hopeful precedent.
#LanaPeters bio:
10:18 PM - Feb 28, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Alice Hamilton(1869-1970)!

Her 20-yr residency at Hull House launched her much-lauded occupational health crusade, revelatory industrial toxicology research, & hiring as the 1st woman on Harvard’s faculty, leading to OHSA’s founding & far safer work environments. #AliceHamilton bio:
07:58 PM - Feb 27, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Alejandra Melfo(1965-)!

The Uruguayan-born physicist shifted from supersymmetry to glacier loss, focused on documenting the disappearance of Venezuela’s last glacier, including the collection of 600 new microbial strains & other samples for continued research.
#AlejandraMelfo bio:
08:01 PM - Feb 26, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Maria Kirch(1670-1720)!

The German astronomer raised 4 more after marrying another, first working as his math assistant, then observing together (he gazed north & she looked south), & after his death, earning master astronomer rank despite sexist Academy rejections. #MariaKirch bio:
09:40 PM - Feb 25, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Arcangela Tarabotti(1604-1652)!
A Venetian nun since 16 & encloisteredly self-educated, she rebelled in writing, arguing in correspondence & published protofeminist works, always with biblical support, against forced enclosure, misogyny, & “paternal tyranny.” #ArcangelaTarabotti bio:
11:08 PM - Feb 24, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Patty J Berg(1918-2006)!
The co-founder & 1st President of the LPGA still holds the women’s record of 15 major title wins, served 3 years as a Marine Reserves 2nd Lt during WWII, earned 3 AP Woman Athlete of the Year honors, & hit the 1st USGA hole-in-one for a woman. #PattyBerg bio:
11:23 PM - Feb 23, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Zitkala-Ša(1876-1938)!
The Yankton Dakota author & activist, anglicized as Gertrude S Bonnin, co-wrote the first American Indian opera, co-founded & then ran the National Council of American Indians, & helped turn the tide of cultural assimilation to a better balance. #ZitkalaSa bio:
11:05 PM - Feb 22, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Rebecca Nurse(1621-1692)!
Hanged for witchcraft by (redundancy warning) irrational theocratic misogynists, the respected elder’s 9 kids saw her exonerated in 1712 as part of a legacy that includes notable descendants like Lucille Ball, Mitt Romney, & Vincent Price. #RebeccaNurse bio:
10:43 PM - Feb 21, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Ophelia Settle Egypt(1903-1984)!

The sociologist conducted 100 oral history interviews with former slaves at the start of her lifetime of service, which included founding a PPFA clinic & developing Howard’s Social Work Program, before giving her own oral history.
#OpheliaEgypt bio:
10:35 PM - Feb 20, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Mary E Anderson(1866-1953)!

Have you driven safely in the rain lately? Thank Anderson, who ID’d a problem in 1902 & invented the 1st effective hand-operated windshield wiper – even if automakers happened to let her patent expire right before making them standard. #MaryEAnderson bio:
05:59 PM - Feb 19, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Mary Amdur(1921-1998)!
Her 1953 study on how sulfuric acid in pollution can kill cost her threats from the AIHA, funding, & a job under a corrupt Harvard Prof, but “the mother of smog research” persevered elsewhere, leading to some of the 1st air pollution regulation. #MaryAmdur bio:
05:30 PM - Feb 18, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Wu Zetian(624-705)!
After 25 yrs as empress consort (& de facto ruler), China’s 1st & only female emperor founded her Wu Zhou dynasty & governed, skillfully yet ruthlessly, for 15 yrs, guiding China to greater status, a strong economy & culture, & even less corruption. #WuZetian bio:
06:53 PM - Feb 17, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Vera Menchik(1906-1944)!
The Russian-born Czech chessmaster, who often beat top male players (when men rarely played women), dominated as the 1st & longest-reigning Women’s World Chess Champ, defending her title for 17 yrs until a Nazi V-1 bomb killed her in London. #VeraMenchik bio:
08:58 PM - Feb 16, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Yelena Bonner(1923-2011)!
Sakharov’s widow, from serving as a twice-wounded WWII nurse & then a pediatrician, through criticizing Russian repression during the USSR’s decline & downfall, to fronting a “Putin must go” letter, never stopped fighting for human rights. #YelenaBonner bio:
11:27 PM - Feb 15, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Katherine Stinson(1891-1977)!

