Did you know that Maria Mitchell was the first woman in the Western Hemisphere to discover a comet?
Or, that war correspondent Martha Gellhorn was arrested for locking herself in a ship’s toilet to cover the invasion of Normandy because female reporters weren’t allowed in combat?
The National Women’s History Museum does.
The de Pizan Honors – named for Christine de Pizan, the first female historian – paid tribute to Legendary Photographer Annie Leibovitz, President of the Red Cross Elizabeth Dole and Maya Angelou at the Ronald Reagan building Wednesday night.
“Obviously, with Elizabeth Dole and Maya Angelou, I’m feeling pretty humble right now. They’re amazing women. I’m feeling a little like the youngster,” Leibovitz told Glittarazzi, laughing.
The de Pizan Honors awards extraordinary women past and present by pairing an historical female figure with her contemporary. Leibovitz received the Dorothea Lange Living Legacy Award, Angelou received the Gwendolyn Brooks Living Legacy Award and Dole received the Clara Barton Living Legacy Award.
The refreshingly funny Los Angeles comedy duo, Frangela, emceed the evening, making for a pleasantly different atmosphere than the majority of suited-and-stuffy awards galas. Another unexpected dose of humor came from Dole, who shared several personal stories of experiencing sexism during the course of her career. (From a security guard at a building where women weren’t allowed: "Ma’am, I don’t care if your name is Queen Elizabeth. You can’t come in!")
“I’m passionate about helping women reach their full potential. In each position I’ve been in in my 40 years in public service, that’s been something that I’ve tried to do,” Dole told Glittarazzi.
Angelou sent her cousin, event co-chair Gloria Herndon, to accept her award, along with a video message.
“It is my hope that my work will continue to be an inspiration to women today and tomorrow,” Angelou said.
Done, Maya. #girlpower.
DiD yOu KnOw? ... The National Women's History Museum is working to secure land on the National Mall. Sign the petition here.