Julia Child, Ayanna Pressley and Gwen Ifill among influential women from Massachusetts – News – Salem Gazette

Relating to American historical past, Massachusetts actually had an early foot within the door. The Pilgrims landed in Plymouth in 1620; Americas witchcraft trials began in Salem in 1692; the “shot heard around the world” was fired in Lexington in 1775; and it’s the place, like a sizzling tea kettle (Boston Tea Celebration, 1773) tensions between the British and the American colonists boiled over into the American Revolution.

historical past via the lens of ladies who’ve made a mark, some huge names shortly come to thoughts: Abigail Adams, Louisa Could Alcott, Anne Sullivan and, extra lately, Julia Youngster, Barbara Walters and Elizabeth Warren. Even girls like Hillary Clinton and Amelia Earhart have connections to Massachusetts.

This yr marks a big historic milestone – the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Modification, which gave girls the authorized proper to vote. In recognition of that, the USA TODAY Community has named 10 American girls from all 50 states and the District of Columbia who’ve made important contributions to their respective states and nation, as Girls of the Century.

We gathered a panel of ladies from all through the state – all extraordinarily educated and completed in their very own proper – who spent weeks studying concerning the many ladies in Massachusetts’ lengthy historical past who’ve fought for equality, pushed the boundaries of science, educated the lots and contributed in numerous different methods in so many fields.

The perfect problem to have when tasked with selecting 10 girls (solely 10!) to signify the Girls of the Century for Massachusetts was having means too many ladies from which to decide on.

The ladies thought-about have been anticipated to have a monitor report exhibiting excellent achievement within the areas of arts and literature; enterprise; civil rights; schooling; leisure; legislation; media; nonprofits and philanthropy; politics, science and drugs; and sports activities. The panel tried to signify as lots of these fields as doable. The ladies additionally needed to have lived between 1920 and 2020, in order that eradicated many ladies from the state’s early historical past.

Along with that standards, a number of different components weighed into the panel’s many discussions. As an illustration, ought to the ladies thought-about have been the primary at one thing? Did they must be born right here? In the event that they have been, however left the state and made their marks in different states, does that rely? In the event that they went to school right here however left, is that sufficient of a declare? Ought to they be a widely known particular person? Ought to their accomplishments have reached past the state’s borders?

Ultimately, the panel determined a listing representing Massachusetts wanted to be as inclusive and numerous as doable, giving voice to teams that traditionally could not have had one, shining a lightweight on girls who is probably not a family title however whose accomplishments recommend they need to be.

Undoubtedly, there are girls who should be on this record who will not be. A unique panel could have chosen a unique record of 10 girls. There could also be a scientist or an artist or an educator or a politician you’ll have swapped out for the one on this record. They’re all nice, and we encourage you to inform us and our readers all about them.

Are you registered to vote? Take step one to creating positive your vote counts.

And in case you’re realizing you don’t know a number of girls on this record or, if pressed, you couldn’t provide you with a listing of 10 girls from the previous 100 years who’ve damaged social expectations and kicked some severe butt, then we encourage you to go searching. This state has many assets to coach you about girls’s accomplishments.

Take a self-guided tour on one or all the routes alongside the Boston Girls’s Heritage Path and study greater than 200 girls. Head right down to New Bedford and take a free 60-minute guided tour of the Lighting the Method Strolling Path to study concerning the many ladies who’ve made a distinction within the SouthCoast area. Study extra concerning the girls in Massachusetts who contributed to the suffrage motion on the Suffrage100MA web site, and take a look at the calendar to seek out occasions all year long commemorating girls.

To get you began, study these 10 history-making, inspirational girls who’ve all made Massachusetts proud.


Who’s your Lady of the Century? Did we miss a girl you suppose needs to be on our record? We’d like to listen to from you.


Jessie “Little Doe” Baird

Algonquian linguist

(1963- )

Jessie “Little Doe” Baird is a linguist who helped revive the Algonquian language of her ancestors that had not been spoken for greater than 150 years.

Baird – the co-founder and director of the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Undertaking in Mashpee, Massachusetts, since 1993 and a citizen of the Mashpee Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation – began to create a dictionary in 1996 chronicling the tribe’s ancestral language as a part of a analysis fellowship with MIT. The dictionary holds greater than 11,000 phrases.

That work changed into an intertribal effort between the Mashpee, Herring Pond, Aquinnah and Assonet Wampanoag communities to deliver the language again to life.

