Helen Keller

Feature, Heritage Months, Women’s History Month

article by Chloe’ Foster

Helen Adams Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree. She was born June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her parents were Kate Adams Keller and Colonel Arthur Keller. Helen’s father was a captain for the Confederate army during the Civil War. They lost most of their wealth in the civil war and lived modestly. After the war, her father edited the local newspaper and he was appointed a marshal in North Alabama.

At the age of 19 months, Helen became deaf and blind as a result of an unknown illness. Helen Keller suffered from a fever and was left deaf, blind, and unable to speak. The doctors had no means of of naming or even describing what was happening to young Helen. There is speculation that she had something related to Scarlet Disease or meningitis. Anne Sullivan helped Helen Keller speak at the age of ten years old.

Young Helen with Anne.

Anne Sullivan was the person who assisted Helen in achieving her college degree. Anne stood by her starting when Helen Keller was only seven years old. Anne was only fourteen years older than Helen Keller. Anne’s biggest goal for Helen was love and obedience. Anne did achieve that and so much more with Helen. Because they were so close, there was accusations that Helen Keller was plagiarizing Anne Sullivan. Many people, including Mark Twain, wrote a letter to Helen Keller saying she was plagiarizing.

The story of Anne and Helen’s friendship has inspired millions. And Helen Keller’s struggles and accomplishments reach out far beyond inspiring women. Helen continues to inspire people with disabilities with her life’s example and writings.

Susan B. Anthony and the Early Women’s Movement

Feature, Heritage Months, Women’s History Month

article by Jessica Raborn

Women’s History Month starts March 1st and goes to the end of March. In 1987 March became the official month. However, before that President Jimmy Carter said that the week of March 8 would be National Women’s History Week. March is a month to remember all of the contributions that women have made for the United States. Susan B Anthony plays a major role in Women’s History Month.

Susan B Anthony was born February 15, 1820, and she died March 13, 1906. She grew up with a life centered around her schooling. By the time she was three, she could read and write. She is best known for her work with women’s suffrage in the United States. Her work started after meeting Amelia Bloomer, who pushed her further into women’s rights. Through her friendship with Bloomer, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, another major figure in the women’s movement. Susan was even president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. By doing all of this, she helped to pave the way for the Nineteenth Amendment, which provided women the right to vote. However, her work didn’t stop there.

She was also an abolitionist and  helped with the anti-slavery movement. Early in the American Civil War, she was a member of the Women’s National Loyal League. She also helped with the American Equal Rights Association, promoting equality in society and the workplace. Additionally, she was also part of the National Labor Union and a publisher for the progressive magazine, The Revolution.

People, especially women, can see Susan’s work in their everyday lives. An example of this is the museum of her birthplace. Also, she is the first women ever minted onto United States currency. She also has her writings in  History of Women Suffrage. Susan B Anthony is remembered because of all of her work to help women and other oppressed minorities.   

Amelia Earhart’s Influence

Feature, Heritage Months, Women’s History Month

article by Mia Michel

Amelia Earhart is best known for attempting to be the first woman to fly around the world. She was also the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932, and the first woman to fly solo nonstop around the United States. On Amelia’s 1937 attempt around the world, she disappeared somewhere over the Pacific. Her wreck sight was never found, and she was declared lost at sea. Amelia’s disappearance is one of the best unsolved mysteries of the century.

Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897. Growing up she was an energetic, adventurous, and spirited child who was never really confined by the gender roles of society. She played basketball as a kid, climbed trees, took an auto repair course, and attended college for a short time. Amelia believed in doing what you want no matter what doubts and obstacles are in your way.

During World War One, she served as a Red Cross nurse’s aid in Canada. After the war, she enrolled the Columbia University in New York as a pre-med student. She first flew in an airplane in California in December 1920 with Frank Hawks.  After that initial flight, Amelia became obsessed with aviation. She started flying lessons with Neta Snook in January 1921, and later that year purchased a second hand Kinner Airster plane. Amelia set numerous aviation records in her time that inspired young women, but the best known attempt was her flight around the world. June 1, 1987, Amelia took off for an eastbound flight around the world accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan, this was her second attempt. Amelia Earhart and her navigator disappeared, July 2 was the last time they were seen alive.

One of the main questions is why? There are many theories but none have been proven so far. The most popular theory is that they simply ran out of gas and crashed, but others believe there is a more complicated answer. There were some artifacts found on an island a little off course that suggest Amelia and her navigator washed up on it as castaways. They could have survived days or even weeks, researchers have found a woman’s shoe from the 1930s, improvised tools, and bones that appear to be part of a human finger.

