Remember the Ladies | Mechanics' Institute

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Remember the Ladies

In a letter dated March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams urged her husband, John Adams, to "remember the ladies" as he crafted guidelines for our new country. Little did Abigail know that her advice would become a chorus for the ages. In keeping with Mrs. Adams' sentiment, M.I Library honors women's accomplishments this month.

Currently, we are racing through State of Terror by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and bestselling author Louise Penny. Clinton's debut novel is also available as a downloadable audiobook read by actress Joan Allen. We are anxiously anticipating the upcoming adaptation of a movie by the same name, also produced by Clinton and Penny, two incredibly accomplished women making their first foray into film. 

While we're on the subject of women who have run for office, we grew curious about other females who dared to break a few rules throughout history. The Scarlet Sisters by Myra MacPherson tells the story of Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president in the late 19th century and her sister, Lady Tennessee Claflin Cook, who helped create the first woman-run brokerage firm. 

If stories of spunky women appeal to you as well, try Women Who Dared by Jeremy Scott, a 2019 title that spins through history featuring highlights from remarkable females' lives, including Coco Chanel, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Aimee Semple McPherson. For an even wider sampling of strong females, check out Lee Mckenzi's Bygone Badass Broads:52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World. ScoSisters in Arms: a novel of the daring Black women who served in World War IItt's book celebrates women who dared to step outside traditional gender roles of their time, including Juliet Gordon Low, Mary Anning, Fannie Fields, and Sarah Breedlove. 

While it would be impossible to name all the influential women who helped shape our history, we'd like to mention a few notable favorites that feature remarkable females whose lives and work inspire and uplift. You'll find all of these titles and more on M.I.'s New Book shelf right now. 

All that She Carried by Tiya Miles -  A story that begins in the 1850s with an embroidered cotton sack handed from an enslaved mother to her young daughter – a strikingly vivid account of how a family heirloom can open a portal to women's history.

Lorraine Hansberry by Charles J. Shields - A meticulously researched account of one of the most celebrated playwrights. Hansberry, who wrote A Raisin in the Sun at age 28, was the first Black woman to have a play performed on Broadway. 

Always Remember Your Name by Andra Bucci - A true account told in the dual voices of two sisters who survived Auschwitz and separated from their mother. They were later reunited with their mother because they memorized important information. An amazing tale of survivorship and a historically significant document from the 20th century's darkest period. 

Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict - A novel based on the life of brilliant chemist Rosalind Franklin, whose DNA research paved the way for so many other scientific discoveries. 

Sisters in Arms: a novel of the daring Black women who served in World War II by Kaia Alderson - As the United States heads into World War II, two Black women in Harlem are dissatisfied with their career prospects. They enlist in the military, hoping to change their destinies. 


Posted on Mar. 10, 2022 by Celeste Steward