Though nobody on the earth spoke the language earlier than Baird’s work for greater than a century, there have been many historic paperwork written in Wampanoag, together with the primary Bible ever printed within the Western Hemisphere. Baird poured over any writing she might get her palms on to not solely rebuild the language however to develop a curriculum with which to show it to present and future generations. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe opened an “immersion nest” preschool in its neighborhood, the place youngsters are taught solely in Wampanoag by these fluent within the language who discovered from Baird.

Baird’s work has revived a language that might have in any other case been misplaced to time. You may hearken to a few of it right here.


Julia Youngster

Culinary icon

(1912-2004 )

Julia Youngster – a cooking trainer, creator and TV persona – wasn’t born in Massachusetts and didn’t transfer right here till she was nearly 50, however as anybody who grew up or was managing a family’s meals within the 1960s can inform you, she has as a lot a declare on the state as anybody else who spent greater than a decade educating individuals round Boston and the nation that cooking is simpler than you suppose.

Youngster, who PBS considers one among their icons and a cooking pioneer, graduated from Smith School in Northampton with a historical past diploma in 1934, with nary an omelet or beef bourguignon in sight. She left the state, hoping to be a author in New York and touring the world for work with the Workplace of Strategic Providers. She married her husband, Paul, and lived in Europe for six years.

It was in France that Youngster developed her cooking chops. She studied at Le Cordon Bleu, graduating in 1951. A yr later, she met and collaborated with two French girls who have been engaged on a cookbook educating People the way to make French meals. “Mastering the Artwork of French Cooking” wouldn’t be completed and launched till 1961 however it was an enormous hit and finally led to Youngster’s PBS present, “The French Chef,” produced at Boston’s WGBH.

The present was performed live-to-videotape, and Youngster’s occasional accidents – to not point out her distinctive voice and accent – quickly turned her trademark as relatable “teachable moments,” for which she by no means apologized, simply stored going. Youngster inspired house cooks to make use of contemporary, actual elements earlier than natural and farm-to-table have been en vogue.

Youngster’s Cambridge kitchen is now on show on the Nationwide Museum of American Historical past in Washington, D.C. She is within the Nationwide Girls’s Corridor of Fame.


Eunice Kennedy Shriver



Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a member of the Kennedy household – lengthy thought-about to be Massachusetts political royalty – was a dignified humanitarian and a tireless advocate, particularly for these with bodily, psychological and developmental disabilities, who based the Particular Olympics in 1968.

“She actually modified individuals’s perceptions of a whole phase of society,” Larry Thayer, govt director of Cape Talents, a Cape Cod company serving the incapacity neighborhood, instructed the Cape Cod Occasions as he left Shriver’s wake in 2009.

Shriver was the fifth of 9 youngsters of Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and was President John F. Kennedy’s sister. Their sister, Rosemary, was born with an mental incapacity that was worsened by a botched lobotomy her father made her get when she was 23 years outdated. For a lot of Rosemary’s life, she was mainly hidden away at an establishment. After their father’s stroke, Shriver reintroduced her sister to society and commenced to stress her brother to incorporate mental disabilities in his coverage platforms.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who in her early years was a social employee with a level in sociology from Stanford College, was decided to see individuals with mental disabilities be given extra alternative. If that they had the identical alternatives as the remainder of society, she believed, they may obtain greater than anybody believed doable. To that finish, she began a summer time day camp in her yard in 1962 for younger individuals with mental disabilities. There, they participated in sports activities and different bodily actions. This ultimately grew into the primary Worldwide Particular Olympics Video games in Chicago in 1968.

Shriver additionally led the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Basis, the place she completed creating President Kennedy’s Panel on Psychological Retardation in 1961, growing the Nationwide Institute for Youngster Well being and Human Improvement in 1962, establishing a community of university-affiliated services and mental disabilities analysis facilities at main analysis universities throughout the US in 1967, and creating main facilities for the examine of medical ethics at Harvard and Georgetown universities in 1971.

Shriver was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. She is within the Nationwide Girls’s Corridor of Fame and Sports activities Illustrated gave her the primary Sportsman of the 12 months Legacy Award in 2008.


Ayanna Pressley

First African American girl elected as U.S. Consultant for Massachusetts

(1974- )

Ayanna Pressley is “an advocate, a policy-maker, an activist, and a survivor,” in response to her web site. She was the primary African American girl elected in 2010 as an at-large member of the Boston Metropolis Council and the primary African American girl elected in 2019 to signify the state because the U.S. consultant for Massachusetts’s seventh congressional district.

