Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton is an outspoken advocate for social justice and women’s rights, and is considered by many to be the first major U.S. female political figure since Eleanor Roosevelt.

Hillary Diane Rodham was born in 1947 near Chicago, Illinois to Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham. Clinton’s father’s textile business provided the family with a comfortable income and her parents placed a strong emphasis on hard work and academic excellence.

Clinton was an active student leader in school and adhered to the Republican Party of her parents. In 1964, she campaigned for Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and was the chair of the local chapter of the Young Republicans. After hearing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak in 1962, Clinton’s political views began to shift and she started to develop strong opinions a surrounding civil rights, social justice and the Vietnam War.

Clinton entered Yale Law School in 1969 where she interned with children's advocate Marian Wright Edelman, and it was while working with Edelman that Clinton began to develop a strong interest in family law and issues affecting children. 

After graduation, Clinton moved to Massachusetts where she continued to work with Edelman for the Children’s Defense Fund. In 1974, Clinton participated in the Watergate inquiry into the possible impeachment of President Richard Nixon. When Nixon resigned, Clinton moved to Arkansas where she taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law. In October 1975, she married Bill Clinton, whom she had  first met while studying at Yale.

Clinton began work at Rose Law Firm in 1977 and a year later, she became the first woman ever to be named a full partner.  Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978, while Hillary continued to work on social programs to benefit children and the disadvantaged. 

Clinton served as the First Lady of Arkansas for 12 years. In 1993, Bill Clinton ran for and was elected President. Hillary Clinton became the first First lady to have a post graduate degree, her own professional career and her own office in the West Wing of the White House. Clinton continued to work alongside her husband and played an important role in his administration in the White House.

In 1994, Clinton helped create the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women and travelled to more than 80 countries where she was a forceful advocate for the rights of women.
Clinton continued to make history after Bill Clinton’s second term as President and was elected to the US Senate; she was the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate from New York and she was the first wife of a president to seek and win national office.

In 2007, Clinton set her sights on another first, the first female president of the United States. She was an early front runner for the Democratic nomination, although she ultimately lost to Barak Obama, who would go on to win the 2008 Presidential Election.

Obama named Clinton his Secretary of State shortly after winning the election and Clinton made women’s rights and human rights a central talking point of U.S. initiatives. Clinton was one of the most widely travelled secretaries of State in U.S. history and her tenure was widely for improving U.S. foreign relations. Clinton resigned her post as Secretary of State in 2013. Clinton remains the object of speculation surrounding the 2016 Presidential election. She is heavily favoured to win the Democratic nomination if she chooses to run. Clinton has not officially stated her intentions at this time, saying she’ll make a decision in early 2015.


Hillary Clinton Biography
Hillary Rodham Clinton | The White House 
Hillary Rodham Clinton Encyclopedia Britannica 
Hillary Clinton Biography National First Ladies' Library 
Hillary Rodham Clinton American Experience 
Hillary Clinton Recalls Eleanor Roosevelt, Advises Women To 'Grow Skin Like A Rhinoceros' 
Hillary Rodham Clinton Facts 
Hillary Clinton All But Announces Her 2016 Campaign In Iowa 
Bill Clinton Biography 
Hillary Clinton would face uphill fight in Arkansas in 2016 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, completing her historic journey in 1932.


Born in 1897 to Amy and Edwin Earhart, Earhart spend much of her childhood playing outdoors. Earhart visited the Iowa State Fair in 1908 and it was there she saw her first airplane. Earhart was, at the time, unimpressed, saying, “It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and not at all interesting.”

Earhart had planned to attend college after finishing high school, but after meeting four wounded World War I veterans, she decided to study nursing.  Earhart worked as a military nurse in Canada throughout the war.

During the 1920’s, Earhart enjoyed watching the popular airplane stunt shows. After taking a ten minute ride, she knew she must learn to fly. She began taking flying lessons with pioneer aviatrix Anita Snook and the two took to each other on site, having similar backgrounds. Earhart bought her first plane in 1921, and it was in that plane that she set her first women’s record by rising to an altitude of 14,000 feet in October 1922.

Earhart received her pilot’s license from the world governing body for aeronautics, The Federation Aeronautique in 1923 and was the sixteenth woman to do so. 

In 1924, Earhart had to sell her plane since there were no immediate prospects of making a living flying. Earhart moved with her mother to Boston following her parents’ divorce, and she found work as a teacher, than as a social worker. 


