I’m happy to say that the addition of this post means that the Doodle-Worthy Women series has been part of Speaking Up for a full year. Without any further ado, here are five incredible creators, innovators, and history makers who would have been great additions to the Doodles collection:
— Leslie Marmon Silko, born March 5, 1948, is a writer of short fiction, poetry, and novels who has been awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant, a National Endowment for the Humanities Discovery Grant, and the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award. Many of her works reflect her cultural heritage as a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe of New Mexico and the threats to their storytelling and oral traditions.
— Yayoi Kusama, born March 22, 1929, is a Japanese artist whose works range from paintings all the way to large installations and performances, using modern materials, colors, and patterns. She rose to fame in New York’s avant-garde community in the 1950s and 1960s, before returning to Japan. Her work influenced the fields of pop and feminist art, and she provided inspiration to such artists as Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, and fashion designer Marc Jacobs. Kusama is the winner of the Praemium Imperiale arts prize among many other awards.
— Bette Nesmith Graham, born March 23, 1924, was the inventor of Liquid Paper (and the mother of Monkee Michael Nesmith!). She was a painter as well as an executive secretary at a bank when she realized that her typing work could be easily corrected if she used the painter’s trick of “painting over” any mistakes. Nesmith Graham started with a simple mixture of tempera paint and water, but improved that over the years to the quick-drying, thick version that we know today. She founded the Liquid Paper company and eventually sold it, in 1979, for almost 50 million dollars.
— Dorothy Height, born March 24, 1912, was an educator and a key figure in the African American civil rights movement. When she was working as a social worker in New York City in the 1930s, Height joined the National Council of Negro Women; she became president of that association in 1957 and served in that role until 1997. Because of her expertise, she counseled American Presidents, Secretaries of State, and private foundations on matters relating to civil rights. Height has been honored with both a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Congressional Gold Medal (the two highest honors that can be given to a civilian), is an inductee to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and was honored with flags flown at half mast upon her death in 2010.
— Patty Smith Hill, born March 27, 1868, is famous as the co-writer of the melody to Happy Birthday To You, with her sister Mildred Hill (born June 27, 1859). They wrote the song, originally Good Morning to All, for their students at the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten, where Patty was principal and Mildred was a teacher. Patty was a leader in the progressive education and early childhood education movements in the United States, and co-founded both the International Kindergarten Union and what is now the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Hill was deeply committed to the idea that all children deserve a high-quality, research-based foundation in kindergarten, and dedicated her life to developing, then teaching, pedagogical techniques that enriched the lives of children.