Pressley, a Democrat who campaigned as a staunch progressive, can be a member of a gaggle of first-term Democratic congresswomen informally referred to as “The Squad,” whose members – Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., type a unified entrance to push for change.

Pressley grew up in Chicago however moved to Boston in 1992 to attend Boston College. She withdrew to assist help her single mom however stayed within the Bay State, working as a senior aide to Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II, volunteering for Sen. John Kerry’s reelection marketing campaign and dealing for Kerry for 13 years in quite a lot of roles, together with constituency director and political director.

In her first yr as a metropolis councilor, Pressley shaped the Committee on Wholesome Girls, Households, and Communities, which addressed points similar to home violence, baby abuse and human trafficking. To fight inequalities in her neighborhood, she labored with residents, advocates and different elected officers. Pressley earned the congressional seat after defeating 10-term Democratic incumbent Mike Capuano within the main election and operating unopposed within the basic election.

In November, 2019, Pressley endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president, was named one among her three nationwide co-chairs and have become a distinguished surrogate on the marketing campaign circuit till Warren withdrew from the race after disappointing Tremendous Tuesday ends in March 2020.

In January 2020, Pressley revealed that she had been recognized with alopecia areata, ensuing within the lack of all of her hair, which was notable as a result of her coiffure, Senegalese twists, had develop into a part of her political model. This began a nationwide dialogue about identification and overcoming struggles.

In 2016, Pressley was named one among The New York Occasions’ 14 Younger Democrats to Watch. In 2014, the Larger Boston Chamber of Commerce named her one among their Ten Excellent Younger Leaders, and the Sufferer Rights Legislation Middle offered her with their Management Award. In 2015, she earned the EMILY’s Checklist Rising Star Award and was named one among Boston Journal’s 50 Most Highly effective Folks. She can be an Aspen-Rodel Fellow in Public Management, Class of 2012.


Diane Paulus

Critically acclaimed theater and opera director

(1966- )

Diane Paulus is a critically acclaimed and award-winning director of theater and opera, referred to as a number one power within the American theater.

Though she grew up in New York Metropolis, her connections to Massachusetts began when she obtained a level in social research from Harvard College and continued when she turned the inventive director of Harvard’s American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) in 2008.

Paulus has directed three Tony-winning Broadway musicals: “Hair” (2009), “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” (2012) and “Pippin” (2013), for which she additionally earned a Tony as director. She earned an M.F.A. in directing from Columbia College’s Faculty of the Arts.

Paulus, who studied piano and danced ballet when she was younger, developed a love of the humanities via her mother and father – her father liked theater and her mother, opera. “My father was a producer of fantastic arts programming for WCBS in New York, however he started as a director. In reality, he met my mom, who was Japanese, following World Struggle II, when he was in command of the occupation leisure corps,” she instructed The Star in 2011.

Many within the theater world, particularly round Boston, will know Paulus from her revival manufacturing of “The Donkey Present,” carried out since 2009 on the A.R.T.’s OBERON theater in Cambridge. The present is a enjoyable, interactive model of “A Midsummer Night time’s Dream,” set in a disco. In 2015, Paulus directed the brand new musical “Waitress,” which was notable after it moved to Broadway and have become the primary Broadway musical with an all-female artistic group.

A professor of the Follow of Theater in Harvard’s English Division, in 2014 Paulus was acknowledged as each a “Trailblazing Girls in Leisure for 2014” by Selection and one 50 Thought Leaders by Boston’s Journal. She was additionally chosen for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Journal’s annual record of the 100 most influential individuals on the earth.


Gwen Ifill

Journalist, newscaster and creator


Gwen Ifill, the primary African American and first girl to reasonable a serious tv news-analysis present, was a journalist, newscaster and creator. She was referred to as the moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior political correspondent for “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” Ifill turned co-anchor of the “PBS NewsHour” in 2013 till her demise in 2016, a part of the primary all-female group to anchor a nationwide nightly information program.

Ifill was a New York Metropolis native, however resulting from her father’s work, the household typically moved, ultimately settling in Springfield, Massachusetts. Ifill graduated from Springfield’s Classical Excessive Faculty after which from Simmons School in Boston with a level in communications. The school honored Ifill in 2018 by unveiling the Gwen Ifill School of Media, Arts, and Humanities. This system is among the many first within the nation to be named after a Black journalist. Ifill’s papers from 1970-2016 are additionally stored at Simmons School.