Earhart returned to aviation in 1927, and became a member of the Boston chapter of the American Aeronautical Society. She invested a bit of money in the Dennison airport in Massachusetts, and wrote articles in the newspaper promoting flying, and it was around this time she began to develop a following as a local celebrity. 


In 1928, Earhart received a call from Captain Hilton H. Railey asking her to join pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon on a flight from America to England. Earhart was only a passenger on this flight, but she was still the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The flight received headlines across the world, and the press began to refer to Earhart as “Lady Lindy”, after Charles Lindenbergh. 

Earhart began to break aviation records on her own, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the United States and back in 1932. Later the same year, she flew solo across the Atlantic, and broke several more records for the flight. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, the only person to fly across the Atlantic twice; it was the longest non-stop flight by a woman and a record for crossing in the shortest time. Earhart received a Distinguished Flying Cross from the United States Congress, it was the first ever given to a woman. 

Earhart was married to George Putnam in early 1931, although she kept her maiden name for the duration of her aviation career. Putman and Earhart formed a successful partnership and Putman organized several of her flights and appearances, notably her solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932. 

Earhart made great strides to open aviation for women and became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland in1935. This also made Earhart the first person fly solo across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Earhart joined the faculty of Purdue University the same year, which lead to Earhart purchasing a Lockheed Electra through the University. This allowed Earhart to fulfill her dream to circumnavigate the globe by air. 


Earhart wanted to be the first woman to fly solo around the world; she wanted to fly at or near the equator, where the planet was its widest. Earhart planned to make the longest flight around the globe possible. 


On June 1, 1937, Earhart took off from Miami, Florida and flew towards Central and South America, before turning east to Africa. With her was Fred Noonan, who would serve as navigator, having had vast experience in marine and flight navigation. 


Earhart and Noonan landed in Lae, New Guinea on June 29 and prepared for the last leg of the flight. They had already flown 22,000 miles, and the remaining 7,000 would be over the Pacific. 


Earhart and Noonan left Lae on July 2, and headed toward Howland Island; between Hawaii and Australia. They faced several problems that lead to disaster later on, including extreme overcast conditions, lack of radio equipment with short wave frequencies and maps that were later discovered to be inaccurate. 


Misunderstandings over the check-in times and confusion over which frequencies to use led to Earhart being unable to reach U.S. Coast Guard cutter, Itasca. Radio reception was poor and the messages were often lost or garbled. Two hours after Earhart was supposed to arrive in Howland, the Itasca, received a final static filled message that Earhart and Noonan were almost out of fuel and could not see the island. The crew tried to signal the ships location by sending up black smoke, but the plane failed to appear. 


The United States Navy searched extensively but no trace of the aviators or the plane was ever found. Amelia Earhart was declared legally dead on January 5, 1939. Some historians believe Earhart and Noonan flew without radio transmission for some time after their last radio signal and landed at Gardner Island (known today as Nikumaroro),  400 miles southeast of Howland Island, where the pair would ultimately die.


Over 70 years after she disappeared, Earhart’s legacy continues. A film about her life, entitled “Amelia” was released in 2009 and starred Hilary Swank as Earhart. Filming took place around the world, including at Acadia University in Wolfville. The film currently has a 20% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


Amelia Earhart - Biography 

Amelia Earhart Museum

Amelia Earhart - Facts & Summary

Amelia Earhart Famous Female Aviator

The Official Website of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart - The Last Flight

Oscar winner Hilary Swank earns her wings as she plays missing pilot Amelia Earhart

Women In Aviation And Space History

Amelia (2009) IMDb

Filming wraps in Nova Scotia for film about Amelia Earhart starring Hilary Swank

Acadia A Movie Set

Amelia - Rotten Tomatoes

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, born in 1997 in Pakistan is an activist for the education rights of children, especially for Pakistani girls. She recently won the Nobel Peace Prize and is the youngest person in history to be awarded with the honour.

Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan in the Swat valley of the country. The town was a popular tourist destination known for its summer festivals. This began to change when the Taliban`s influence began to grow in the area. In late 2008, the BBC Urdu website came up with a novel idea of covering the Taliban`s growing influence within the Swat Valley. They wanted a schoolgirl to blog anonymously about her life there. By the time Yousafzai began blogging for the BBC in early 2009, the Taliban had banned girls education, and women from going shopping. 


Yousafzai continued to advocate for the right of all women to an education, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. The Taliban eventually issued a death threat against Yousafzai and her father, and in late 2012, a man boarded the bus Yousafzai was riding home from school and Yousafzai was shot in the head. 


