My little brother asked me to help him with his lines for the 3rd grade annual class play. This year is "Greatest Americans of the 20th Century." Needless to say, I was happy to help and by reading this classic piece of children's theatre I learned a TON! (One problem I do have with it though was it highlights Albert Einstein... not exactly American... but hey he can join the party.) The best discovery I made was that Mildred ("Babe") Didrikson existed. Girls, this lady r-o-c-k-e-d. Seriously.
Her accomplishments run on and on, but I thought I would give you a few highlights, and you can continue your own research. No doubt it will be time well spent on wikipedia. Or you can check out one of the many websites devoted to her!
Babe Didrikson (1911-1956):
- 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal (tied for first, but given the silver) for track and field in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, setting Olympic records in these events
- Set five world records in the javelin throw, 80-meter hurdles, high jump and baseball throw in a single afternoon
- Played organized baseball and softball and was an expert diver, roller-skater and bowler
- All-American basketball player, leading her team to an AAU Basketball Championship in 1931
- Named Woman Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, 1931, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950, and 1954. No other athlete in either division, man or woman, made this honor so many times
- She may best be known as a golfer because she won every major professional championship at least one time and in the case of most of them, more than one time, and she became the first American to capture the British Women’s Amateur and the first performer to win both the United States Women’s Amateur and the British Women’s Amateur AND she was the first woman to win the Western open three times.
She also was an accomplished dress-maker, sewing all her own golf and tennis outfits. The media was quick to criticize her for her "manliness" because she was strong and she wouldn't let you forget it! She is so badass, pretty much never taking no for an answer, but still remaining quite the classy lady. She let her game do the talking... She also wrote an autobiography, titled "This Life I've Led," which is unfortunatley out of print, but I'm going on a literary treasure hunt to find it! I'll keep you posted!
She was definitely ahead of her time!