Today’s Dame of the Day is Loretta Lynch (May 21, 1959-). Lynch earned her law degree from Harvard law and worked her way up through the New York system to become the district’s top prosecutor. In 2015, she was sworn in as U.S. Attorney General, becoming the first black woman to hold the position.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Jean Bartik (December 27, 1924 – March 23, 2011). After studying math in college, Bartik got a job with the U.S. Army calculating ballistics trajectories by hand. As technology advanced, Bartik leveled up in a big way. She became one of six women programmers to develop for the ENIAC computer. Goodbye, hand calculations!
Today’s Dame of the Day is Ada Lovelace (December 10, 1815-November 27, 1852). While her mother disapproved of her interest in mathematics, Lovelace defied her wishes and continued to explore the subject. As a colleague and contemporary of Charles Babbage, Lovelace created the first algorithm to be used by a machine. She frequently checked Babbage’s work, making her the first debugger in the nascent digital world.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Atena Farghadani (January 29, 1987-). This artist and political activist always combined illustration with critique, but one of her cartoonist offended the Iranian government and landed her in jail for three months. After her release, she posted a video explaining the cruel treatment she received in the Iranian prison system. In January 2015, Farghadani was arrested again and sentenced to roughly 12 years in prison. While Amnesty International took up her case, the Iranian government continues to charge her with further infractions.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Tu Youyou (December 30, 1930-). During the Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh charged Chinese scientists with the mission of discovering a cure for malaria. At the time, this seemed like a daunting task: researchers had already tested over 200,000 compounds without success. In spite of these odds, Youyou drew on her extensive knowledge of ancient Chinese medicine and discovered a cure for malaria; she published her findings anonymously in 1977. Her work later earned her a Nobel Price in Physiology or Medicine, making her the first Chinese Nobel laureate in either physiology or medicine.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Miki Gorman (August 9, 1935 – September 19, 2015). Gorman took up long distance running in her 30s and debuted with a 100 mile indoor race. (!!!) Four years later, she won the Boston Marathon and set a new course record. Gorman is the only woman to win both the Boston and New York City marathon twice and is one of two women to ever win both marathons in the same year.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Hilary Knight (July 12, 1989-). As a kid growing up in Illinois, Knight spent plenty of time on the ice playing hockey. After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led the school’s women’s hockey team to a national championship, and scored the most career points of any lady Badger to date. Following graduation, Knight began playing professionally and represented the United States at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics; she won two silver medals.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Grace Lee Boggs (June 27, 1915 – October 5, 2015). After earning her Ph.D from Barnard College, Boggs opted against the exclusionary politics of professorship and took a job at the University of Chicago’s Philosophy Library. There, she met her collaborators C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya, joined the Worker’s Party, and refocused her energy into the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. After marrying her husband, James Boggs, the couple relocated to Detroit and continued to found youth programs, community-based projects, and grassroots organizations. Boggs died last month at the age of 100.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Sylvia Mendez (1936-). As a child in segregated California, Mendez’s parents tried to enroll her in a “whites-only” school and failed. Instead of accepting defeat, they sued the system and the case, Mendez v. Westminster, became a landmark benchmark for ending segregated education. In 2011, Mendez received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her efforts.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Svetlana Alexievich (May 31, 1948-). Following school, Alexievich worked at numerous Belarusian newspapers and, after college, became a correspondent at a literary magazine. Her projects interviewed survivors of World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the fall of the Soviet Union. In 2015, Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature.