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April: Poetry Month

Image of Sappho and Alcaeus, from about 450 BCE

From ancient history to the modern world, a good number of women have achieved fame and, occasionally, good fortune from their poetry.  Learn more about women poets this month, National Poetry Month in the U.S.

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Women's History Spotlight10

Harriet Quimby, Pioneer Aviator

Wednesday April 16, 2014

"There is no reason why the aeroplane should not open up a fruitful occupation for women. I see no reason they cannot realize handsome incomes by carrying passengers between adjacent towns, from parcel delivery, taking photographs or conducting schools of flying. Any of these things it is now possible to do." (Harriet Quimby, about 1911)

Harriet Quimby's career as a pilot lasted only eleven months, but she managed to set a few records in that time. She was the first American woman to earn a pilot's license, and the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel, the latter on April 16, 1911.

Lucretia Mott's Sister, Martha Coffin Wright

Monday April 14, 2014

She's not as well known as her sister, Lucretia Mott, but Martha Coffin Wright was an abolitionist (her daughter married the son of abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison) and an early women's rights advocate. Contributed by the author of an upcoming biography of Martha Coffin Wright, James D. Livingston.

First Reigning Empress of Japan

Monday April 7, 2014

The Japanese royal family faces pressure because the current crown princess -- a Harvard-educated diplomat before she married the Japanese crown prince, mother of one daughter, and now more than 40 years old -- has not produced a son to succeed as Japanese emperor. But Japan has been ruled by reigning empresses before. Here's a profile of the Empress Suiko, who ruled Japan at the end of the 5th and beginning of the 7th century. Under her rule, China recognized Japan and Buddhism flourished: Empress Suiko

April 5, 1758: Mary Jemison Captured

Saturday April 5, 2014

On April 5, 1758, Mary Jemison was captured by French soldiers and Shawnee Indians. Her later telling of her story of life in captivity is one of the best-known examples of this genre of American colonial literature.

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