Olive Ann Beech

(1903-1993)

Aircraft Manufacturer

Born in Kansas, Olive Ann Beech grasped finances at such an early age that she had her own bank account by the time she was seven years old. She began managing her family’s checks and bills at age eleven. When Beech got a job at the Travel Air Company, she studied airplane diagrams to school herself on the company’s product and quickly earned a promotion. In 1932, she and her husband opened their own company. Beech Aircraft, with Beech in charge of most of the company’s finances. She helped the company grow from a handful of employees to thousands of workers with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales. When her husband died in 1950, Beech was elected president and chairman of the board, leading the company into further expansion, larger profits, and even space ventures before finally stepping down in 1982. Beech’s numerous accolades- the Wright BrothersMemorial Trophy and inclusion in the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the National Business Hall of Fame-earned her the title of First Lady of Aviation.

Violet Asquith Bonham-Carter

(1887-1969)

Politician, Orator, Diarist

Precocious and intellectual, Violet Asquith Bonham-Carter was steeped in British political culture from an early age. Her father served as prime minister from 1908-1916, bringing about many progressive social changes while in office, and in 1920 he enlisted his brilliant daughter to help with his campaign for election to Parliment. Her powerful speaking skills, sharp intellect, and pull with women voters led to a resounding victory, opening the door for Bonham-Carter to achieve great things, including the presidencies of both the Women’s Liberal Federation and the Liberal Party itself. She warned against the rise and dangers of German fascism during the harships of the Great Depression, and she forged a lasting friendship with Winston Churchill, who would soon lead Britain through the devastation of World War II. A patron of the arts, Bonham-Carter became a governor of the BBC (in 1941) and of London’s Old Vic Theater. She was later granted entrance to the House of Lords and despite ill health, worked hard to end numerous social injustices, including apartheid in South Africa, until her death in 1969.

Helena Bonham Carter, actress and wife to director Tim Burton, is her grand-daughter.

Hattie Wyatt Caraway (1878-1950)

Politician

“Arkansas needs another man in the Senate” read the campaign slogan of Mrs. Hattie Caraway’s opponent for the 1938 senatorial election. The public, however, did not agree, and granted her a second term in the Senate. Caraway had been a devoted housewife and mother with little inclination toward politics before being chosen to fill in for her late husband, Senator Thaddeus H. Caraway, who died abruptly in 1931. She became the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate in 1932, refusing to step down as expected to make way for the Arkansas governor’s candidacy that year. Reflected in 1938, she was a quiet but firm advocate for farmers going through the severe hardship brought on by the Great Depression. Caraway was later appointed to the Employees Compensation Appeals Board. As a lifelong, staunch supporter of women in politics, she said: “There is no sound reason why women, if they have the time and ability, shouldn’t sit with men on city councils, in state legislatures, and on Capitol Hill. Particularly if they have ability!”

Source: Women Who Dare, from the Library of Congress

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Comments
  1. Gift Gourmet says:

    I’ve got to hand it to you

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