Buckeye State Women

Buckeye State Women
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I recently had the pleasure of speaking in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. That, of course, made me think about women who changed America who were from or associated with the Buckeye State. Match the woman with her accomplishment:

____ 1. Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, her novels portray the reality of African-American experience and the legacy of enslavement, particularly for women.

____ 2. Her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was selected out of over 1400 entries when she was an undergraduate at Yale.

____ 3. Most remembered for her black and white photographs of New York City that documented the “old New York City.”

____ 4. Founded the public health nursing system with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

____ 5. A superstar and sharpshooter, her fame was buttressed when she shot a cigarette out of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s mouth.

  1. Annie Oakley

  2. Lillian Wald

  3. Toni Morrison

  4. Berenice Abbott

  5. Maya Lin

Born in Darke County, Ohio, Annie Oakley was hunting for food to support her family at a young age. At age 15, she won a sharpshooting contest. In 1882, she began shooting professionally with her husband and they joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in 1885. Her sharpshooting skills impressed all and she won international fame buttressed by shooting a cigarette out of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s mouth. Deemed the first American superstar, Oakley offered President McKinley a regiment of sharpshooters for the Spanish-American War (who would provide their own equipment and ammunition). Oakley has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

The public health nursing system stemmed from an incident that involved Lillian Wald in New York City in 1893. After visiting a home and treating an ill woman, she saw a strong need for and worked to establish the Visiting Nurse Service of New York that garnered financial and government support. By 1895, the Service had moved to a facility on Henry Street. With her focus on women, children and recent immigrants, Wald worked to improve health as well as working conditions. Among her accomplishments were efforts to end child labor, founding of a union for women, and improving educational and recreational opportunities available for children. Wald, who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Born in Lorain, Ohio, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Also a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Morrison writes about the reality of the African-American experience in the U.S. and the legacy of enslavement, with a particular focus on women. Her novel Beloved, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award, was made into a movie starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. Morrison says “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Photographer Berenice Abbott is best remembered for her black and white photographs of New York City. Born in Springfield, Ohio, Abbott had an unhappy childhood that she said led to her ability to be independent, determined, and self-reliant. Her photography career began inauspiciously as a darkroom assistant and blossomed as her natural photographic ability manifested itself. In 1926, she mounted her first solo exhibition in Paris, where she lived for many years. Upon her return to New York City in 1929, Abbott starting taking photos of the “old New York”, later supported by the FAP (Federal Art Project), a division of the Works Progress Administration and published in a book called Changing New York. Her classic book, A Guide to Better Photography, published in 1941, contributed to the field of photography and enhanced her reputation. Abbot has been inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.

Architect Maya Lin became known to the public at large while still an undergraduate student at Yale. In 1981, her design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was selected out of over 1400 entries. Initially quite controversial, today the Memorial is regarded as one of the ten most favorite examples of American architecture. Lin says that landscape is the context and source of her art. Working on what she regards as her last memorial, What is Missing?, Lin is intent on bringing awareness to the environmental issues of loss of habitat and diminishing biodiversity. Born in Athens, Ohio, Lin has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These women who are all associated with the Buckeye State of Ohio are among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I am proud to continue telling women’s stories and understand that we stand on our foremothers’ shoulders.

(Answers 1-C, 2-E, 3-D, 4-B, 5-A)

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