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May 24

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
from the draft of an unpublished book based on
Irene Stuber's files on women of achievement and herstory.
The full text of this episode of Women of Achievement and Herstory
will be published here in the future.


Helen Brooke Taussig


QUOTE by Senator Jesse Helms.

Helen Brooke Taussig


Born 05-24-1898, Helen Brooke Taussig, American physician, pediatrician, cardiologist, and professor emeritus of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University.
      It was Dr. Taussig's basic discoveries that enabled cyanotic infants (blue babies) to live an almost normal life. Her pioneer work also provided impetus to the development of open heart surgery.
"Over the years I've gotten recognition for what I did, but I didn't at the time. It hurt for a while. It hurt when Dr. Blalock (the surgeon who performed the initial 'blue baby' operations according to her directions) was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and I didn't even get promoted from an assistant to associate professor."
      Helen Brooke Taussig later received the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor an American President can bestow.
      Dr. Taussig succeeded in getting Thalidomide Thalidomide off the market in the United States. (Yes, it WAS used in the U.S., although sparingly.)
      Her mother was Edith Guild, one of the first students at Radcliffe College.

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B. 05-24-1819, Victoria, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837-1901) and empress of India (1876-1901).

B. 05-24-1878, Lilliam Moller Gilbreth - U.S. woman industrial engineer and efficiency expert with the advanced idea that one should fit the worker to the job instead of the worker bending to the job.
      She is probably best known to modern women as the mother of 12 children. Her much fictionalized life was the plot of movie Cheaper by the Dozen.

B. 05-24-1883, Elsa Maxwell, U.S. author and professional party planner. EM was a completely self-made woman who quit school when she was 14. Through her wits, she became the noted organizer of parties for the rich and famous in Europe. She is credited with inventing the scavenger hunt.

B. 05-24-1887, Sister Mary Madeleva Wolff - U.S. poet and president St. Mary's College, Notre Dame (1935). She was the first nun to qualify for a Ph.D. at University of California (1935).

B. 05-24-1899, Suzanne Lenglen - French tennis star, won six Wimbledon singles titles and eight doubles. From 1919 to 1926, this dominant woman player of her time only lost one match as an amateur.

B. 05-24-1905, Claire McCardell - U.S. fashion designer of practical apparel for women including stretch leotards and separates. She specialized in practical materials that didn't need to be washed by hand and ironed.

B. 05-24-1912, Dorothy Irene Height, president (1957) of the National Council of Negro Women, was active in civil rights for more than 50 years.

Event 05-24-1918, the right to vote and stand for political office for all women of the Dominion of Canada was validated. Eight months before, on 09-20-1917 women relatives of members of the armed forces were enfranchised.

B. 05-24-1925, Mai Elisabeth Zetterling, popular Swedish-born British stage and screen actor who became a successful film director. She was primarily self-educated, having been born in poverty.

B. 05-24-1934, Jane Byrne, first woman to head a major U.S. city as mayor. She won 82% of the vote when she challenged the Daly-Democratic machine (1979-1983). She had been a Daly protegee.

B. 05-24-1946, Irena Kirszenstein-Szewinska, Polish-Russian sprinter who won seven Olympic medals. She is considered the finest woman athlete of her times.

B. 05-24-1955, Rosanne Cash, U.S. singer, songwriter, country-western music entertainer, and immortal of the genre.

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     "Because she's a damn lesbian. I am not going to put a lesbian in a position like that," said Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) who later said he did not recall saying "damn" when he failed to block the confirmation of Roberta Achtenberg as assistant secretary for the House and Urban Development Department in charge of its fair housing program on 05-24-1993.

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