Inspirational women in history
Norma Jeane (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962)
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson but baptized Norma Jeane Baker, she was an American actress, singer, and model… While working as a model, she was discovered by a 20th Century Fox executive who offered her a six-month contract. The executive told Norma Jeane that she reminded him of another actress with the name “Marilyn.” Therefore, Norma Jeane changed her name to Marilyn and she took her grandmother’s name of Monroe as her surname in 1947. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. -Wikipedia
Rose Will Monroe
“Rosie the Riveter” is a cultural icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in war factories during World War II… These women took new jobs and sometimes the places of the male workers who were in the military. The character is now considered a feminist icon in the US, and a herald of women’s economic power to come. -Wikipedia
Alice Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977)
Alice Paul led a successful campaign for women’s suffrage (the right to vote) that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. -Wikipedia
Harriet Tubman (1820 – March 10, 1913)
Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she made thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women’s suffrage. -Wikipedia
Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964)
Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Carson’s work had a powerful impact on the environmental movement. Silent Spring, (her book), in particular, was a rallying point for the fledgling social movement in the 1960s. According to environmental engineer and Carson scholar H. Patricia Hynes, “Silent Spring altered the balance of power in the world. No one since would be able to sell pollution as the necessary underside of progress so easily or uncritically.” -www.rachelcarson.org
Marion Stoddart (b. 1928)
During the 1960s, the Nashua River made the top 10 list of most polluted rivers in the U.S. Then Marion Stoddart got involved, building a citizen coalition that changed laws, attitudes, and restored the river. In the process, Marion won the United Nations Global 500 Award, was profiled in National Geographic, and had a widely-read children’s book written about her. -www.nwhp.org
Brigid of Kildare
As with many ancient saints, the biography of Brigid of Kildare has been complicated by the passage of time. Much change has occurred within the corpus of information which now exists. Often the lines between oral tradition, written tradition and new revelation have become hard to distinguish.
According to tradition, Brigid was born at Faughart near Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. Because of the legendary quality of the earliest accounts of her life, there is much debate among many scholars and even faithful Christians as to the authenticity of her biographies. According to her biographers, her parents were Dubhthach, a pagan chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a Christian Pict who had been baptized by Saint Patrick. Some accounts of her life suggested that Brigid’s mother was in fact from Lusitania, kidnapped by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland to work as a slave in much the same way as Patrick. Brigid was given the same name as one of the most powerful goddesses of the pagan religion which her father Dubhthach practiced; Brigid was the goddess of fire, whose manifestations were song, craftsmanship, and poetry, which the Irish considered the flame of knowledge. -Wikipedia
Lucy Stone (August 13, 1818 – October 19, 1893)
Lucy Stone was a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting rights for women. In 1839, Stone was the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She spoke out for women’s rights and against slavery at a time when women were discouraged and prevented from public speaking. Stone was the first recorded American woman to revert to her birth name after marriage. -Wikipedia
Abby Kelley Foster (January 15, 1811 – January 14, 1887)
Abby Kelley Foster was an American abolitionist and radical socialreformer active from the 1830s to 1870s. She became a fundraiser, lecturer and committee organizer for the influential American Anti-Slavery Society, where she worked closely with William Lloyd Garrison and other radicals. She married fellow abolitionist and lecturer Stephen Symonds Foster, and they both worked for equal rights for women. -Wikipedia
The Greek goddess Athena is usually portrayed as one of the most benevolent goddesses… strong, fair, and merciful. Athena is known as one of the three virgin goddesses, referred to as virgin because they were able to remain independent, unswayed by the spells of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and the consequent pull of marriage and motherhood. Romance and marriage did not feature in Athena’s mythology. In Greek mythology, Athena was, in essence, the prototype of the contemporary “career woman. -Athena
Hecate is the Greek goddess of the three paths, guardian of the household, protector of everything newly born, and the goddess of witchcraft. Once a widely revered and influential goddess, the reputation of Hecate has been tarnished over the centuries.
The Greek goddess Hecate reminds us of the importance of change, helping us to release the past, especially those things that are hindering our growth, and to accept change and transitions. She sometimes asks us to let go of what is familiar, safe, and secure and to travel to the scary places of the soul. New beginnings, whether spiritual or mundane, aren’t always easy. But Hecate is there to support and show you the way. -Hecate
As the quest to seek out significant female names continued, a very dear friend introduced me to a book entitled The Unmistakable Touch of Grace. The very same weekend that I began reading this book, I was in Portland, Maine and stumbled upon a new restaurant named “Grace.” The restaurant was located in a church that was saved from demolition. It became obvious that “Grace” was to be the next name chosen, as it was very fitting to my life at this time. Consider following my lead and read the book (by Cheryl Richardson) or, if you should find yourself in Portland, Maine, experience something amazing by visiting one of their newest restaurants.
Defined: The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor, disposition to benefit or serve another. -Grace
from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This is a profound story of a boy’s journey in search of a treasure, which was revealed to him in a dream.
A spiritual name in both Christianity and Islam.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu but commonly known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), she was an Albanian-born Indian Roman Catholic nun. “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood. A second miracle credited to Mother Teresa is required before she can be recognized as a saint by the Catholic church. Mother Teresa was fluent in five languages: Bengali, the local language of the people of Kolkata, Albanian, Serbo-Croatian, English, and Hindi. See more here.