The 4th US woman licensed pilot, 1st woman USPS pilot, 1st woman pilot in Canada & Japan, & 1st nighttime skywriter also set stunt & distance records, drove for the Red Cross in WWII, & spent decades as an award-winning architect. #KatherineStinson bio:
03:47 PM - Feb 14, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Sarojini Naidu(1879-1849)!
Serving as the 1st Indian woman President of the National Congress & the 1st Governor of United Provinces (until her death) grew from decades of oratory in support of independence, with Gandhi calling the poet the “Nightingale of India.” #SarojiniNaidu bio:
10:30 PM - Feb 13, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Olivia Hooker(1915-2018)!

The Tulsa massacre survivor & 1st USCG African-American woman served in WWII, then earned her clinical psych PhD & practiced until age 87, with a child psych & developmental delay specialty that led her to co-found the APA’s Division 33.
#OliviaHooker bio:
06:16 PM - Feb 12, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Lydia Maria Child(1802-1880)!

“Over the River & Through the Wood,”
wrote Child at 42;
her legacy poem truly seems
just a minor to-do.

Abolitionist & activist,
who wanted to provoke,
she spent all of her life campaigning
& would have been SO woke.
#PaulCurtisHouse #LydiaChild bio:
06:08 PM - Feb 11, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Anne B.M. Anderson(1937-1983)!

The Scottish OB-GYN’s research on reproductive issues led to her involvement in early women’s health metastudy texts, the basis for the later founding of the evidence-based Cochrane Collaboration to contextualize all medical studies. #AnneAnderson bio:
07:42 PM - Feb 10, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Aletta Jacobs(1854-1929)!

The 1st woman Dutch university student earned her medical degree, opened the 1st known birth control clinic to improve working women’s health & reduce infant deaths, helped found WILPF, & led int’l efforts for peace, equality, & suffrage. #AlettaJacobs bio:
07:56 PM - Feb 09, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Valerie L Thomas(1943-)!
The NASA data scientist & Landsat program supervisor also patented the illusion transmitter, used in everything from satellite imagery & surgery to video screens, & mentored countless students through years of teaching & outreach programs. #ValerieThomas bio:
08:42 PM - Feb 08, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Marian Ewurama Addy(1942-2014)!
The 1st woman sciences professor in Ghana researched the safety of herbal remedies & inspired kids, especially girls, toward STEM by hosting The National Science & Maths Quiz, now the longest-running educational program on Ghanaian TV. #MarianEddy bio:
08:37 PM - Feb 07, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Mary Leakey(1913-1996)!

While working with husband Louis, the paleoanthropologist personally unearthed the 1st Proconsul & holotype Paranthropus skulls, discovered 15 new species, & developed a stone tool classification system, all while raising 3 kids at dig sites. #MaryLeakey bio:
06:12 PM - Feb 06, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Miriam Rodríguez Martínez(1960-2017)!

After her daughter’s murder, Rodriguez embraced vengeance as a living thing, helping to start Colectivo de Desaparecidos, & before her murder on Mexico’s Mother’s Day, tracked & helped capture 10 of her daughter’s killers.
#MiriamRodríguez bio:
12:22 PM - Feb 05, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Rosa Parks(1913-2005)!

Her firm defiance began the Montgomery bus boycott, launching both MLK & the Civil Rights movement into public consciousness, with the iconic activist spending 23 yrs on U.S. Rep. John Conyers’ staff & earning basically every possible US honor. #RosaParks bio:
03:27 PM - Feb 04, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Blackwell(1821-1910)!

The 1849 Geneva College valedictorian earned the 1st medical degree of any US woman, published on typhoid, organized Civil War nurses, helped found hospitals & med schools, & campaigned for equality & many more social reforms. #ElizabethBlackwell bio:
03:14 PM - Feb 03, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Vivian Silver(1949-2023)!
Senselessly slain by terrorists on 10/7, the Canadian-Israeli peace activist co-founded the cross-cultural AJEEC & the interfaith Women Wage Peace, & just days earlier, organized a Jerusalem peace rally of 1500 Israeli & Palestinian women. #VivianSilver bio:
12:30 PM - Feb 02, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Leila Denmark(1898-2012)!

The supercentenarian pediatrician practiced 74 years until age 103, even treating great-grandchildren of her first patients, 7 decades after she co-developed the 1st vaccine against pertussis & saved 200K kids a year from whooping cough.
#LeilaDenmark bio:
04:22 PM - Feb 01, 2024
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Happy Birthday, Marilyn Gaston(1939-)!
The 1st black woman to run a US national public health agency (HHS’ BPHC) first transformed care for sickle cell disease by discovering the need to begin treating babies by 4 months, resulting in a federal law promoting early SCD screenings. #MarilynGaston bio:
08:06 PM - Jan 31, 2024
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