Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and, since two out of three of our Partners at WK&T are women, we thought we’d highlight some milestones in women’s rights, note some amazing contributions women made to history, and share our favorite women!

Did you know:

  • It’s been 100 years since American women won the right to vote.
  • It’s ONLY been 45 years since American women got the right to have their own credit card.
  • In 1975, women were finally able to serve jury duty in all states and cities across the U.S.
  • It’s been 6 years since Joint Chiefs of Staff lifted a ban allowing women to serve in combat in all branches of the US military.
  • A woman, Margaret A. Wilcox, invented the first car heater!
  • A woman, Ada Lovelace, constructed the first computer algorithm!
  • A woman (and rear admiral in the US Navy), Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, was the first person to create a user-friendly, business computer software program!

Our WK&T’s Partners and Attorneys Melanie Kilpatrick and Noelle Holladay True sat down to think about what woman in history inspired them the most. Here’s what they had to share.

Melanie Kilpatrick’s Favorite Woman of History: Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc was born to a peasant family around the year 1412 in Northeastern France. A devout Roman Catholic, she reported having regular visions of Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria telling her to support Charles VII and to help France recover from “the English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War” (Wikipedia). Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans with a relief party; the siege was lifted in just 9 days. After helping Charles VII achieve multiple victories against the English, she was captured by Frenchmen who were English sympathizers and then burned at the stake as a heretic at the age of nineteen.

In 1456, Pope Callixtus III pronounced Joan of Arc innocent of the charges against her and declared that she was a martyr. In 1920, she was declared a Saint by the Catholic Church. Throughout history, she has become a stoic figure for Catholicism and was even declared as a national symbol of France (thanks to Napoleon).

Favorite Quote: “I am not afraid…. I was born for this!”

Noelle Holladay True’s Favorite Woman of History: Clara Barton

Clara Barton, commonly known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” was born in 1821 in Massachusetts. Her father was a Captain in a local militia and known for his progressive thinking in the community. At the age of 10, after her brother suffered from a fall, she grew her love of medicine. She started her nursing career by learning how to care for her brother.

At the age of 17, her parents encouraged her to become a local teacher, a position which paved the way for her accomplishments like opening the first ever free school in the area where she was residing.

When the 6th Massachusetts Infantry was attacked during the  Civil War, she fell back into her love of nursing and became a hospital nurse. Her medical training?  As a nurse, Barton was pretty much self-taught, as nursing education had yet to be formalized. Taking her skills to the battlefields, she was able to save hundreds of men. After the war, she went around lecturing about her experiences during the war and ended up meeting Susan B. Anthony, which set the tone for her support of the Suffragette movement.

After visiting Europe and experiencing the Red Cross in Switzerland, Barton was invited to become the representative for the American branch where she helped find benefactors to help create the American Red Cross. Her contributions to the US are many and she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1973.

Favorite Quote: “You must never so much think as whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it.”