Midpoint Series: Doodle-Worthy Women of June

This Speaking Up post is part of the 2012 Midpoint Series. See all of the posts in the series here.

Just like in April and May, I want to close out this month — and the 2012 Midpoint Series — by highlighting some of the Doodle-Worthy Women born in June. Since this has been such a special week here at Speaking Up, I’m going to super-size this month’s edition and look at six amazing, inspiring women who haven’t been recognized by Doodles – yet.

  • Josephine Baker, born June 3, 1906, an American-born French performer best known as a dancer, singer, and actress, but also politically active in the American Civil Rights Movement and the French Resistance of World War II. Baker was also the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture.

    Josephine Baker

    Baker dancing the Charleston in Paris, 1926 (photographed by Stanislaus Walery).

  • Dorothy L. Sayers, born June 13, 1893, prolific English author of the Lord Peter Wimsey crime novels, as well as a poet, essayist, and playwright. All told, Sayers was responsible for several dozen works of literature, and considered her innovative translation of Dante’s Inferno to be her greatest achievement.

    Dorothy Sayers

    Dorothy L. Sayers.

  • Ruth Graves Wakefield, born June 17, 1903, who fits right in with the other creators and innovators honored by Doodles: Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie! I think it’s safe to say that Wakefield changed our world forever when she first added chunks of Nestlé’s semisweet chocolate bar to the cookies she served at her inn, the Toll House. Later, she exchanged the recipe for a lifetime supply of Nestlé chocolate, and the company began to produce chocolate chips especially for use in cookies. And now I finally understand just why these treats are also known as Toll House cookies . . .

    Ruth Graves Wakefield, personally responsible for every ooey-gooey Toll House cookie you’ve ever tasted.

  • Octavia Butler, born June 22, 1947, an African-American science fiction and fantasy writer whose work explored complex themes related to social issues, including race and gender. Butler was a winner of the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the MacArthur Genius Grant, and has been inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

    Octavia Butler

    Octavia Butler.

  • Pearl S. Buck, born June 26, 1892, American writer of novels, biographies, and short stories, and winner of the Nobel Prize (for Literature, in 1938) and Pulitzer Prize (for her novel The Good Earth). Buck spent most of the first 44 years of her life in China, leaving for periods to attend college in the United States but later returning to teach literature at the University of Nanking.

    Pearl Buck

    Pearl Buck, photographed circa 1932, by Arnold Genthe.

  • Babe Didrikson Zaharias, born June 26, 1911, was an American athlete who had stunning success in a wide range of events; she is most well-known for her successes in golf, basketball, and track and field, but she also played baseball and softball, on top of diving, roller skating, and bowling. Zaharias toured with the LPGA and competed against men in the PGA, and she won both gold and silver medals in 1932 as a track and field Olympian. She accomplished all this at a time when women were actively discouraged from competing in sports or dominating in the public sphere. The Associated Press and ESPN have both placed her in the Top 10 most important athletes of the 20th century.

    Babe Didrikson

    Babe Didrikson, photographed in the early 1930s.


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