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Inspirational Women

This section began as a celebration of March and Women’s History Month; it continues as a regular feature because there are so many unrecognized women who have made major contributions to history.

Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994)

First American woman to win 3 Olympic gold medals in track and field, 1960
Wilma Rudolph was born in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, and she weighed only 4 lbs 8 oz; her initial survival was in doubt.

Kitty O’Neil (1947-2018), Stuntwoman

Athlete, Record-Setter, and First Woman in Stunts Unlimited Kitty O’Neil was a champion swimmer, an award-winning diver, and a racer in motorcycle and car competitions. She thrived on speed.

Elsie S. Ott (1913-2006)

First woman to receive the Air Medal, 1943
Second Lieutenant Elsie S. Ott was a pioneer in air evacuation of military casualties.

Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995)

First Director of Women’s Army Corps Oveta Culp was born in Killeen, Texas to parents from whom she learned the tradition of service to one’s country and one’s community.

Oveta Culp Hobby

Loretta Walsh: First Woman to Enlist in Navy

Loretta Walsh, First woman assigned to active duty in the Navy On March 17, 1917 Loretta Walsh enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and went on to become the first woman to serve on active duty in the Navy.

Loretta Walsh
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