Friday, June 14, 2024

Happy Birthday to…Winning Women

Today we celebrate three women who received awards and accolades for their achievements in literature, theater and film, and sports.

Happy 213th Birthday to Harriet Beecher Stowe

Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin


Born: June 14, 1811
Birthplace: Litchfield, Connecticut, United States

Died: July 1, 1896 (85 years old)


When my son-in-law was an over-the-road trucker, he read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and raved about it. One time when he was home, he read a scene aloud—my daughter and I were in tears.


This novel is definitely on my TBR list!


Harriet’s landmark novel, written at her abolitionist family’s request, was published in 1852 and “shook the nation’s consciousness on the inhumanity of slavery” (FP-Stowe).


Achievements and Accolades

  • Author of dozens of books, essays, and articles;
  • Multiple landmarks in Ohio, Florida, Maine and Connecticut are dedicated to her memory including homes where she lived;
  • November 1862 ~ Met President Abraham Lincoln;
  • 1986 ~ Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame;
  • June 2007 ~ USPS issues a stamp in her honor in the Distinguished Americans Series;
  • 2010 ~ Proposed as a finalist for inclusion in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall by the Ohio Historical Society but lost to Thomas Edison. 

Fun Fact ~ Harriet often took Bob, her pet canary, to church with her. Thankfully, she kept him in his birdcage!


Happy 108th Birthday to Dorothy McGuire



Born: June 14, 1916
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States

Died: September 13, 2001 (85 years old)


As a youngster, I loved Disney’s Old Yeller (though it made me cry). Swiss Family Robinson was a fun movie, too. As an adult, I watched Friendly Persuasion—a Civil War movie about a Quaker family which also stars a young Anthony Perkins (Psycho fame!). Love it, too.


Dorothy played the mom in all three of these movies plus several more including the film adaptation of the acclaimed novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In addition to dozens of movies, she appeared on stage and television.

Achievements and Accolades

  • 1947 ~ Nominated by New York Film Critics Circle for Best Actress in Gentlemen’s Agreement;
  • 1948 ~ Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Gentlemen’s Agreement;
  • 1956 ~ Won Best Actress for her role in Friendly Persuasion by the National Board of Review;
  • 1960 ~ Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame;
  • 1976 ~ Nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in Rich Man, Poor Man.

(Confession: I’m sad to say I often confuse Dorothy with Donna Reed who starred in It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and later her own television series, The Donna Reed Show!)


Happy 107th Birthday to Katherine Rawls

American Competition Swimmer and Diver


Born: June 14, 1917

Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Died: April 8, 1982 (64 years old)


Why had I never heard of Katy “The Minnow” Rawls before I started writing this post? Not only did she compete as an Olympic swimmer and diver in the 1930s, but she also flew planes as her contribution to the U.S. World War II effort.

As a child, Katy and her sisters, known as the Rawls Diving Trio, participated in swimming and diving competitions and exhibitions throughout Florida. Include two more siblings and you have the Rawls Water Babies.


In her later life, Katy taught swimming for 20 years at The Greenbrier, a luxury resort located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. 

Achievements and Accolades

  • 1931-1938 ~ won a total of 33 U.S. National Championships (5 in diving and 28 in swimming);
  • 1932 Olympics ~ silver medal (diving);
  • 1936 Olympics ~ silver and bronze medals (diving);
  • 1937 ~ named Associate Press Female Athlete of the Year;
  • 1942 ~ one of the first members of the newly-formed Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron responsible for transporting military cargo;
  • 1965 ~ an inaugural inductee to the International Swimming Hall of Fame. 


Your Turn


Whose birthday party do you most want to attend? You can…

  • Talk social issues with Harriet Beecher Stowe;
  • Enjoy a classic movie with Dorothy; or
  • Swim with The Minnow.

Johnnie Alexander imagines stories you won’t forget in multiple genres. 
A fan of classic movies, stacks of books, and road trips, 
she shares a life of quiet adventure with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, 
and Rugby, her racoon-treeing papillon. 
Visit her at

Photos ~ all images designed with Canva.


Harriet Beecher Stowe ~ Portrait of Stowe by Alanson Fisher, 1853. Created: 1853; public domain.


Dorothy McGuire ~ Promotional photograph (1940s); Unknown author; public domain.


Katherine Rawls ~ 1935 Vintage Photo National Champ 300m medley 220yd breaststroke; Wide World Photos Inc. Permission details: “published in the United States between 1929 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice.” Created: 19 July 1935; public domain.


Sources ~ all sites accessed 6/7/24.


FP-Stowe ~ Famous People Quote


IMDB ~ Dorothy McGuire


History ~ “History and World Records,” Parks and Recreation, City of Fort Lauderdale website

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting today. I'd love to meet all three of these women! But if I must choose one, I'll go with Harriet and ask why she took her bird to church!!!