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Category: Women’s History

Sissieretta Jones: World-Famous Black Soprano

Posted by: Heather Thomas

Sissieretta Jones sang for kings, presidents, and to audiences around the world, becoming the highest paid African-American entertainer of the late 19th century. She headlined at Carnegie Hall and was hailed as one of the greatest sopranos of her time, yet she never performed on the operatic stage. She was born Matilda Sissieretta Joyner in …

A child carrying a bundle of newspapers in one hand, the other arm held high with a copy of the Anchorage Daily Times, the headline reading

Hello Girls Answer Uncle Sam’s Call

Posted by: Amber Paranick

Coined as the Hello Girls as early as the late 19th century, female telephone switchboard operators were widely known as having gentle and polite voices regardless of demanding and impatient callers. During World War I, French-speaking Hello Girls were enlisted to improve wartime communication, transmitting crucial information over a battlefield phone system to troops on …

The Unsolved Mystery of Aaron Burr’s Daughter

Posted by: Heather Thomas

Theodosia Burr Alston, the beloved daughter of disgraced vice president Aaron Burr, left the port of Georgetown, South Carolina on the schooner Patriot in 1812 and was never seen again. Throughout the 19th century, newspapers titillated readers with lurid stories of her alleged fate, including captivity, murder, and deathbed confessions of former pirates. Yet her …

A child carrying a bundle of newspapers in one hand, the other arm held high with a copy of the Anchorage Daily Times, the headline reading

Remembering Comics Artist Marie Severin

Posted by: Megan Halsband

Legendary artist Marie Severin passed away a few weeks ago, and I wanted to take a moment to share some of her works that are available at the Library of Congress and highlight her decades-long career in the comic book industry. Marie began working as a colorist for EC (Entertaining Comics) in the 1950’s and …

A child carrying a bundle of newspapers in one hand, the other arm held high with a copy of the Anchorage Daily Times, the headline reading

Mary Pickford in the Press

Posted by: Amber Paranick

  Canadian-born Gladys Louise Smith was just 5 years old when her father died, plunging her family into poverty. Gladys’ mother, Charlotte, a classic stage mother of the day, pushed her young children– Lottie, Jack, and “Baby Gladys” — into the theatre in hopes of making money.  Gladys soon caught the eye of Broadway impresario, David …

A child carrying a bundle of newspapers in one hand, the other arm held high with a copy of the Anchorage Daily Times, the headline reading

Mabel Stark: World Famous Trainer of Big Jungle Cats

Posted by: Amber Paranick

What are you afraid of? “Subways!” Mabel Stark, renowned Bengal tiger trainer, told the New-York Tribune in 1922. “Trains roaring through the tunnel terrify me more than any beast I’ve ever met,” she said. Following a nervous breakdown, the former nurse sought a “simpler & easier” profession: training wild jungle cats for the big top.  …