Click the symbol  to learn about many famous women in history.

Women's History Month began as a single week in 1978.  Sonoma County, California, sponsored a women's history week to promote the teaching of women's history, at that time a neglected subject in elementary and high school curriculums.  In 1981 Congress passed a resolution making the week a national celebration 
and in 1987 expanded it to the full month of March.

The questions below are from a 
Scholastic Cyber Hunt honoring Women's History Month

Click the blinking light to find the answer.
Write your answers in full sentences in Microsoft Works. (Don't forget your name.)

1. For what was Elizabeth Blackwell famous? 

2. Who was the first African-American woman to travel in space? 
     On what shuttle did she fly, and when was her mission? 

3. Look for science writer Rachel Louise Carson on the Web site 
    "Distinguished Women of  Past and Present." 
    On what did she focus in her book Silent Spring? 

4. Using the same site as above, find an entry for French heroine Joan of Arc. 
    How did she achieve fame as a teenager? 

5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was influential in the fight for women's rights. 
    What was the name of her women's-rights newspaper? 

6. Search Encyclopedia Britannica's Web site for Amelia Earhart. 
    What was her main accomplishment? 

7. Now do a search for American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe. 
    Why was her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin important?

8. What important organization did Civil War nurse Clara Barton help found?

9. Who held two records as the world's fastest woman?


The next exercise involves first reading all four entries below about Rachel Carson. 
Then read them over again and write down brief  notes
on the important and/or interesting facts.
(These notes should NOT be in sentence form!)
 You will then use only  your notes to write a short biography of Rachel Carson.  
Only a few interesting sentences are necessary, 
but you will need an attention-getting opener and a closing statement.

Rachel Louise Carson


The following information came from Microsoft Encarta:

Carson, Rachel Louise (1907-64), American marine biologist, author of widely read books on ecological themes. 
Born in Springdale, Pennsylvania, and educated at the former Pennsylvania College for Women and Johns Hopkins University, she taught zoology at the University of Maryland from 1931 to 1936. 
She was aquatic biologist at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries and its successor, the Fish and Wildlife Service, from 1936 to 1952. Her books on the sea, Under the Sea Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951), for which she was awarded the 1952 National Book Award in nonfiction, and The Edge of the Sea (1955), are praised for beauty of language as well as scientific accuracy. In Silent Spring (1962), she questioned the use of chemical pesticides and was responsible for arousing worldwide concern for the preservation of the environment.




The following information came from Scholastic, written by Kathy Wilmore.

Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer
"Man's way is not always best"
When you hear the world "revolutionary," what image comes to mind? An angry, wild-eyed man toting a machine gun, perhaps? Or do you look back in history to see someone like George Washington or Paul Revere? How about the environmentalist and writer Rachel Carson? She may not look the part, but Rachel Carson was a true revolutionary. Her work as a writer and scientist stirred people up and helped launch a new age of environmental awareness in the United States.

In 1962, Carson published Silent Spring, her fourth book on nature. It had an almost fairy-tale beginning: "There once was a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings."

However, something in that town went horribly wrong. Sickness and death appeared everywhere: among flowers and trees, cattle and sheep, even humans. "There was a strange stillness," wrote Carson. "The birds, for example where had they gone?... The few birds seen anywhere... trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of...(many) bird voices there was now no sound: only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh."

Carson went on to explain the cause of that eerie silence: "Pesticides" (insect-killing chemicals) had gotten into the water, air, and soil and were killing or sickening all sorts of creatures including humans. "Can anyone believe," she wrote, "it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? They should not called "insecticides" [insect killers] but biocides [life killers]."  If we are not more careful with the chemicals we use, warned Carson, the nightmarish silence described in Silent Spring could come true.

Anything But Silence
The reaction to Carson's book was anything but silence. It caused such an uproar that a New York Times headline declared:

Chemical manufacturers were furious with Carson. They ran ads telling Americans to ignore Silent Spring. They questioned Carson's abilities as a scientist, calling her a hysterical fanatic. Pesticides, they said are perfectly safe don't worry about a thing.

But Americans did worry. The White House and the Congress were flooded with letters from anxious citizens demanding that something be done. President John F. Kennedy called for a special committee of scientists to investigate Carson's claims. Congress also formed an investigation committee.

