Doodle-Worthy Women of November 2013

For November 2013, here’s Speaking Up’s list of incredible Doodle-Worthy women — all of whom could have been honored with a Doodle this past month, but were not:

Mary Sherman Morgan, born November 4, 1921, was a literal rocket scientist, specializing in chemistry and working on the cutting edge of the Space Race. While working for North American Aviation in the 1950s, she invited a new rocket propellant, Hydyne, that was used in the Jupiter C and Juno launch programs. At the time, she was the only woman out of 900 engineers in her division. Morgan’s invention was responsible for launching the first U.S. satellite into orbit in 1958.

Portrait of Mary Sherman Morgan, date unknown.

Portrait of Mary Sherman Morgan, date unknown.

Alice Coachman, born November 9, 1923, won the gold medal for the high jump in the 1948 Olympic Games, with a record-shattering jump. That record stood until 1956. Coachman, who is still going strong at 90 years old, was the first black woman to achieve a gold medal in the Olympics, and was the U.S. high jump champion from 1939 to 1948. Following her Olympic career, Coachman enjoyed endorsement deals (rare at that time for female athletes), and also continued her love of athletics as an educator and coach. She is the founder of a foundation that supports young athletes, the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation. Coachman is also an honoree of the National Women’s History Project, and is an inductee to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Alice Coachman returning to the United States after the 1948 Olympics (Library of Congress).

Alice Coachman returning to the United States after the 1948 Olympics (Library of Congress).

Astrid Lindgren, born November 14, 1907, is the Swedish author best known for creating Pippi Longstocking. She created this character as a bedtime story for her young daughter. The Longstocking series, along with others that are less familiar in the US, makes her one of the most translated authors in the world, with total sales reaching almost 150 million books. Lindgren is the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, was named Swede of the Year in her home country, and will soon be featured on Swedish banknotes. In addition to an asteroid named after her, a children’s and youth literature award has been established in her honor.

Mary Edwards Walker, born November 26, 1832, was a physician who served with the Union Army during the Civil War. Walker was a surgeon with an infantry unit and treated civilians and military personnel alike. She is the only woman who has ever received the Medal of Honor, following her service and four months of captivity in Richmond, Virginia. Walker has been honored with a U.S. Postal Service Stamp, and the SS Mary Walker, deployed in World War II, was named after her.

Mary Edwards Walker, circa 1860.

Mary Edwards Walker, circa 1860.

Shirley Chisholm, born November 30, 1924, was the first African American woman elected to Congress, the first African American candidate for the U.S. Presidency, and the first woman to run for that office as a Democratic candidate. She served in Congress for more than a decade, running for the Presidency early in her political career. During her Presidential campaign, Chisholm faced three assassination attempts. Throughout her career, Chisholm focused on issues of social justice, ranging from minimum wage requirements for domestic workers to education to inner-city opportunities. After retiring from political life in 1983, Chisholm worked as a scholar of politics and women’s studies. She is an inductee to the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Shirley Chisholm, photographed in 1972 by Thomas O'Halloran.

Shirley Chisholm, photographed in 1972 by Thomas O’Halloran.


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