‘In like a lion, out like a lamb,’ is a familiar idiom used to describe the weather of March. But we prefer to think of it this way: March is Winter’s bouncer, effectively melting away the last vestiges of snow and ice, and Spring’s escort to the garden party filled with beautiful flower blossoms and brilliant green grass. March is also National Women’s History Month, a time of special recognition highlighting the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. The list of inspiring women is long, but many of our favorites just happen to have been born in March as well.
We begin with Wonder Woman. Yes, we know she is a fictional character, but the Amazon warrior princess created in March, 1941, by American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston, first came to life during World War II. Depicted as a heroine fighting for justice, love, peace, and gender equality, she is considered one of the nation’s earliest feminine icons. Plus, she had cool weapons, including the Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets, and a tiara that doubled as a projectile.
Before Wonder Woman came Fannie Farmer, born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1857. An American culinary expert and author, Fannie published her best known work, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book in 1896. The ground-breaking cooking guide introduced using standardized recipe ingredients and measurements for first time. It was so popular and so comprehensive that cooks everywhere referred to later editions simply as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and it is still available in print today.
Bonnie Kathleen Blair, the accomplished U.S. women’s speedskater, glided into this world on March 18, 1964, and into the hearts of millions at the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Olympics. One of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history, Blair competed for the U.S. in three Olympics, winning five gold medals and one bronze medal.
By the age of 16, Geraldyn (“Jerrie”) M. Cobb, an American aviator, was barnstorming around the Great Plains in a Piper J-3 Cub, dropping leaflets over little towns announcing the arrival of circuses. By age 19, she was teaching men to fly. At 21, she was delivering military fighters and four-engine bombers to foreign Air Forces worldwide. In 1959, at the age of 28, Cobb joined the “Mercury 13,” a group of women selected to undergo physiological screening tests at the same time as the original Mercury Seven astronauts, as part of a private, non-NASA program. She later applied to but was denied entry into the astronaut program due to NASA requirements at that time.
These four women, their feats and accomplishments give new meaning to ‘In like a lion..” And they represent just the tip of the iceberg we call March. So many strong, creative, innovative, and fearless women were born in the third month of the calendar year: Sandra Day O’Connor, Aretha Franklin, Liz Claiborne, Harper Lee, J.K. Rowling, Anne Bonny, and Dorothy Schiff to name just a few. Badasses, all of them.