Discover more from Okay History
Let's Celebrate Some Women!
The Maundy Monday Newsletter - This Week in History March 7-13
March is Women's History Month, and we are not going to wait until the third week to take note. Okay?
In fact, we will highlight three women this week, along with the standard three historic highlights we usually do. This is how much I appreciate you guys (and ladies). /hugs
First up is Phyllis Mae Dailey, the first African American nurse to serve in World Warr II, who received her Navy commission on March 8, 1945. After graduating from the Lincoln School of Nursing and Teachers College at Columbia University, Dailey sought to become a nurse in the United States Air Force, who, of course, denied her entry.
First Lady Elanor Roosevelt was a strong advocate to end discrimination against African American nurses. Pressure applied to nursing corps in Navy subsets like the Marines and Coast Guard, where in 1944 (remember we were still fighting World War II), the Navy removed all barriers and swore in Dailey as an ensign. She left the military after the war ended.
Next, we have Dr. Antonia Novello, who became the first Hispanic and first woman to become Surgeon General of the United States on March 9, 1990. Born in Puerto Rico, she was diagnosed at eight with congenital megacolon, which doesn't sound good. It took her ten years to finally have corrective surgency because this is how we treat girls of color in our country.
Fortunately for us, she was inspired to become a doctor to serve others. After graduating and completing her residency in Michigan, Dr. Novello landed in Washington, DC, opening a pediatric nephrology practice. We got Cs in Latin, so we have no idea what this is, but we’re sure it was impressive.
Dr. Navello would move into various federal public health departments. George HW Bush tapped her for the Surgeon General, where, unsurprisingly, she focused on children's issues of underage drinking, tobacco use, and AIDS education.
Finally, we celebrate the life of Harriet Tubman, who died on March 10, 1913. Tubman was born enslaved on the Eastern Shore of Maryland around March 1822. She spent her adolescence caring for her enslaver's infant children, where her master whipped her if the baby woke up and cried.
Tubman would eventually escape, guided by the North Star to lead her. She would return to Maryland and develop a system of routes that would ultimately become the Underground Railroad.
Tubman was a leading abolitionist working with Frederick Douglass and John Brown. She served as a nurse during the Civil War and worked on women's suffrage later in life. She was a Founding Boss Lady.
Okay, let's highlight what else happened this week. Here's what we got:
The New York Stock Exchange was founded on March 8, 1817. Something called the Buttonwood Agreement went into effect in 1792 to organize security trading. The NYE branched off under new reforms, and now we simply refer to it as the economy.
The Monitor and Merrimack naval ships battled on Mach 9, 1862. History's first ironclad ship battle took place on the coast of Virginia. The Merrimack had sunk a few US ships days before meeting the Monitor. The battle ended in a stalemate, and the Confederacy couldn't break the North’s blockade of southern ports.
Christopher George Latore Wallace was murdered on March 9, 1997. Known as The Notorious BIG, Biggie Smalls, or simply Biggie, Wallace was an accomplished rapper from Brooklyn. He was gunned down while in LA six months after the mysterious death of rapper Tupac Shakur. Wallace is probably still alive because his murder has yet to be solved.
So uh, if you know of any relatives, it doesn't matter if they are real or made up, that live in any state that I may have forgotten about, please let me know.
I'd like to avoid upsetting Aunt Joan again. Okay? Thanks!
Have a great week!