Amelia did not accomplish her goal, nevertheless, she inspired many young women not to be confined into society’s idea of how they are supposed to act and what goals they are supposed to set for themselves. Amelia’s actions encouraged many to not just dream, but take risks no matter the cost.

Rebecca Suger

Feature, Heritage Months, Women’s History Month

Rebecca Sugar, age 31, was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, in a Jewish family. She had a brother named Steven Sugar and a passion for animation and writing. But you might be wondering what’s so special about her. Well, with Women’s History Month coming up in March, I thought she was worthy to be written about, despite her not being one of the traditional women chosen for a topic such as this.

First, let’s talk about what counts as a woman worth honoring. I believe that a person is worth being written about when they’ve done something great. Obvious, right? But it also matters to me how they got to that great point. If they made decisions that helped them cheat their way to the top, I don’t think they’re worth writing about. The real role models are ones who work hard for what they want. Rebecca Sugar is absolutely worthy of writing about.  

Rebecca Sugar went to the school of Visual Arts in New York. Like I said before, she’s always had a passion for writing and art. I’m sure if you haven’t seen Adventure Time, you’ve probably at least heard of it, which is one of the shows that Rebecca helped animate and write (both songs and a few side episodes.) Not only that, but she also helped create storyboards for the first Hotel Transylvania. But this isn’t even the beginning of what she’s done, she was actually the first female to independently create a cartoon series, Steven Universe, which is still running today and recently just finished its 5th season. Steven Universe’s movie is going to come out around Fall, 2019. Rebecca Sugar also writes most of the songs for Steven Universe, and other songs outside of Steven Universe. One of her well-known songs is “Love Like You.”

So overall, I’d say Rebecca Sugar has had an amazing life so far and still has a lot to come. She’s an amazing person and definitely one of my biggest inspirations. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend Steven Universe to anyone who’s interested in fun cartoons.

Making History

Feature, Heritage Months, Women’s History Month

article by Ashlyn Weatherly

January 28, 1986 was a day for the history books! Christa McAuliffe was a junior high school history teacher in Maryland, and the first American civilian selected to be launched into outer space. Although the spacecraft exploded merely 73 seconds after leaving the launchpad, Christa McAuliffe is still remembered today for her bravery and contribution to United States’ Research on Outer Space.

Christa was born on September 2, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts. Christa was the oldest of five children. When she was five, her family moved to Framingham, Massachusetts. She was a very quiet child and she was also very adventurous. After graduating Marian High School in 1966, Christa was accepted into Framingham State College, where she studied history and education. After receiving her bachelors in 1970, she was soon married to Steve McAuliffe, who she met in high school. She soon began her career as an educator, as an American History and English junior high teacher in Maryland. However, six years later she had a son, Scott McAuliffe. Two years after having her son, she received her Masters degree from Bowie State College. Then she moved her family to New Hampshire where she accepted a position as a high school teacher. She later gave birth to her second child, Caroline. She was just a typical loving mother and good civilian.

Christa took great pride in space research. For example, in 1981 she and her students watched the first space shuttle orbit the earth. When president Ronald Reagan introduced the Teacher in Space Project, she took great interest. When NASA announced that there was a competition to decide who would be selected to be the lucky individual, Christa jumped at the opportunity. She was selected out of over 11,000 applicants. She embraced the opportunity in a heartbeat for she believed that her experience in space would help her students further understand the importance and significance of space travel. Although she was happy to be a part of the project, she struggled to leave her family for training.

The Challenger was scheduled to launch on January 22, however it was delayed for several different issues (a dust storm at the emergency landing area, inclement weather, door latch problem, etc). It officially left Earth’s surface on the twenty-eighth. Not only did her family and friends watch the ship launch into space, but school children all over the country sat in classrooms excitedly waiting for take off and to witness a teacher making history. Unfortunately, the shuttle exploded less than two minutes after take off, killing all seven passengers on board. The nation was left stunned and mourned the loss of the crew. NASA dedicated time to researching the cause of the explosion. After months of investigation, they determined that it was the right rocket booster responsible for the catastrophe. A gasket had failed, and affected the O-rings which caused a leak, igniting the fuel supply.

