Historians and readers have a young Jewish girl’s diaries to thank for deep insights into the Holocaust. Anne Frank died in a concentration camp in 1945. In 1947, her father, Otto Frank, who escaped the camps, published his daughter’s incredible diaries – chronicles of her life in hiding.
Anne Frank’s writings gave voice to 6 million people whose lives were brutally silenced. Her story offers glimpses into young people’s experiences and identity struggles that are still prevalent today. This is why people continue connecting with her message.
The glamorous Hedy Lamarr is synonymous with Hollywood’s Golden Age. She rose to fame with the release of the Oscar-nominated “Algers” in 1938. But when she wasn’t on the red carpet, the actor fiercely pursued a second passion – invention.
As WWII raged, reports of the Germans jamming British torpedo signals were making headlines. Lamarr, with composer and former weapons inspector George Antheil, developed a frequency-hopping system, allowing Allied ships to communicate undetected via numerous radio frequencies. A ground-breaking technology that informed wireless technology and how we communicate today.
The attack on Pearl Harbour changed American history, and Naomi Parker wanted to do her bit. She became one of the first women at the Almeda Naval Station machine shop to do things most considered a man’s job — drilling, welding, bucking, and riveting.
In 1942, a photographer took a photo of Parker dressed in overalls and hair pulled back in a polka-dotted bandana while working the machinery. The iconic photograph inspired “Rosie the Riveter” – an allegorical symbol of American feminism and women in the wartime workforce. It was originally a poster for Westinghouse Electric Corporation with the now-famous phrase, “We Can Do It.”
In 1951, “I Love Lucy” made its television debut, quickly becoming America’s most beloved sitcom, and Lucille Ball became a household name. With complex storylines on marriage (not always perfect) and working women, “I Love Lucy” broke several gender barriers for the time.
As the show’s producer, she proved that women are brilliant both in front of the camera and behind it. Ball co-founded Desilu Productions, a company that produced other classics such as “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Star Trek.” Ball wasn’t one to bank on luck. For her, "luck" meant recognizing opportunity and working hard for it.
Queen Elizabeth II
In 2022, shortly before her passing away, Queen Elizabeth became the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee – 70 years on the throne and the country’s longest-reigning monarch.
Through social upheavals, recessions, or the will-they-won’t-they chaos of Brexit – the Queen remained a constant anchor. Her work and values are so highly-regarded that even anti-monarchists have little criticism. Ever diligent, present, and mindful of her royal duty, the Queen’s participation in and service to public life was real and tangible.