Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Helen Magill, Ph.D.

Helen Magill White

So, what a fine face hers was, doncha think? When Helen Magill was about 24 years old back in 1877 (she was born on 28 Nov. 1853), she did something that no American woman had ever before been allowed to do: She earned a Ph.D. What did she study? Ancient Greek. She shared a birthday with John Bunyan (1628), the author of The Pilgrim's Progress [From this World to That Which is to Come]; English poet/mystic William Blake (1757), and Gloria Grahame (1923) - who was she? If you've ever seen the great Frank Capra film, It's a Wonderful Life, you know her face if not her name. Her great line? When she's complimented on her dress: "This old thing? Why I just wear this when I don't care how I look!" 
Now, back to work. I've got to find about 50 more strange factoids for the Weird But True book I'm doing for the National Geographic. I am so buzzed about this project! Did you know that Thomas Edison had a movie company? That he made a movie less than one second long? Of a man sneezing? Watch for my Ye Olde Weird But True sometime next year. Wahoo! You can just have fun reading that when you don't care what you read!

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