Petrona Rosende (1787-1862)

Art by Snitchhazel570 (tumblr)

Petrona is considered the first female journalist in Argentina.  Between November 1830 and January 1831 she published eighteen editions of a feminist newspaper called La Aljaba (The Quiver).


Hey teachers! The next session of Seminars on Science, the Museum’s online courses for educators, starts on October 27th. Register by September 29th for a $50 discount. Courses include The Brain, Climate Change, The Solar System, Earth: Inside and Out, and more. Graduate and CEU credit available. Visit


Happy birthday, Jim Henson. We miss you.


Ana Néri

Art by Pale Yellow Daisy (tumblr)

Ana is considered the first Brazilian nurse.  When the Paraguayan War broke out and her three sons were called to serve, Ana volunteered as a nurse for the Triple Alliance.  For the first time in her life, Ana left her home province of Bahia to work in hospitals in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.  She used her own wealth to help fund medical services and adopted four orphans.

After the war, Ana was given civilian honors and a government pension.  When the first Brazilian nursing school was founded in 1929, it was named in her honor.


Photo of the Day: Baobab With Star Trails

Photo by Beverly Houwing (Beverly Hills, California, USA); Chapman’s Baobab, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana


September 22, 1862: Abraham Lincoln Issues Emancipation Proclamation

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This declaration set a date for the freedom of more than three million black slaves in the United States.

The Emancipation Proclamation ordered the emancipation of all slaves residing in Confederate states that had not returned to Union control by January 1, 1863. It emphasized the mission of the Civil War as a fight against slavery.

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed and issued on January 1, 1863.

To read Lincoln’s legendary decree, visit Ken Burns’s The Civil War site.

Image: The first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the cabinet / painted by F.B. Carpenter ; engraved by A.H. Ritchie, circa 1866. (Library of Congress)


"Carry That Weight," Emma Sulkowicz’s performance-art protest against sexual assault on campus continues as the Columbia senior vows to haul the 50-pound mattress around campus till her alleged rapist leaves or is expelled.
Sulkowicz is not alone — friends and strangers have spontaneously stepped forward to help her carry the mattress. She says the performance has given her an inner strength she didn’t know she had.
Read more via The New York Times.

Regarding West Side Story: Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 23, 1957.


Alicia Cañas Zañartu (1901-2002)

Art by Siamesa (tumblr, deviantart)

In 1935, Alicia Cañas Zañartu was elected mayor of Providencia, a suburb of Santiago, Chile.  This was the first time in Chilean history a woman was elected to public office and the first time a woman was elected mayor of any Latin American city.  At the time, Chilean women were able to vote in municipal elections only, full suffrage did not come until 1949.

Alicia’s major achievement during her two terms as mayor was the remodeling Providencia.  Under Alicia’s leadership, parks were build, avenues were expanded, and the sewer system was updated.  Inspired by her Parisian childhood, Alicia commissioned the construction of Mercado Municipal de Providencia, a European-style public market.  

Shortly before her death at the age of 100, Alicia was given a medal by the city and a plaza was renamed in her honor.

Regarding West Side Story: Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 15, 1957.