Jackie Mitchell strikes out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig

Jackie Mitchell

Signed to a minor league baseball team in 1931, in what was one of the first professional baseball contracts given to a woman, Jackie Mitchell was only 17 when her team was set to play the New York Yankees in two exhibition games later that year. The newspapers laughed at the prospect of a teenage girl pitching against the Yankees. “The curves won’t be all on the ball,” one paper said of her famous sinking curveball. She “has a swell change of pace and swings a mean lipstick,” said another. But in the very first inning Mitchell struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, two of the greatest baseball players in the history of the sport.

Because of continued sexism in baseball, the commissioner soon voided Mitchell’s contract stating that baseball is “too strenuous” for women, and Jackie ended up quitting the sport.

The short story of holocaust hero Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara

“Do what’s right because it is right.”
 
Chiune Sugihara was the Japanese consul-general in Kaunas, Lithuania.
 
In July 1940, Jews living in Kaunus looked to flee the country. But to do so, they needed transit visas from the Japanese consulate, one of two consulates still open in the city.
 
So they gathered outside his consulate for help.
 
Three times Chiune asked the Japanese government for permission to issue them visas. And all three times he was denied.
 
He decided to overrule the decision of his superiors.
 
From July 31 to August 28, 1940, he worked up to twenty hours a day writing and signing visas by hand. He wrote as many in a day as was the typical output for a consul in a month.
 
The flood of people looking for a visa didn’t stop. They stood outside the consulate day and night. And he kept issuing visas.
 
He only stopped because the consulate was shut down and he was forced to leave.
 
Chiune rescued about 6,000 people over the course of the month.
 
When asked why he helped, he said because, “They were human beings and they needed help.”

A snapshot of astronomer Annie Jump Cannon

Annie Jump Cannon

It was her mother who nurtured a love in young Annie Jump Cannon for astronomy. The two would sit in the attic of the family home and gaze and identify the stars at night.

This childhood passion turned into her work. Annie became the best at classifying stars. Her boss at the Harvard College Observatory said that “Miss Cannon is the only person in the world – man or woman – who can do this work so quickly.”

Annie classified over 350,000 stars over the course of her career from 1896 to 1940.

Frances Perkins: “I was horrified at the work that many women and children had to do”

Frances Perkins

“From the time I was in college I was horrified at the work that many women and children had to do in factories. There were absolutely no effective laws that regulated the number of hours they were permitted to work. There were no provisions which guarded their health nor adequately looked after their compensation in case of injury. Those things seemed very wrong. I was young and was inspired with the idea of reforming, or at least doing what I could, to help change those abuses.”
 
– Frances Perkins
 
Frances was the first woman to serve in the U.S. cabinet when she became Secretary of Labor in 1933.
 
In her role, she helped push the policies of a forty-hour work week, a minimum wage, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, a federal law banning child labor, direct federal aid for unemployment relief, Social Security, and a revitalized public employment service.
 
Source: http://francesperkinscenter.org/life-new/