155 years ago today, Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, was born. After being educated in East Coast boarding schools, and earning badges in a secret sorority club, she married and moved to Scotland. Her many interests and varied skills were predictive of Girl Scout badges. When she returned to her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, she made a phone call to her cousin Nina, saying, “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight.” Shortly after, in March 1912, she formed the first two American Girl Guides patrols. (1860)
Before starting Girl Guides in America, which she renamed Girl Scouts, Juliette had learned shorthand, bareback riding, hunting partridge, painting and poetry, putting on plays, sewing – she made clothes for the poor, woodworking, metalworking, and nursing. She designed and built iron gates for her home in Warwickshire. For her first Girl Guide groups, in Scotland, she encouraged the girls to become self-sufficient by learning how to spin wool and care for livestock. She also taught them knot tying, how to read a map, knitting, cooking, and first aid, and had her friends in the military teach the girls drilling and signaling, and camping.
More Good News on this Date:
- Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on a church door, initiating the Reformation (1517)
- Scottish physician and writer Arthur Conan Doyle published The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a detective modeled on Doyle’s former university teacher (1892)
- The Battle of Britain ended, and prevented a German invasion (1940)
- After 14 years of work, drilling was completed on Mount Rushmore (1941)
- Roman Catholic and Lutheran church leaders signed a Doctrine of Justification, ending a centuries-old dispute over the nature of faith and salvation (1999)
- Soyuz TM-31 launched, carrying the first crew-in-residence to the International Space Station, which has been continuously crewed since (2000)
And, Happy Birthday to Dan Rather, who turns 84 years old today.