The soft-spoken Carson would rather have spent her days on the rocky coast of Maine, where she did much of her research as a "marine biologist" (scientist who studies sea life). But the storm of debate surrounding her book and its critics pulled her into the limelight.

Coming to Terms with Nature
In defending her research, Carson told Americans to think for themselves. Who had the most to win or lose if she turned out to be correct? "As you listen to the present controversy about pesticides," said Carson, "I recommend that you ask yourself: Who speaks? And why?"

The main thing to consider, she said, is our future. What kind of world do we want to leave our children? "I deeply believe," Carson told Congress, "that we in this generation must come to terms with nature."

Carson's ideas may not seem revolutionary today. But back in 1962, few people were familiar with such terms as pollution and ecology and environmental awareness. U.S. industries were constantly coming out with useful and exciting new products, but few people stopped to think if there could be negative side effects to any of them. Humans did what was convenient for them. Nature to most people was something that just took care of itself.

A Message To Remember
President Kennedy's commission supported Carson's warnings. So did other government studies. Armed with such new data and the public outcry, Congress began passing laws to ban or control the use of potentially dangerous pesticides. It also called for more careful testing of chemicals' side effects. In 1970, Congress established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce and control pollution of water, air, and soil.

Rachel Carson did not live to see all of this happen. She died of cancer in 1964.

What about us? Can we avoid the "silent spring" that Carson predicted? In the 31 years since Silent Spring first appeared, people have grown far more aware of our impact on the environment. But we still use many potentially deadly chemicals.

A 1993 New York Times article says that "68 pesticide ingredients [not in use] have been determined to cause cancer. One out of every 10 community drinking-water wells contains pesticides... Farmers exposed to "herbicides" [weed killers] have a six times greater risk than others of contracting certain cancers. Children in homes using pesticides are seven time as likely to develop childhood leukemia [a form of cancer]."

"There remains, in this space-age universe," wrote Rachel Carson, "the possibility that man's way is not always best." We would do well to remember her warning.



 # 3     
The following article came from Britannica.

b. May 27, 1907, Springdale, Pa., U.S.
d. April 14, 1964, Silver Spring, Md.
in full RACHEL LOUISE CARSON American biologist well known for her writings on environmental pollution and the natural history of the sea.

Carson early developed a deep interest in the natural world. She entered Pennsylvania College for Women with the intention of becoming a writer but soon changed her major field of study from English to biology. After taking her bachelor's degree in 1929, she did graduate work at Johns Hopkins University (M.A., 1932) and in 1931 joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, where she taught for five years. From 1929 to 1936 she also taught in the Johns Hopkins summer school and pursued postgraduate studies at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

In 1936 Carson took a position as aquatic biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (from 1940 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), where she remained until 1952, the last three years as editor in chief of the service's publications. An article in The Atlantic Monthly in 1937 served as the basis for her first book, Under the Sea-Wind, published in 1941. It was widely praised, as were all her books, for its remarkable combination of scientific accuracy and thoroughness with an elegant and lyrical prose style. The Sea Around Us (1951) became a national best-seller, won a National Book Award, and was eventually translated into 30 languages. Her third book, The Edge of the Sea, was published in 1955.

Her prophetic Silent Spring (1962) was also a best-seller that is credited with creating a worldwide awareness of the dangers of environmental pollution. Carson died before she could see any substantive results from her work on this issue.


 # 4    
The following article came from Biography.com

Carson, Rachel (Louise)

1907 -- 1964

Marine biologist, environmentalist, writer; born in Springdale, Pa. She grew up close to nature on a Pennsylvania farm, graduated from the Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College) in 1929, and went on to do advanced study at Johns Hopkins University. She taught at the University of Maryland for five years before joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1936. Her first book, Under the Sea-Wind (1941) described marine life in clear, elegant, and non-technical prose. She retained her government job through the 1940s, in part because she had taken on the responsibility of supporting her mother and her sister's two orphaned daughters. In 1951 she published The Sea Around Us; it became an immediate best-seller and freed her from financial worry. During the 1950s she conducted research into the effects of pesticides on the food chain. It led to the publication of her most influential work, Silent Spring (1962), which condemned the indiscriminate use of pesticides, especially DDT (later banned). The book led to a presidential commission that largely endorsed her findings, and helped shape a growing environmental consciousness.