CuriShorts
CuriPow on 10/13/2019

A Star That Shined Too Bright

Alice Augusta Ball was an African-American chemist who developed the first successful treatment for those suffering from Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Ball was also the very first African American and the very first woman to graduate with an M.S. degree in chemistry from the College of Hawaii (now known as the University of Hawaii). Tragically, Ball died at the young age of 24. During her brief lifetime, she did not get to see the full impact of her discovery. It was not until years after her death that Ball got the proper credit she deserved.

CuriPow on 10/12/2019

Turtle Island

North America (the United States and Canada) was originally known as Turtle Island. The name comes from the Aboriginal Creation story of the Anishinaabek and was renamed to the Americas after the Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci.

CuriPow on 10/11/2019

The WACs Of Puerto Rico

In 1944, the Army sent three WAC (Women Army Corps) recruiters to the island of Puerto Rico to organize a unit of 200 WACs. The young women of the island responded enthusiastically, and over 1,500 applications were submitted.

CuriPow on 10/10/2019

The Native American Renaissance

Navarro Scott Mammedaty, a Kiowa Indian, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and grew up in close contact with the Navajo and San Carlos Apache communities. He received his BA in political science in 1958 from the University of New Mexico. At Stanford University he received his MA and Ph.D. in English, in 1960 and 1963, respectively.

CuriPow on 10/09/2019

Black Edison

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Granville T. Woods received little schooling as a young man and, in his early teens, took up a variety of jobs, including as a railroad engineer in a railroad machine shop, as an engineer on a British ship, in a steel mill, and as a railroad worker. From 1876 to 1878, Woods lived in New York City, taking courses in engineering and electricity—a subject that he realized, early on, held the key to the future.

CuriPow on 10/08/2019

Before Maya Angelou

Born around 1753 in Gambia or Senegal, West Africa, Phillis Wheatley was captured by slave traders and brought to America in 1761. Upon arrival, she was sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first name Phillis was derived from the ship that brought her to America, “the Phillis.” Wheatley not only mastered English but Latin and Greek as well.

CuriPow on 10/07/2019

Keeping Things Cool

David Nelson Crosthwaite Jr. studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University before taking a job with the C.A. Dunham Company (now Dunham-Bush, Inc.). At Dunham, Crosthwait conducted innovative research and designed the heating system for Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. He held 119 patents—39 in the U.S. and 80 internationally—all in relation to heating, cooling, and temperature regulating technology.

CuriPow on 10/06/2019

Fighting For Latina and Caribbean Writers

Rosario Ferré is considered to be one of the most important women writers Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and a principal feminist voice in Latin America. She is the author of short-story collections, novels, children' books, poetry, literary criticism, and essays.

CuriPow on 10/05/2019

The Last Warrior

Geronimo (Goyathle - his native name means "one who yawns") was the last warrior fighting for the Chiricahua Apache. Geronimo was his Spanish given name that he used in public.

CuriPow on 10/04/2019

Bringing Sight To The World

Dr. Patricia Bath became the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. Two years later, she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute.

CuriPow on 10/03/2019

Taking To The Sky

In 1910, Fung Joe Guey, a young Chinese inventor, and aviator built a biplane that he kept aloft over Piedmont, CA for twenty minutes.

CuriPow on 10/02/2019

Making Smiles First

In 1890 Dr. Ida Gray Nelson Rollins became the first black woman to earn a doctor of dental surgery degree in the United States when she graduated from the University of Michigan. She opened her practice in Cincinnati, where she was able to serve all races, genders, and ages.

CuriPow on 10/01/2019

The Worlds Of Bernice Bing

Bernice Bing, a native San Franciscan of Chinese heritage, received a National Scholastic Award to attend California College of Arts and Crafts, where she studied with Richard Diebenkorn, Saburo Hasegawa, and Nathan Oliveira. She transferred to the San Francisco Art Institute to work with Elmer Bischoff and Frank Lobdell, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree with honors. She continued her studies in the San Francisco Art Institute graduate program, and in 1961 earned a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree.

CuriPow on 09/30/2019

Activist, Writer, Artist, and Controversialist

Born LeRoi Jones, Imamu Amiri Baraka changed his name after becoming a Muslim. Baraka is a poet, playwright, essayist, political activist, and founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theater in New York.

CuriPow on 09/29/2019

Angel Island

Angel Island Immigration Station, formally United States Immigration Station at Angel Island, the principal immigration facility on the West Coast of the United States from 1910 to 1940. It is located in the San Francisco Bay, near Alcatraz Island.

CuriPow on 09/28/2019

The Changing Face of Medicine

In 1867, Rebecca J. Cole became the second African American woman to receive an M.D. degree in the United States (Rebecca Crumpler, M.D., graduated from the New England Female Medical College three years earlier, in 1864). Dr. Cole was able to overcome racial and gender barriers to medical education by training in all-female institutions run by women who had been part of the first generation of female physicians graduating mid-century. Dr. Cole graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1867, under the supervision of Ann Preston, the first woman dean of the school, and went to work at Elizabeth Blackwell's New York Infirmary for Women and Children to gain clinical experience.

CuriPow on 09/27/2019

The Flying Ace

From September 1952 to May 1953, Captain Fernandez flew 124 combat missions in Korea. He was credited with downing 14.5 MiG 15 aircraft, becoming the number 2 ace of the Korean War.

CuriPow on 09/26/2019

First Lady To The Stars

Kalpana Chawla made history as the first Indian-American /India born woman to go to space on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-87 in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.

CuriPow on 09/25/2019

Mexican-American Folklore

Born in 1904 on her grandparents' ranch in Roma, Texas, pioneering folklorist and educator Jovita González felt a deep commitment to the people and culture of South Texas.

CuriPow on 09/24/2019

Refining An Industry

Born to a French father and an African-American mother, Norbert Rillieux studied at Catholic schools in Louisiana before traveling to France to study at L'Ecole Centrale in Paris.

CuriPow on 09/23/2019

First Pulitzer

In 1950 the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize was poet Gwendolyn Brooks' book of poetry, Annie Allen, which won the award for the best book of poetry in the United States.

CuriPow on 09/22/2019

Third World Liberation Front

In 1969, The Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), was a coalition formed with the Black Student Union, the Mexican American Student Committee, and the Native American Indian Association at UC Berkely. The TWLF lead a five-month strike on campus to demand a shift in admissions practices that mostly excluded nonwhite students and in the curriculum regarded as irrelevant to the lives of students of color.

CuriPow on 09/21/2019

Queen Of The Delawares

Queen Aliquippa was a leader of the Seneca tribe of Native Americans during the early part of the 18th century. Little is known about her early life. Her date of birth has been estimated anywhere from the early 1670s to the early 1700s, but historians have indicated that she was born in the 1680s, probably in upstate New York.

CuriPow on 09/20/2019

Portrait Perfect

Joshua Johnston was the first black portrait painter to win recognition in America. Born a slave, he lived and worked in Baltimore, Maryland.