Coco Chanel

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Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971) was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She was the only fashion designer to appear on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Along with Paul Poiret, Chanel was credited with liberating women from the constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and popularizing the acceptance of a sportive, casual chic as the feminine standard in the post-World War I era.

Chanel was known for her lifelong determination, ambition, and energy which she applied to her professional and social life. She achieved both success as a businesswoman and social prominence thanks to the connections she made through her work. These included many artists and craftspeople to whom she became a patron.

Charlotte A. Black Elk

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Charlotte A. Black Elk is a political and environmental Native American activist.  She is of Oglala Lakota heritage, and is the great-granddaughter of the holy man Nicholas Black Elk.  She has become well known in recent years for her role as a primary advocate for the Lakota peoples regarding the protection of the Black Hills Land Claim.  She is also known for her participation in documentaries covering the history of the Lakota people, including The Way West (1995) and The West (1996).

Clementine Paddleford

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Clementine Paddleford (September 27, 1898 – November 13, 1967) was an American food writer active from the 1920s through the 1960s, writing for several publications, including the New York Herald Tribune, the New York SunThe New York TelegramFarm and Fireside, and This Week magazine. A Kansas native, she lived most of her life in New York City, where she introduced her readers to the global range of food to be found in that city. She was also a pilot, and flew a Piper Cub around the country to report on America’s many regional cuisines. Paddleford coined the term “hero” relating to a submarine sandwich in the 1930s, writing that one needed to be a hero to finish the gigantic Italian sandwich.

Marian Anderson

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Marian Anderson

1897 – 1993
SINGER

In 1939, the DAR refused to let Anderson sing in DC’s Constitution Hall because she was black. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR, and her husband’s administration arranged an outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial for a crowd of 75,000 and millions of radio listeners. Anderson was the first African American to sing with the Metropolitan Opera, and in 1958 became a delegate to the United Nations.

 

Nellie Bly

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Nellie Bly (Journalist/Adventurer)

 

nellie-bly.jpgNellie Bly (May 5, 1864 – January 27, 1922) was the pen name of pioneer female journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran.

She remains notable for two feats: a record-breaking trip around the world in emulation of Jules Verne’s character Phileas Fogg, and an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within.

In addition to her writing, she was also an industrialist and charity worker.

Born on May 5, 1864 as Elizabeth Jane Cochran in Cochran’s Mills, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, she was nicknamed “Pink” for wearing that color as a child. Her father, a wealthy former associate justice, died when she was six. Her mother remarried three years later, but sued for divorce when Cochran was 14.

Cochran testified in court against her allegedly drunken, violent stepfather. As a teenager she changed her surname to Cochrane, apparently adding the “e” for sophistication. She attended boarding school  for one term, but dropped out because of a lack of funds. In 1880, Cochran and her family moved to Pittsburgh.

A sexist column in the Pittsburgh Dispatch  prompted her to write a fiery rebuttal to the editor with the pen name “Lonely Orphan Girl”. He was so impressed with her earnestness and spirit he asked her to join the paper. Female newspaper writers at that time customarily used pen names, and for Cochran the editor chose “Nellie Bly”, adopted from the title character in the popular song “Nelly Bly” by Stephen Foster.

Nellie Bly focused her early work for the Dispatch on the plight of working women, writing a series of investigative articles on female factory workers. But editorial pressure pushed her to the women’s pages to cover fashion, society, and gardening, the usual role for female journalists of the day. Dissatisfied with these duties, she took the initiative and traveled to Mexico to serve as a foreign correspondent.

Still only 21, she spent nearly half a year reporting the lives and customs of the Mexican people; her dispatches were later published in book form as Six Months in Mexico. In one report, she protested the imprisonment of a local journalist for criticizing the Mexican government, then a dictatorship under Porfirio Díaz. When Mexican authorities learned of Bly’s report, they threatened her with arrest, prompting her to leave the country. Safely home, she denounced Díaz as a tyrannical czar suppressing the Mexican people and controlling the press.

In 1888, Nellie suggested to her editor at the New York World that she take a trip around the world, attempting to turn the fictional Around the World in Eighty Days into fact for the first time. A year later, at 9:40 a.m. on November 14, 1889, and with two days’ notice, she boarded the Augusta Victoria, a steamer of the White Star Line, and began her 24,899-mile journey.