Christa McAuliffe left behind a legacy. After her death, she was awarded the the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. In addition, to receiving this medal, her hometown named a local planetarium in honor of her. Since then, an asteroid and crater on the moon have also been named in her honor. Firminham College also established a program, Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, to continue her legacy and support educational advancements. Christa McAuliffe’s story is a real story of BRAVERY!


Black History Month, Feature, Heritage Months, Women’s History Month

article by Gianni Taylor

About Oprah Winfrey

On January 29, 1954, Oprah Gail Winfrey was born to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Both of her parents were unmarried teens and shortly after her birth the two separated leaving Oprah to live with her grandmother. `

Early Life

The years that Oprah lived with her grandmother, she was taught how to recite Bible verses and even began reading at the age of two. At the age of six, she moved with her mother in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she was abused and mistreated which led to her rebelling. Her mother sent her to Nashville, Tennessee where she began living with her father. While living with her father she felt like she was in a safer environment, but the bad habits that she picked up from living with her mother were hard to shake off.

Rise to Fame

Image accredited to Variety Magazine

In 1971, Oprah’s first job was at Nashville’s WVOL radio station, while she was still in high school, where she was read afternoon newscast live. In the same year she received the titles as Nashville’s Miss Fire Prevention and Miss Black Tennessee. Later that year she graduated high school with honors and was granted a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. She majored in Speech Communications and Performing arts. In 1973 Oprah starts to set records being the first African American TV correspondent in Nashville and the youngest co- anchor for WTVF-TV. Three years later in 1976, Oprah became co-anchor at WJZ-TV in Baltimore. In 1978, while still working as a co-anchor, she found a talent for hosting talk shows and became co-host of WJZ-TV’s “People Are Talking”. In order to host “A.M. Chicago,” Oprah moved to Chicago in 1984. A year later she started her acting career where she played Sofia in the movie The Color Purple. In 1986 Oprah’s own talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was aired nationally. Two years later she also became the first African American Women in American to own her own studio which she name Harpo Studio. Following her first movie appearance, Oprah played in movies such as The Women of Brewster Place (1989), There are no children here (1993), Before Women had Wings (1997), and many more. In 2004, Oprah released her successful  magazine O, The Oprah. In 1998, she believed in making a difference in people’s live and she found Oprah’s Angel Network which was and still is a charity that raised more than $35 million to non- profit organizations around the world. The network also has provided scholarships and built schools while supporting women’s shelter, building homes, and even youth centers. Oprah was also an impact on child protection. In 1991 she pushed for the Child Protection Act, which set a national database of convicted child abusers, to get passed. This was such a big goal for her to reach that she even when as far as to create Oprah’s Child Predator Watch List where in only 48 hours she captured two alleged child molesters. Today Oprah is worth around 2.6 billion dollars making her the first African American women to become a billionaire. In 2005 Forbes Magazine ranked her as the most powerful celebrity in the world. She also has funded many organizations that are targeted to help improve women’s quality of life and to boost their confidence. Oprah is such a role model for African Americans, women, and girls all around the nation. She has shown that you can succeed in life if you continue to try. She is the change that the African American community and women needed. Oprah has been a light for the people who have been abused. Let’s take a stand with her in improving our nation and world!

The Story of Ruby Bridges

Black History Month, Feature, Heritage Months, Women’s History Month

article by Michael Burnett

In 1960, an African American attending school with white American children was unheard of, much less an African american girl, but Ruby Bridges did.

In 1954 the Supreme Court decided to allow whites and African Americans to attend school together. Ruby was six years old in 1960, her parents responded to a call from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and volunteered their child to participate in the integration of the New Orleans School system. She is remembered as the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. She went to William Frantz Elementary school. In her first year, many outraged white parents made her feel unwelcome by doing demeaning acts such as shouting racial slurs–one parent even held up a black doll in a coffin. Ruby was frightened by the way these people treated her, but she did not turn back. She spent her first day of school in the principal’s office because of all of the hatred directed toward her. Sadly, even most of the school staff rejected Ruby. Barbara Henry, a white teacher, was the only one willing to accept Ruby. For Ruby’s first year at the school, she had no other students in her class. Ruby had to eat lunch alone and only had the teacher to play with during recess.

Ruby graduated from a desegregated high school, and was later reunited with her first teacher, Henry, in the 1990s. The two did a serie of speaking engagements together. A lifelong activist for racial equality, in 1999, Ruby established The Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote tolerance and to foster change through education.

Ruby was and still is a role model for both women and all African Americans. She paved the way for both African American and white alike to have the same educational opportunities.

Ruby Bridges