After commencement, Ifill labored as a reporter for 3 years on the Boston Herald, then referred to as the Boston Herald-American. She went on to work for the Baltimore Night Solar, The Washington Publish, The New York Occasions and NBC Information. She was the best-selling creator of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race within the Age of Obama.” She moderated two vice presidential debates – in 2004 between Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat John Edwards and in 2008 between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin.

In 2015, Ifill was awarded with the Nationwide Press Membership’s highest honor, the Fourth Property Award. She was posthumously awarded the John Chancellor Award from the Columbia College Faculty of Journalism and the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence from Arizona State College. She was honored for her work as a journalist by the Radio and Tv Information Administrators Affiliation, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Middle, The Nationwide Affiliation of Black Journalists, Ohio College, Boston’s Ford Corridor Discussion board, and he or she was included in Ebony Journal’s record of 150 Most Influential African People. The united statesPostal Service honored Ifill in 2020 on the 43rd stamp in its Black Heritage Without end Stamp collection.

Ifill died in 2016 at age 61 after being recognized with most cancers.


Margaret H. Marshall

First feminine chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Courtroom

(1944- )

Margaret Marshall was the primary feminine chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Courtroom, writing the pioneering determination permitting same-sex marriage in Massachusetts – the primary state to take action in 2004.

Marshall was chief justice from 1999 to 2010, having been appointed by Republican Gov. Paul Cellucci. Earlier than that, she was appointed an affiliate justice of the state’s Supreme Judicial Courtroom in 1996 by Republican Gov. William Weld. She was the second girl to serve at that stage of court docket and the primary to be a chief justice within the court docket’s 300-year historical past.

Marshall was born and lived in South Africa, the place she was an anti-apartheid activist in her early years, till coming to Massachusetts in 1968 by means of Harvard College. She graduated from Harvard with a grasp’s diploma in schooling and later earned a J.D. diploma from Yale College.

From 1976 to 1989, she was an affiliate and a associate in personal follow on the Boston legislation agency of Csaplar & Bok. From 1989 to 1992, she was a associate within the Boston legislation agency of Choate, Corridor & Stewart, to which she returned in 2012 after retiring from the court docket. From 1992-1996, she was basic counsel to Harvard College. After her retirement till 2016, Marshall additionally served because the senior fellow of the Yale Company, the primary girl to carry the place.

In the middle of her time period on the court docket, Marshall wrote greater than 200 opinions. She wrote the choice in Goodridge v. Division of Public Well being that declared that the Massachusetts Structure doesn’t allow the state to disclaim residents the precise to same-sex marriage.

“I all the time attempt to say, ‘Do not thank me, thank the Structure,’” Marshall instructed Jim Braude on Larger Boston in 2019, explaining her response to those that categorical appreciation for her function within the case.


Kip Tiernan

Social activist


Kip Tiernan, an promoting and public relations writer-turned social activist, was on the middle of the struggle for financial and social justice for almost three a long time, serving to discovered many locations in and round Boston, however most notably Rosie’s Place, Boston’s first shelter for homeless girls.

She additionally based the Boston Meals Financial institution and co-founded the Boston Girls’s Fund, Well being Look after the Homeless, Group Works and Poor Folks’s United Fund. She established the Moral Coverage Institute, a multi-disciplinary neighborhood of individuals engaged in political evaluation, economics and neighborhood.

Tiernan was born in West Haven, Connecticut, however misplaced each of her mother and father by the point she was 11 and was raised by her grandmother, who set Tiernan’s basis of giving again by feeding soup to the needy in the course of the Nice Despair. She got here to Boston in her early 20s, the place she pursued a profession in and excelled at being an promoting author.

In 1974, Tiernan based Rosie’s Place in response to the rising numbers of ladies with out companies within the space. The necessity to feed shelter residents led her to gather and distribute meals out of her station wagon, ultimately evolving and rising into The Larger Boston Meals Financial institution at present.

Rallying staff at a 2008 Larger Boston Meals Financial institution occasion, Tiernan mentioned, “As a self-styled nonprofit junkie, I steadily ask myself if I’m a do-gooder, or a good-doer. After which I have a look at you, sloughing alongside via these grapes of wrath, and I can say with you and to you, we aren’t do-gooders. We’re good doers. And what we do, we do nicely. We’ve discovered that compassion just isn’t a smiley face, however a self-discipline that we are going to carry with us all the times of our lives.”

In 2011, Tiernan died of most cancers at house in Boston at age 85, leaving her associate of 15 years, Donna Pomponio.

The Kip Tiernan Memorial was devoted in 2018 on Dartmouth Avenue between Boylston and Newbury streets.