She brought with her the dress she was wearing, a sturdy overcoat, several changes of underwear and a small travel bag carrying her toiletry essentials. She carried most of her money (200 £ in English bank notes and gold in total as well as some American currency) in a bag tied around her neck.

The New York newspaper Cosmopolitan sponsored its own reporter, Elizabeth Bisland, to beat the time of both Phileas Fogg and Bly. Bisland would travel the opposite way around the world.

To sustain interest in the story, the World organized a “Nellie Bly Guessing Match” in which readers were asked to estimate Bly’s arrival time to the second, with the Grand Prize consisting at first of (only) a free trip to Europe and, later on, spending money for the trip.

On her travels around the world, she went through England, France (where she met Jules Verne in Amiens), Brindisi, the Suez Canal, Colombo (Ceylon), Hong Kong, the Straits Settlement of Penang and Singapore, and Japan. The development of efficient submarine cable networks and the electric telegraph allowed Bly to send short progress reports, though longer dispatches had to travel by regular post and were thus often delayed by several weeks.

She travelled using steamships and the existing railroad systems, which caused occasional setbacks, particularly on the Asian leg of her race. During these stops, she visited an Asian torture garden, a leper colony in China and she bought a monkey in Singapore.

Due to rough weather on her Pacific crossing, she arrived in San Francisco on January 12, two days behind schedule. However, World owner Pulitzer chartered a private train to bring her home, and she arrived back in New Jersey on January 25, 1890, at 3:51 p.m.

“Seventy-two days, six hours, eleven minutes and fourteen seconds after her Hoboken departure” Bly was back in New York. She had circumnavigated the globe almost unchaperoned. At the time, Bisland was still going around the world. Like Bly, she had missed a connection and had to board a slow, old ship called the “Bothina” in the place of a fast ship called the “Etruria”. Bly’s journey, at the time, was a world record, though it was bettered a few months later by George Francis Train, who completed the journey in 67 days. By 1913, Andre Jaeger-Schmidt, Henry Frederick and John Henry Mears had improved on the record, the latter completing the journey in less than 36 days.

 

Mary Wigman – Expressionist Dancer

Originally posted on Photographs, film, literature & qoutes from the bygone era:

Strong and convincing art has never arisen from theories - Mary Wigman 

Mary Wigman (1886 – 1973) was a German dancer, choreographer, notable as the pioneer of expressionist dance, dance therapy, and movement training without pointe shoes. She is considered one of the most important figures in the history of modern dance. She became one of the most iconic figures of Weimar German culture and her work was hailed for bringing the deepest of existential experiences to the stage. Wigman, who viewed herself as a dancer of humanity, proved fascinating to painters Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchne. Her dances were often accompanied by world music and non-Western instrumentation, such as fifes and primarily percussions, bells, including the gongs and drums from India, Thailand, Africa, and China, contrasted with silence. She would often employ masks in her pieces, influenced again by non-western/tribal dance.

Her given name was Karoline Sophie Marie Wiegmann. She was born in Hanover. She came to dance comparatively late after seeing three students of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, who aimed to approach music through movement using three equally-important elements: solfège, improvisation and eurhythmics. Another key…

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Maud Gonne

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Maud Gonne MacBride (IrishMaud Nic Ghoinn Bean Mhic Giolla Bhríde, 21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English-born Irish revolutionary, feminist and actress, best remembered for her turbulent relationship with William Butler Yeats. Of Anglo-Irish stock and birth, she was won over to Irish nationalism by the plight of evicted people in the Land Wars. She was also active in Home Rule activities.

 

Simone de Beauvoir

 

Simone-Lucie-Ernestine-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, commonly known as Simone de Beauvoir (French: [simɔn də bovwaʁ]; 9 January 1908 – 14 April 1986), was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist. While she did not consider herself a philosopher, Beauvoir had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues. She is best known for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, as well as her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.

 

 

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Gabriela Mistral

 

Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957)

 

Chilean poet, diplomat, teacher and feminist Gabriela Mistral is—so far—the only Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She won the prize in 1945, for what the committee called “her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.” As well as writing poetry, Gabriela had a highly successful teaching career, and played an important role in improving the educational systems in both Mexico and Chile. Adding even more items to her list of achievements, she also acted as Chile’s overseas representative in a number of consulates, including the UN and the League of Nations, and taught in many colleges in the US.

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