Albert Einstein was quite impressed by Marie Curie when he met her. So much so, that when Marie was dealing with a public attack on her persona for having exchanged love letters with a fellow scientist who was married, but at the time estranged from his wife, Einstein came to her defense.
He wrote her, “I am so enraged by the base manner in which the public is presently daring to concern itself with you that I absolutely must give vent to this feeling…I am impelled to tell you how much I have come to admire your intellect, your drive, and your honesty, and that I consider myself lucky to have made your personal acquaintance in Brussels…If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave to the reptile for whom it has been fabricated.”
“Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”
– Mark Twain
Note: photograph from Tuxedo Park, New York, 1907.
Source: Mark Twain Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Norma Jeane, who would become known to the world as Marilyn Monroe, building a drone while working in a military factory in Van Nuys, California to help the U.S. war effort during WWII.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
– Dr. Seuss
Note: photograph is of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, from 1925.
Elizabeth Keckley was born a slave in Dinwiddie Court-House, in Virginia.
But she was skilled at making relationships with the right people and for being business savvy, and the time came that Elizabeth was able to secure a loan to buy her freedom and the freedom of her son.
As a free woman, life would take her to Washington DC, where she became a dressmaker. The dressmaker of the city. For “her garments had extraordinary fit” and were worn by many notable women, including Varina Davis, the wife of Jefferson Davis, and Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of Abraham Lincoln.
Sources: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/…/the-story-of-elizabeth-ke…/…, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Keckley
His father was a thoughtful man of few words. A man who learned to read in night school. And who then went into business for himself as a brick maker, where he was known to have a strong propensity for math. He could estimate the number of bricks needed for any size contract with amazing accuracy. And he was a righteous man. The men who worked for him never used profanity in his presence. Not because he forbade it, but because they held him in such high regard.
Then there was his maternal grandfather who was freed as a young man. “He was useless to his master because he viciously resisted his masters attempt to bend [his] will.” Slavery was not justifiable in his mind.
And then there was his paternal grandfather, a man who bought his and his wife’s freedom.
Nathan Francis Mossell came from a lineage of people who fought to overcome adversity. And he followed in their path. In 1882, he became the first African-American graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
“If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.”
Happy birthday, JFK. He would have been 100 today.
Everyday at 9am, Susie King Taylor and her brother would walk half a mile to the small schoolhouse, their books wrapped in paper to prevent the police or white persons from seeing them. Her grandmother made sure of it – she wanted Susie to be able to read and write.
Susie was barely in her early teens when her family fled to St. Simons Island, a Union controlled area in Georgia, during the Civil War. With her inquisitive eyes and kind demeanor and her education, she impressed the army officers. They asked that she become a teacher for children and even some adults. “I would gladly do so, if I could have some books,” she replied. And so she became the first black teacher of freed black students to work in a freely operating freedmen’s school in Georgia.
Not long after, Susie married, and joined her husband and his regiment as they traveled. She became their teacher, teaching the illiterate men to read and write. It was also during this time that she became a nurse to the men, thus making her the first black army nurse in the Civil War.
All this she accomplished before the age of 18.
Looking back on her time as a nurse, she said that “I gave my service willingly for four years and three months without receiving a dollar. I was glad…to care for the sick and afflicted comrades.
People say wrinkles tell stories. Imagine her stories.
A Klamath woman, 1923.
One day a long time from now you’ll cease to care anymore whom you please or what anybody has to say about you. That’s when you’ll finally produce the work you’re capable of.
– J.D. Salinger