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Celebrating Women's History Month

Women's History Month has arrived! This month we commemorate and encourage the celebration, study and observance of the important role that women have played in American History. PLUS we are excited to introduce our NEW collection in honor of Women's History Month: Dolores Huerta, Rosalind Franklin, Junko Tabei and Helen Keller.

Dolores Huerta

Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world
  - Dolores Huerta

Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who has worked to improve social and economic conditions for farm workers and fight discrimination.

She is one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century and a leader of the Chicano civil rights movement. From a young age Dolores was greatly influenced by her mother's community activism and compassionate treatment of workers.

She received an associate teaching degree from the University of the Pacific’s Delta College and then briefly taught school in the 1950s, but seeing so many hungry farm children coming to school, she thought she could do more to help them by organizing farmers and farm workers. In 1955

Huerta began her career as an activist and in 1960 she created the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA) and co-founded what would become the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Cesar Chavez. Huerta continues to lecture and speak out on a variety of social issues involving immigration, income inequality and the rights of women and Latinos.

Junko Tabei

Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the most important.
  - Junko Tabei

Junko Tabei (Junko Ishibashi) (1939-2016) was a Japanese mountaineer, an author, and a teacher. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the first woman to ascend the Seven Summits, climbing the highest peak on every continent.

Junko was born as the fifth daughter among 7 children and was considered a frail child in her early days. Nevertheless, just at the age of 10, she began climbing the mountain, while on a class trip to Mount Nasu.

Junko loved climbing but her family did not have enough money for such an expensive hobby, and Tabei made only a few climbs during her high school years.

She went on to study English and American literature at Showa’s Woman University, and climbed consistently through her studies.

After graduating, Tabei formed the Joshi-Tohan mountaineering club for women only, whose motto was “Let’s go on an overseas expedition by ourselves”.

Tabei led her club on a number of ascents, including the first woman-only ascent to Annapurna III, in Nepal and then made history in 1975 when became the first woman to climb Everest at age 35 with a two year old daughter at home. Junko continued climbing until the year she died.

Helen Keller

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
  - Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (1880 – 1968) was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer.

Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Keller lost her sight and hearing at the age of nineteen months to an illness now believed to have been scarlet fever.

Five years later, on the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, her parents hired teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan. Through Sullivan’s extraordinary instruction, Keller learned to read and write in Braille and to use the hand signals of the deaf-mute, which she could understand only by touch.

With Sullivan repeating the lectures into her hand, Keller studied at schools for the deaf in Boston and New York City and graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1904.

Her unprecedented accomplishments in overcoming her disabilities made her a celebrity at an early age; at twelve she published an autobiographical sketch in the Youth’s Companion, and during her junior year at Radcliffe she produced her first book, The Story of My Life, still in print in over fifty languages.

Widely honored throughout the world, Keller altered the world’s perception of the capacities of the handicapped. More than any act in her long life, her courage, intelligence, and dedication combined to make her a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

Rosalind Franklin

Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.
  - Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920-1958) was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose work was central to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.

From early childhood, Franklin displayed exceptional intelligence and knew from the age of 15 that she wanted to be a scientist.

She received her education at several schools, including North London Collegiate School, where she excelled in science, among other things. Franklin enrolled at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she studied chemistry and in 1941, she was awarded Second Class Honors in her finals.

In 1951, Franklin began working as a research associate at the King's College London in the biophysics unit, where director John Randall used her expertise and X-ray diffraction techniques on DNA fibers.

Studying DNA structure with X-ray diffraction, Franklin made an amazing discovery which became famous as critical evidence in identifying the structure of DNA.