Honoring Women Who Blazed New Trails

Anna Marie Jarvis campaigned to establish a day honoring mothers following the death of her mother, Ann Jarvis.  A small service was held on 12 May 1905 in the Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia where Anna’s mother had been teaching Sunday school.  But the first “official” service was held on May 10, 1908.

Ann Marie then proceeded to get Mother’s Day established as a U.S. national holiday, and later as an international holiday. The holiday was declared officially by the state of West Virginia in 1910, and the rest of states soon followed quickly.

And as we approach this special day set aside to honor Mothers, I can’t think of a better time to also pay tribute to women and highlight some of the innovative, caring, and selfless contributions women do and have done to make our world a better place.

Here are just a few of those women:

Dorthea Dix – a compassionate nineteenth-century crusader for the poor and mentally handicapped.

Nurse Clara Barton – a caring woman who founded the American Red Cross.

Madam CJ Walker – a creative entrepreneur who built her empire developing hair products for black women.

Annie Edison Taylor – a brave schoolteacher from Michigan who was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Amelia Earhart – a risk taking woman who flew  solo, nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean.

Ann Bancroft, a daring woman who was the first woman to walk to the North Pole.

Grandma Moses – Anna Mary Robertson Moses, a “it’s never too late” woman who took up painting at the age of 76.

Harriet Tubman – A fearless leader of the Underground Railroad, which brought slaves to freedom.

Bessie Coleman – followed her dream and became the first woman to earn an international pilot’s license

Gertrude Ederle  – a spirited woman who was the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

Sarah E. Goode – a visionary woman who designed and received a patent for a bed that folded up into a cabinet.

Annie Edson Taylor – an adventuresome  schoolteacher from Michigan who was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Those of you in the US and celebrating Mother’s Day, I wish you a day filled with joy, peace and love.

If you’re like me and your own Mother is no longer physically with you, you’re located where Mother’s Day is not observed or maybe you’re not officially a mother, I hope you take this as a reminder to honor all of the brave, talented, committed, caring and innovative women on whose shoulders all women stand.

Take some time now out of your busy day to honor all the women in your life that inspire,  support and encourage you.

Until next time…

Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, therapists, teachers and other caregivers balance the many demands on their time and energy, create boundaries  that shift balance from overwhelm to energized, and live their lives with courage, confidence and clarity.


  1. Thank you for pointing out some of the outstanding women who have made a difference in our history. It’s important for us to remember and honor them because they paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy today.

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