Yousafzai was taken to a hospital in the United Kingdom where she made a full recovery without any brain damage. Yousafazi was discharged from the hospital in January 2013 and has since become a global icon for human rights and the advancement of women. Yousafazi is currently based in Britain where she continues her activism, speaking at the United Nations, Harvard University and with U.S. President Barak Obama.


On October 10, Malala Yousafzai was announced as the winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, an honour she shares with Kailash Satyarthi of India. They are being honoured for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education”. At 17, Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Prize winner and the first Pakistani. 



Malala Yousafzai Attackers Arrested

Official: Pakistani teen blogger's shooting a 'wake-up call' to 'clear ... danger'

Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl

Where it all started: ‘A diary that highlighted Swat’s human tragedy’

Malala Yousafzai Biography

About Malala

Malala Yousafzai Profile

Malala Yousafzai 'proud' to be Nobel Peace Prize co-winner 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was a Polish born French physicist known for her work on radioactivity. She was the first person (and only woman to date) to win two Nobel Prizes, and the only person to win twice in multiple sciences. 


Marie Curie was born Maria Sklodowska in 1867 in Poland. Both her parents were educators and insisted their daughters be educated along with their son. Curie took after her father as a child and was known for her bright and curious mind. She excelled at school and graduated high school at the top of her class when she was 15. 


Curie took a post as a governess when she was 18 and helped finance her sister Bronisława’s medical studies in Paris. In return, Bronisława would later help Curie get an education. Curie earned her masters degree in physics in 1893, and received a scholarship from women’s education advocates. The scholarship allowed her to stay and take a second degree in mathematics, which was awarded in 1894. 


While working in Paris, she met Pierre Curie and they were married in 1895. The marriage was the start of a partnership that would achieve results of worldwide significance, including the discovery of polonium radium. 


In 1896, while looking for a subject for a new thesis, decided to find out if a newly discovered phenomenon present in uranium was present in other matter. The newly discovered phenomenon would in later years become known as radioactivity, a term Curie herself coined. 


Intrigued by Wilhelm Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays, and Henri Becquerel’s reports of similar rays emitted from uranium ores,  Curie used her husband’s instruments to measure the faint electrical currents she detected in the air that were bombarded by uranium rays. She discovered the effects of the rays were constant, even when the uranium ore was treated in different ways. This caused Curie to start a revolutionary hypothesis. Curie believed the emission of the rays was an atomic property of uranium, which would mean the accepted view of the atom as the smallest possible fragment of matter was false.


Curie later turned her attention to testing all of the chemical ores to see if any others emitted Becquerel rays. Curie’s husband, Pierre, was so interested in her research that he set aside his own research in order to help her. They discovered two ores, chalcolite and pitchblende, were much more radioactive than pure uranium, causing Curie to suspect they might contain as yet undiscovered elements. 


Curie worked to obtain pure radium in the metallic state with the help of one of Pierre’s pupils, André-Louis Debierne. Curie received her doctorate of physics in June 1903 on the results of this research. She was the first woman in Europe to earn a doctorate in physics. Later in that year, Madame Curie, along with her husband Pierre, André-Louis Debierne and Henri Becquerel were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for the discovery of radioactivity. 


Pierre Currie passed away in 1906 and marked a decisive turning point in Madame Curie’s career. Following the death of Pierre, Curie devoted all her energy to completing by herself the scientific work they had undertaken together. Curie was appointed to the professorship that had been left vacant by the death of her husband and became the first woman to teach at the Maison de Sorbonne. Curie became the titular professor in 1908, and treatise on radioactivity was published in1910. Curie received her second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time for Chemistry, for the isolation of pure radium. 


Curie continued to do research in radioactivity in later years, although she suspended her studies upon the outbreak of World War I and organized a fleet of portable X-ray machines for doctors at the front.


Curie was suffering from medical problems by 1920, most likely due to her exposure to radioactive materials. Curie passed away in 1934. She was buried next to Pierre, although in 1995, their remains were moved to the Pantheon in Paris where they were interred alongside France's greatest citizens. Curie was the first woman to be entombed within the Pantheon and remains the only woman interred there to date. 


Curie passed her love of science to the next generation, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie followed in her mother's footsteps, and won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

Marie Curie - Biography 
Marie Curie Facts 
Marie Curie Facts and Biography 
Marie Curie - Encyclopedia Britannica 
MArie Curie - Info Please