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#BlackVets #weservedtoo #VeteransDay

Hazel Johnson-Brown was the first black woman General in the United States Army.

Born in West Chester, Pa. Hazel Winifred Johnson was one of seven children. Gen. Johnson-Brown always wanted to be a nurse, but racial prejudice created major obstacles. When she applied to study at the local hospital after high school, she was rejected. The Johnson family’s nurse, a white woman, saw the young Hazel’s potential and helped her gain admission to the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing, where she earned her nursing diploma in 1950. Johnson enlisted in the Army in 1955, seven years after President Harry S. Truman ordered the desegregation of the military. She took assignments across the country and in Asia, rising in the ranks, as she impressed her superiors with her skill in the operating room.

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Since I'm in a teaching mood: Civil War spy, Mary Bowser:

Perhaps Elizabeth Van Lew’s most trusted and successful source for information was Mary Bowser. Like Van Lew, Bowser had considerable acting skills. In order to get access to top-secret information, Bowser became “Ellen Bond,” a slow-thinking, but able, servant. Van Lew urged a friend to take Bowser along to help out at functions held by Varina Davis, the wife of the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. Bowser was eventually hired fulltime, and worked in the Davis household until just before the end of the war.

At the Davis’s house, Mary worked as a servant, cleaning and serving meals. Given the racial prejudice of the day, and the way in which servants were trained to act and seem invisible, Mary was able to glean considerable information simply by doing her work. That she was literate, and could thus read the documents she had access to--and, in that way, better interpret the conversations she was hearing --could only have been a bonus. Jefferson Davis, apparently, came to know that there was a leak in his house, but until late in the war no suspicion fell on Mary.

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I want more episodes of Bletchley Circle!

h/t +Lauren Egan
Today's hero is Betty Webb who, at 94*, is still fighting against fascism.

*Thanks to a recent meme that recognized the words "age" and "old" as somewhat disparaging, I prefer to say Ms. Webb has reached level 94.

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I recently read a reference to the work of María de Zayas, and was intrigued. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of information about her life available, so all we have to go on are her writings and the historical context she wrote them in.

María de Zayas was a pioneering feminist writer during Spain's Golden Age of literature. She was the first Spanish woman to earn an international reputation as a writer, which lasted nearly 200 years, and used her stories to address feminist issues in Spanish society in the 17th century.

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This is beautiful.

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As we head into a long Labor Day weekend here in the US, we should take a moment to think about the women who've come before us who stood up for fair pay and better working conditions.

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Eleanor Davies-Colley - pioneering surgeon

Eleanor Davies-Colley (21 August 1874 – 10 December 1934) was one of first few women to pursue a career in surgery in the United Kingdom. Coming from a family with a long background in medicine surely influenced her decision to take up the scalpel, despite the lack of opportunities or support for women in such a highly competitive and demanding field. Her determination paid off not just in terms of her own success, but benefited countless women throughout London over the course of her career.

After graduating from Queen's College, she spent a few years as a social worker in the East End of London, working mainly with the children of poor families. It was here where she became acquainted with the dire need for medical services to treat those who couldn't afford to see a private doctor or get treatment at the existing hospitals around London. In 1920 she enrolled in classes at the London School of Medicine for Women, where she graduated with a MB BS in 1907.

She was adamant about becoming a surgeon, following in her father's footsteps. She took a position as house surgeon at the New Hospital for Women (Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital), while earning her medical degree from the University of London. It was believed that surgery would be too taxing for a woman, and many people tried to talk her out of it. But she persisted, and in 1911, she was named the first female fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

In that same year she and her colleague Maud Chadburn began raising funds for a new South London Hospital for Women and Children. They were both working at the New Hospital for Women in central London, and both recognized the need for another hospital serving the people of south London, many of whom were being turned away for lack of space. Their mission was to create a facility that would not only address the needs of women and children, an often under-served population, as well as provide career opportunities for women in medicine, who were generally refused employment at other hospitals. It was a win-win for the women of London, and the South London Hospital for Women and Children was funded almost entirely by donations by feminists who were all too familiar with the needs of both segments of the population.

On 4 July 1916 Queen Mary opened the newest all-female hospital in London, pledged with the mission of only serving women and children under 7 and only hiring women. Dr. Davies-Colley worked there throughout her career in a variety of positions, including senior surgeon.

In 1917 she helped to found the Medical Women's Federation, to broaden the efforts to provide professional opportunities for women in medicine while also working to improve health care for women and their families.

Her dedication to treating women from all backgrounds, as well as her meticulous attention to detail and gentle bedside manner, made her a much-beloved and respected member of the medical community. In addition to her duties at the South London Hospital, she also served as the senior obstetrician at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, and surgeon at the Marie Curies Cancer Hospital, where she treated patients with uterine and breast cancers using new therapies derived from radium.

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SRPS Role Model: Dr. Fannie Emanuel

I love sharing stories of women pursuing their dreams, as you probably already know. It's kinda my thing. It's particularly important, though, to celebrate older women who take up a new and challenging goal in mid-life or later. We have too few role models for this age group, so when I come across stories of amazing older women I am extra excited to share them with you.

Dr. Fannie Emanuel was a woman who never stopped working to improve the lives of her neighbors, and when given an opportunity to follow her dreams she took it, and for that she's most certainly a Self-Rescuing Princess Society role model.

After working nearly 20 years for her husband's business, Fannie Emanuel went looking for more ways to help her community in Chicago. She began taking college courses in social sciences, and possibly thinking about studying medicine.

In 1908 she established the Emanuel House, a settlement house offering a wide range of assistance for the under-served communities -- kindergarten and after school clubs for kids, classes for young mothers, a free dental clinic, and an employment bureau.

But she still wanted to do more. So at the age of 40 she made the decision to pursue a medical degree.

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Such great photos!
A big collection of colorized pictures of Night Witches.

[Edited to add:] One thing that is really cool about them is that you see the ethnic diversity from all over the USSR.
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