Melnea Cass

Civic chief and champion of civil rights


Melnea Cass’s motto in life was: “If we can’t do nice issues, we are able to do small issues in an effective way.”

Cass – a nationally acclaimed civic chief and champion of civil rights – could have began out with modest means, her father a janitor and mom a home employee, however she would come to be referred to as “The First Woman of Roxbury,” “Roxbury’s Elder Stateswoman,” and even “Dr. Cass,” for all of her honorary levels. She was a pillar of Boston’s African-American neighborhood for half a century and obtained honors all through her life similar to “Massachusetts Mom of the 12 months” and “Grand Bostonian.”

Melnea Jones was born in Richmond, Virginia, however her household moved to Boston’s South Finish when she was 5 so she might get a greater schooling. She attended college in Massachusetts till returning to Virginia to graduate as valedictorian of a Catholic college for African and Native American women. She returned to Boston and was a home employee in and across the metropolis for a number of a long time. She married Marshall Cass in 1917 and was inspired by her mother-in-law to take part in political and social actions.

Deeply concerned with the neighborhood, Cass was an everyday volunteer for neighborhood efforts in Boston’s South Finish and Roxbury neighborhoods, together with being a founding father of the Boston native of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Automobile Porters, a nationwide group that developed and sustained African American communities everywhere in the nation. One in every of her major causes was combating to desegregate Boston Public Faculties, utilizing her positions as a board member and president of the Boston chapter of the Nationwide Affiliation for the Development of Coloured Folks (NAACP). For 17 years, she was the president of the Girls’s Service Membership, which developed packages offering coaching, counseling and housing for younger girls in search of home employment.

As a younger girl, Cass assisted girls with voter registration after the passage of the 19th Modification. She was the one feminine constitution member of the board of Motion for Boston Group Improvement; a constitution member of Freedom Home – a nonprofit, community-based group devoted to human rights and advocacy for African American rights in Boston, and a member of the Board of Overseers of Public Welfare for Boston.

The mayor of Boston proclaimed Could 22, 1966 as “Melnea Cass Day,” in honor of her 70th birthday and years of volunteerism. Greater than 2,000 individuals joined the celebration. Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury bears her title, as does the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation’s Melnea A. Cass Swimming Pool and Indoor Recreation Enviornment.

Cass died in 1978. Her papers are held at Northeastern College. She is commemorated on the Boston Girls’s Heritage Path.


Sheila Widnall

Aeronautical engineer, first girl to guide the Air Pressure

(1938- )

Sheila Widnall is a fluid dynamicist, an aerospace researcher and professor at her alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise. When she took the place of U.S. secretary of the Air Pressure in 1993, she turned the primary girl to guide a department of the U.S. army. She served in that place till 1997.

An aeronautical engineer by coaching, Widnall is internationally identified for her work in fluid dynamics, particularly within the areas of plane turbulence and spiraling airflows. The Widnall instability is called for her work on how unstable waves develop in turbulent fluid flows.

Widnall, who was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, earned bachelor’s, grasp’s and doctorate levels from MIT within the 1960s. She was one among 20 girls in her freshman class of 1,000 college students. She began educating there after graduating in 1964, incomes full professor standing in 1974. She was the primary girl school chair from 1979 to 1981. She returned to the varsity as a professor in aeronautics and astronautics after retiring from the Air Pressure in 1997 and nonetheless teaches there.

Widnall was nominated by President Invoice Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to move the Air Pressure, the place she oversaw the price range, acquisition of weapon programs, administration, and analysis and improvement at a time when the companies have been enduring sharply lowered budgets. She streamlined acquisition processes and explored privatization alternate options for nearly each perform, from computer systems to base companies to depot upkeep.

Widnall was a member of the Accident Investigation Board for the Area Shuttle Columbia in 2003.

In 1987, Widnall was given the Boston Museum of Science’s Washburn Award. In 1988, she turned the primary girl to function president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She was named the New Englander of the 12 months by the New England Council in 1996. In 1998, she was given the Girls’s Worldwide Middle’s Residing Legacy Award. The Nationwide Academy of Engineering named her the 2009 NAE Arthur M. Bueche Award recipient. She was honored “for a exceptional educational profession in fluid dynamics mixed with the very best ranges of public service, and for championing the function of ladies in engineering.” Widnall is within the Nationwide Girls’s Corridor of Fame.

Sources used within the Girls of the Century record mission embody newspaper articles, state archives, historic web sites, encyclopedias and different assets.



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