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17 amazing women who probably aren't in history books, but should be.

Some women won't be found in history books. Don't let them be forgotten.

17 amazing women who probably aren't in history books, but should be.
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PBS Victoria

In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress in U.S. history. Four years later, she ran for president.

It's a bit embarrassing, but I'll admit that her name didn't immediately ring a bell to me. Growing up, even as a self-described history buff, I don't recall ever seeing Chisholm's name in a textbook. That's a problem.

But that was before I came across Rori, a cartoonist and freelance illustrator, and her "100 Days, 100 Women" project that was inspired by Chisholm's forgotten place in history.


‌Shirley Chisholm. All illustrations courtesy of Rori.‌

"She's not well known," Rori writes in an email, talking about Chisholm. "That's a shame, but really common."

"100 Days, 100 Women" is dedicated to shining a light on powerful women from history who don't get the recognition they deserve — through comics.

"People do great things and history forgets them," writes Rori. "Maybe their story is seen as a sidenote, or doesn't fit smoothly into the narrative."

She's right too. For the longest time, recorded history revolved around men — or at least that's the way it's been portrayed in books that were, almost certainly by no coincidence, written by men. Quietly, though, women have been leaving their mark on the world, and it's time they got their due.

That's where Rori comes in.

‌Sybil Ludington and Tammy Duckworth‌‌Lady Triệu and Anita Hill‌

The project is Rori's way of giving back to young girls who are searching for their own role models.

Growing up, Rori was drawn to the stories that make up our forgotten history. Sure, there have been powerful female role models to look up to, but Rori felt as though there simply weren't enough who were visible and well-known. With this spark of curiosity and purpose, she set off on learning about some of the women time forgot.

"The more I found figures that truly resonated with me, the more confident and inspired I felt!" she wrote.

‌Juana Galán and Nellie Bly‌

The parameters were simple: highlight women in history, the lesser known the better. After starting with around 50 names, the list quickly ballooned to over 150. With so many inspirational women to highlight, some of the more well-known figures (for example, Joan of Arc) wound up on the cutting room floor.

‌Wilma Mankiller and Ida B. Wells‌

Each comic is accompanied by a brief explanation of what historical contribution that woman made along with a link to some further reading. It's a bite-size history lesson perfect for parents, teachers, and students alike.

The list is a work in progress. The only names truly set are the ones that have been drawn already.

So far, Rori's put the finishing touches on around 35 portraits, including civil rights activists (such as Dolores Huerta and Ida B. Wells), the first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova), pioneers in arts and music (Artemisia Gentileschi and Wendy Carlos), and politicians (former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto).

‌Josephine Baker and Lucy Gonzalez Parsons‌‌Benazir Bhutto and Hypatia‌

To keep up with Rori's ongoing list of 100 Days, 100 Women, you can follow her on social media. She posts updates to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and she gives special sneak peeks through her Patreon profile.

‌Kumander Guerrero and "Stagecoach" Mary Fields‌‌Rumiko Takahashi and Queen Liliʻuokalani‌

With any hope, Rori's project will inspire a renewed interest in women's history, opening up an entire new universe of role models for young minds.

In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress in U.S. history. Four years later, she ran for president.

It's a bit embarrassing, but I'll admit that her name didn't immediately ring a bell to me. Growing up, even as a self-described history buff, I don't recall ever seeing Chisholm's name in a textbook. That's a problem.

But that was before I came across Rori, a cartoonist and freelance illustrator, and her "100 Days, 100 Women" project that was inspired by Chisholm's forgotten place in history.

‌Shirley Chisholm. All illustrations courtesy of Rori.‌

"She's not well known," Rori writes in an email, talking about Chisholm. "That's a shame, but really common."

"100 Days, 100 Women" is dedicated to shining a light on powerful women from history who don't get the recognition they deserve — through comics.

"People do great things and history forgets them," writes Rori. "Maybe their story is seen as a sidenote, or doesn't fit smoothly into the narrative."

She's right too. For the longest time, recorded history revolved around men — or at least that's the way it's been portrayed in books that were, almost certainly by no coincidence, written by men. Quietly, though, women have been leaving their mark on the world, and it's time they got their due.

That's where Rori comes in.

‌Sybil Ludington and Tammy Duckworth‌‌Lady Triệu and Anita Hill‌

The project is Rori's way of giving back to young girls who are searching for their own role models.

Growing up, Rori was drawn to the stories that make up our forgotten history. Sure, there have been powerful female role models to look up to, but Rori felt as though there simply weren't enough who were visible and well-known. With this spark of curiosity and purpose, she set off on learning about some of the women time forgot.

"The more I found figures that truly resonated with me, the more confident and inspired I felt!" she wrote.

‌Juana Galán and Nellie Bly‌

The parameters were simple: highlight women in history, the lesser known the better. After starting with around 50 names, the list quickly ballooned to over 150. With so many inspirational women to highlight, some of the more well-known figures (for example, Joan of Arc) wound up on the cutting room floor.

‌Wilma Mankiller and Ida B. Wells‌

Each comic is accompanied by a brief explanation of what historical contribution that woman made along with a link to some further reading. It's a bite-size history lesson perfect for parents, teachers, and students alike.

The list is a work in progress. The only names truly set are the ones that have been drawn already.

So far, Rori's put the finishing touches on around 35 portraits, including civil rights activists (such as Dolores Huerta and Ida B. Wells), the first woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova), pioneers in arts and music (Artemisia Gentileschi and Wendy Carlos), and politicians (former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto).

‌Josephine Baker and Lucy Gonzalez Parsons‌‌Benazir Bhutto and Hypatia‌

To keep up with Rori's ongoing list of 100 Days, 100 Women, you can follow her on social media. She posts updates to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, and she gives special sneak peeks through her Patreon profile.

‌Kumander Guerrero and "Stagecoach" Mary Fields‌‌Rumiko Takahashi and Queen Liliʻuokalani‌

With any hope, Rori's project will inspire a renewed interest in women's history, opening up an entire new universe of role models for young minds.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less