December rounded out 2013 with two incredible U.S. Google Doodles honoring female creators and innovators. Today, I’ll share with you our final four 2013 Doodle-Worthy women, all born in the month of December:
— Jeanne Manford, born December 4, 1920, was an activist and co-founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Manford’s son, also an activist, was publicly beaten in 1972, and Manford joined him in that year’s pride parade in New York City following a series of media appearances. Marching with a flag reading, “Parents of Gays Unite in Support for Our Children,” Manford established the relationships and ideas that led to the founding of PFLAG. For her work, Manford was posthumously honored with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, just after her death on January 8, 2013.
— Dorothy Kamenshek, born December 21, 1925, was the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player whose experiences inspired the film A League of Their Own. “Dottie” played with the league for 10 seasons and was selected for all of their All Star teams, was a two-time league batting champion, and led the league in hits and total bases. Following her baseball career, Kamenshek became a physical and occupational therapist, eventually leading Los Angeles County’s disabled children’s therapy services as chief. Kamenshek is an honoree of the Baseball Hall of Fame and was a Sports Illustrated Top 100 Greatest Female Athletes of the 20th Century. In an interview in the 1990s, Kamenshek said that the opportunity to play in a women’s baseball league “gave a lot of us the courage to go on to professional careers, at a time when women didn’t do things like that.”
— Florence Griffith Joyner, born December 21, 1959, was a track and field superstar whose world records in running have stood unchallenged since 1988, and she is known as the “World’s Fastest Woman.” During her career, she won 3 gold and 2 silver medals in Olympics competition, setting records in the 200 meter during competition and for the 100 meter during Olympic Trials. She was known as much for bringing style and personality into competitions as for her results. After retiring from her running career, Joyner served as chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and began a foundation for children. She was also an inductee to the Track and Field Hall of Fame. Joyner died suddenly at the age of 38 from a seizure condition.
— Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah, born December 25, 1921, was a Pakistani author, editor, poet, publisher, and feminist. She’s known for her post-Partition political commentary (including a regular column that represented a great leap forward for women’s voices in Pakistani publishing) and for founding South Asia’s first glossy, monthly, socially-oriented magazine. Hamidullah was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. Hamidullah also co-founded the Pakistani Working Women’s Association and the Karachi Business and Professional Women’s Club.