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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

April 2019 - Next Month in This Awful Awesome Life


April 2019 in This Awful Awesome Life

The MLB played a trick on us this year and Opening Day for the 2019 season is March 28. It’s one the earliest season openers in league history. Fear not we will have baseball in our April issue. We’ll also be talking about spring and you guessed it, Spring Cleaning! I swear this year is the year I tackle my garage and try to get it organized.

April showers bring May flowers and unfortunately April is also tax time. We’ll probably leave that one alone, so don’t expect any pearls of wisdom about the new tax laws in the April issue.

On a happier note, April 9 is National Library Day – go see your tax dollars at work and while you’re there check out a few books, peruse their calendar of events because libraries have some great programs for kids and adults and thank your librarian for a job well done.

Many of our readers will be celebrating Passover this month. Passover (Pesach) commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This year, Passover will be celebrated from April 19 – April 27.


April 22 is Earth Day, so look for something from Corey Flynn and/or Gail Neustadt. Linda Cahill will have some delicious recipes from The Pampered Chef for Easter and April 30 is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, so yes, there will be cats and dogs galore in this issue.

See you next month!




With the publication of The Tenth Muse in 1650, Anne Bradstreet became the first published poet from the New World and one of the first female poets from anywhere to have a full book of poems published.

 In 1773, Phyllis Wheatley became the first published African-American woman in 1773 with her book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.

 In 1918 Sara Teasdale won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1917 poetry collection Love Songs - made possible by a special grant from The Poetry Society. The organization now lists it as the earliest Pulitzer Prize for Poetry which was not an official category until 1922 making her the first person a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

 In 1921, Edith Wharton became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature for The Age of Innocence.

In 1950, Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

 Aeronautics/Space Exploration:

In 1910, Elisa Raymonde Deroche aka Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman to receive a pilot’s license. The French pilot was issued license #36 of the International Aeronautics Federation by the Aero-Club of France.

 In 1921, Bessie Coleman was the first female pilot of African-American and Native American descent to obtain her International pilot's license. Denied opportunities to become a pilot in the United States because of racial and gender discrimination, she went to Paris to pursue her dreams.

 In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane.

 In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. The former textile worker-turned Russian cosmonaut completed three days in space aboard the Vostok 6.

 In 1992, Astronaut Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman in space.

 In 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go into space aboard the Discovery shuttle. In 2013 Ochoa became the first Hispanic director, and second female director, of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.


In 1933, Frances Perkins became the first female member of a Presidential cabinet.

 In 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first woman head of government. She served as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka after winning the Ceylon general election.

 In 1969, Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to Congress.

 In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister of Great Britain. Nicknamed the “Iron Lady” for her uncompromising style, she also became the longest serving British Prime Minister in the 20th century.

 In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first woman on the Supreme Court.

 In 1997, Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State.

 In 2000, Condoleeza Rice became the first female U.S. National Security Advisor, and in 2005, the first African-American woman appointed U.S. Secretary of State.

 In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history.

 In 2014, the economist Janet Yellen became the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve Board.

 In 2016, Hillary Clinton became first female presidential nominee of a major party.


In 1895, Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky – became the first woman to bicycle around the world. This mother of three from Boston was originally from Latvia. She had never ridden a bicycle, but she pedaled the globe, making stops in New York City, Paris, Egypt, Jerusalem, Colombo and Singapore.

 In 1900, Charlotte Cooper became the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal. The English tennis player won gold medals in the first women’s singles event and the mixed doubles competition.

 In the 1960s, Wilma Rudolph was considered the "fastest woman in the world" and became the first woman to win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics Games.

 In 1975, Junko Tabei became the first woman to climb Mount Everest. She is a seasoned mountain climber and ecological activist who has also climbed Mount Fuji and the Matterhorn. Her goal is to climb the highest peak in every country in the world.

 In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to drive in the Indy 500.

 In 1992, Manon Rheaume became the first woman to play in an NHL game.

 In 1993, Julie Krone became the first woman to win a Triple Crown race. The American jockey won the Belmont Stakes riding Colonial Affair. In 2003, she also became the first woman to win a Breeders’ Cup race.


In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American woman to win an Oscar for her performance in Gone with the Wind.

 In 1955, Marian Anderson became the first African-American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

 In 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director for The Hurt Locker.

 Accomplishments in Education, Religion, Science, Business and traditionally male fields:

 In 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman to receive a U.S. patent. The Connecticut native improved hat-making by inventing a process for weaving straw with silk or thread.

 In 1818, Molly Williams became America's first female firefighter, working with New York's Oceanus Engine Company #11.

 In 1875, Stefania Wolicka-Arnd became the first woman awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in the modern era. The Polish historian received her degree from the University of Zurich.

 In 1935, Regina Jonas, a native of Berlin, became the first woman ordained as a rabbi.

In 1972, Katharine Graham became the first woman Fortune 500 CEO of the Washington Post Company.

Under her leadership, The Washington Post played a key role in unveiling the Watergate conspiracy.



Building a Team

February 2019 in This Awful Awesome Life