On Turkey Point there is a historic lighthouse. It’s in northern Maryland and it’s from the 1830’s.
It occupies a beautiful point of land on the northern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay with eagles, hawks and falcons flying over.
The last keeper of Turkey Point was Fannie Mae Salter, who took over her husband’s duties in 1925, thanks to the personal authorization of President Calvin Coolidge. For 22 years she served and managed this navigational aid to maritime pilots at sea. Fannie Mae served until 1947 when she retired at age 65.
The thing about Turkey point, is that it had the most women lighthouse keepers than any other lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.
Women have made their mark in so many ways. There are many of these stories that are unknown to most.
I’m always on the lookout for these remarkable moments in history. They deserve to be paid tribute and to be known and remembered.
Because they underscore the incredible realization that we, as women, are powerful beyond limits. There’s nothing we cannot do even during times when it was unheard of.
Here’s another story…an archeological site where it’s been proven that women governed over 4000 years ago.
Last month, CNN reported there was an archeological site unearthed in Southeastern Spain that implies that women probably held political power in this society during the Bronze Age – ruling the area 4,000 years ago.
This is clearly in sharp contrast with earlier views of the civilization.
Objects belonging to women, such as bracelets, necklaces, earlobe plugs and silver diadem, were discovered in the tomb that sat below the governing hall of the palatial building.
This is evidence that the El Argar society was organized around complexes which had a political function and “women formed part of the political elite in the highly hierarchical society”.
A final story I’ll share today…
According to Smithsonian Magazine, during the 1918 flu pandemic, “the virus disproportionately affected young men, which in combination with World War I created a shortage of labor”. “This gap enabled women to play a new and indispensable role in the workforce during the crucial period just before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women suffrage in the United States, two years later.”
Women stepped into the workforce in unprecedented numbers in roles previously held exclusively by men, like manufacturing and were able to enter fields where they had previously been banned, like the textile industry.
At the conclusion of the war, women represented 21% of all gainfully employed individuals in the U.S. Women’s increased presence in the workforce was due to the confluence of the pandemic with the war.
Another note of interest, this vital surge of women in the workforce led to women demanding equal pay for their work, helping to garner greater economic power and advancing women’s rights.
Fast forward to now, pandemic healthcare workers are 70% women globally and one in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential.
Women have been behind the scenes AND on the front lines forever, governing politically, stepping into essential roles and doing the critical work when men have been called to war.
As we turn this corner in the pandemic and look ahead, it’s important to call forth the power and unwavering dedication of women that will remain a beacon of light in both our history, our present and our future.
With heart and brilliance,