CuriShorts
CuriPow on 03/31/2020

Sheer Determintion

In 1955, Marian Anderson became the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House, but she is most remembered for the 1939 incident in which she was denied a recital venue at Constitution Hall in segregated Washington, D.C.

CuriPow on 03/30/2020

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 03/29/2020

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 03/28/2020

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 03/27/2020

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 03/26/2020

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 03/25/2020

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 03/24/2020

The First Lady of Physics

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, often referred to as the “First Lady of Physics” was a renowned physicist who made important contributions to the Manhattan Project and performed groundbreaking experiments in the field of physics that disproved the Law of Conservation of Parity.

CuriPow on 03/23/2020

NASA's First Black Female Engineer

Mary Winston Jackson was born on April 9, 1921, in Hampton, Virginia, the daughter of Ella and Frank Winston. She attended Hampton’s all-black schools and graduated with high honors from George P. Phenix Training School in 1937. Five years later, she earned dual bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physical science from Hampton Institute.

CuriPow on 03/22/2020

Therapy Engagement

Major Aida Nancy Sanchez, Army Medical Specialist Corps, served at the 95th Evacuation Hospital near Da Nang, from December 1970 to December 1971. As the first physical therapist assigned to the hospital, she had to set up a clinic in a quonset hut that had previously served as the Post Exchange. In the meantime, Sanchez treated as many as 70 patients a day, using a ward storage area as an office. This was the first sort of clinic ever established to aid wounded soldiers with physical therapy and recovery.

CuriPow on 03/21/2020

Ahead of Her Time

Yuri Kochiyama was a tireless political activist who dedicated her life to contributing to social change through her participation in social justice and human rights movements.

CuriPow on 03/19/2020

First In A Silent Era

Perhaps the first Asian actress to appear in American cinema, lovers of silent cinema have forgotten the name Tsuru Aoki, whereas her husband, Sessue Hayakawa, remains a legend. Aoki’s film career, in fact, preceded her husband’s rise to fame in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Cheat (1915).

CuriPow on 03/19/2020

Ahead Of Her Time

Madeline Marcotte was born in February 1780 at Mackinac Island, the daughter of a French-Canadian fur trader Jean Baptiste Marcotte and Marie Nekesh, an Ottawa Indian. Madeline was only 3 months old when her father died. She was raised among her mother’s people in an Ottawa village at the mouth of the Grand River near Grand Haven Michigan. She must have been a person of some status there, as her grandfather was Chief Kewinoquot.

CuriPow on 03/18/2020

Another Hidden Figure

Mary Golda Ross was the first known Native American (Cherokee Nation) female engineer and the first female engineer in the history of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Ross began her career by working on the P-38 Lightning fighter plane. She was later asked to be one of the 40 founding engineers of the renowned and highly secretive Skunk Works project at Lockheed.

CuriPow on 03/17/2020

Creating The Path Forward

Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton is among the best-remembered authors of nineteenth-century Mexican American literature. Fully bilingual, de Burton was the first female Mexican American to write novels in English: Who Would Have Thought It? and The Squatter and the Don.

CuriPow on 03/16/2020

The First Ph. D in Natural Sciences In The United States

Born in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York, Marie Maynard Daly was an avid reader and was fascinated by Paul De Kruif’s popular book The Microbe Hunters. She was further inspired by her father’s love of science. Unfortunately, he had been forced by economic circumstances to drop out of Cornell University, where he had been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

CuriPow on 03/15/2020

From Fax Machines To Fiber Optics

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, a theoretical physicist and famous black inventor, has been credited with making many advances in science. She first developed an interest in science and mathematics during her childhood and conducted experiments and studies, such as those on the eating habits of honeybees. She followed this interest to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received a bachelor, and doctoral degree, all in the field of physics. In doing so she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT.

CuriPow on 03/14/2020

The Indianola Affair

In 1891 Minnie M. Geddings Cox was the first black postmistress in the United States. President Benjamin Harris appointed her to the post and President McKinley reappointed her in 1897, and the appointment drew controversy from whites who wanted blacks removed from leadership positions. In 1902 she offered to resign; however, President Roosevelt refused her resignation.

CuriPow on 03/13/2020

Leading The Way

Anandi Gopal Joshi was a pioneer who graduated from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in the class of 1886.

CuriPow on 03/12/2020

Humble Genius

Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner was an African-American inventor most noted for her development of the sanitary belt (now known as the Maxi-Pad) that changed women's feminine care forever.

CuriPow on 03/11/2020

The Most Accomplished Of Her Time

Ynes Mexia is a Mexican-American social worker, botanical collector, and explorer. Her interest in botany developed in San Francisco, where she moved in 1908 and practiced as a social worker. She joined the Sierra Club and at the age of 51 enrolled as a special undergraduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1925 she participated in a botanical expedition to Mexico sponsored by Stanford University. Once in Mexico, however, she decided she could accomplish more on her own; abandoning the group, she traveled the country for two years and collected more than 1,500 specimens, which she sent to the herbarium at Berkeley. Her success in Mexico assured her reputation.

CuriPow on 03/10/2020

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 03/09/2020

Distinguished Medal Of Honor

Phillip Bazaar joined the Union Navy in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Seaman Bazaar was assigned to the USS Santiago de Cuba. The Santiago de Cuba was a wooden, brigantine-rigged, side-wheel steamship under the command of Rear Admiral David D. Porter. Bazaar and 5 other crew members, under the direct orders from Rear-Admiral Porter, carried dispatches during the battle while under heavy fire from the Confederates to Major General Alfred Terry.

CuriPow on 03/08/2020

Lone Survivor

Osborne Perry Anderson was one of the five African American men to accompany John Brown in the raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) in October 1859. Anderson was a free-born black abolitionist, born in West Fallow Field, Pennsylvania on July 27, 1830. Along with John Anthony Copeland Jr., another member of the Brown raiding party, Anderson attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He later moved to Chatham, Canada, where he worked as a printer for Mary Ann Shadd‘s newspaper, the Provincial Freeman. In 1858 Anderson met John Brown and eventually became persuaded to join his band of men determined to attack Harpers Ferry.