Albert Einstein and Marie Curie

Einstein and Curie

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.”

Norma Jeane

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.

Susie King Taylor

Susie King Taylor

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.


Robert Wadlow

Robert Wadlow, 1938

He had a deep voice and a soft playful smile, and he knew all the history of his hometown of Alton, Illinois, and he liked to take photographs of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus that he was part of.

And in so many ways he was just a kid, sixteen, doing normal activities such as serving as the advertising manager for his school’s yearbook.

But he always stood out. For Robert Wadlow was tall. Very tall. By sixteen, which is when this photograph was taken, he was almost eight feet tall. And he would continue to grow. All the way to a height of 8 feet 11.1 inches.

His rapid growth left him with brittle bones. Rarely did he walk without leg braces and a cane. And while he had relatively good health in his youth, Robert had little feeling in his legs and feet as he grew older.

He passed away at the age of 22 from an infection, caused by a faulty brace which irritated his ankle and led to a blister. At the time of his death, it was said that he was still growing.

Note: Photograph is of Robert and his father, taken in 1938.


Kindertransport – a program to rescue Jewish children from Nazi Germany.

Saving Jewish children in Europe

Kindertransport was the informal name of a program started in 1938 to rescue Jewish children from Nazi Germany.

First pushed by a group of Jewish and Quaker leaders, the program was adopted by the British government in a bill that “stated that the British government would waive certain immigration requirements so as to allow the entry into Great Britain of unaccompanied children ranging from infants up to the age of 17.”

When the program was announced to British citizens, around 500 households volunteered. 

Children who were selected for rescue would have to leave their families behind. Once in the UK, they would be housed in foster homes or in a camp. Which meant that for many of the kids that came, they would never see their parents again.

Close to 10,000 kids were saved over about nine months.

Source:… &

Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur

Before she became famous as an actress in All in the Family, Maude, and Golden Girls, Bea Arthur worked as a truck driver and typist in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve during WWII.

She received an honorable discharge.

Isidor & Ida Straus

Isidor and Ira Strauss

“I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together.”

Isidor Straus was co-founder of the Macy’s Department Store. Ida Straus was his wife. The couple was known for their shared love; almost always together and writing daily to each other when apart.

On April 14th, 1912, they were passengers on the Titanic. As the ship began to sink, Ida alone was offered a seat in a lifeboat. She refused. “We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go,” she said to her husband.

The two were then offered a seat together in another lifeboat. But with many women and children still on the Titanic, Isidor refused to take the seat. Once again, his wife refused as well.

Passengers remarked that what they saw was a “most remarkable exhibition of love and devotion.”

The couple were last seen sitting side by side on Titanic’s Boat Deck.

Juli Lynne Charlot Invents the Circle Skirt


Juli Lynne Charlot was 25, broke, when in the winter of 1947 she was invited to a holiday party in Los Angeles. Without an outfit to wear or money for a new one, or knowledge of how to sew, she decided to create her own dress for the party.

Juli had access to a free supply of felt, so she took the material and in her words, “cut the circle out of felt, which allowed me to cut a complete circle skirt without having any seams.” She then “added some whimsical Christmas motif appliqués.”

Her skirt was a hit. She received many compliments at the party.

Still in need of money, Juli decided to make two more skirts. She took them to a boutique in Beverly Hills. The owner put the skirts on the floor where they sold immediately. He then placed another order for more, and with that the fashion of circle skirts began.


Animals in WW1

Horses, mules and donkeys were used during WWI to transport ammunition and supplies to the front. They did so during the horrors of shellfire, through terrible weather and appalling conditions. 

Eight million horses, mules and donkeys died during the war. In this photograph, taken in 1918, American soldiers pay tribute to the fallen animals. 


Helen B. Taussig

Helen Taussig

Helen B. Taussig wanted to be a doctor. So after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1921, she tried to enroll in medical school.

Most universities wouldn’t accept a woman. Johns Hopkins did. She applied, was admitted, and in 1927 she became a doctor at the university.

Helen became a pioneer in her field, conducting extensive research in multiple areas, but becoming well known in her work with Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas to correct “blue baby syndrome.”

Later in her career, Helen became deaf. But again she found a way. “She learned to use lip-reading techniques and hearing aids to speak with her patients, and her fingers rather than a stethoscope to feel the rhythm of their heartbeats and to lip read.”

Helen went on to earn more than 20 honorary degrees and many awards. She continued to conduct research even after retiring from Johns Hopkins University.

Image source: uab.edu