On This Day She: Putting Women Back Into History One Day at a Time by Jo Bell, Tania Hershman, and Ailsa Holland

March is Women’s History Month and as I was browsing the new book shelves I found the perfect read.  On this Day She contains 365 vignettes of women whose achievements throughout history deserve a wider audience. The book was sparked by a co-authors’ outrage that the 365 calendar of historical events she had included so few women.

I was curious to see how many of the women I knew by name alone. It turned out to be around one hundred and just a few more by the descriptions of their lives and accomplishments. Among those I thought I knew, I was surprised that Florence Nightingale, (February 2) was not only a nurse, but a statistician who collected data to prove her methods of sanitation worked to reduce disease and death. I was also struck by how many achievements happened many years earlier than I had thought.  Alice Coachman (August 7) was the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in 1948. 

This book features pioneering women from all over the world in the fields of science, literature, politics, and sports from early to modern day. You will find some whose names are well known, if not their stories, like Melitta Bentz (July 8th), the developer of coffee filters, and many who you will be meeting for the first time. I recommend reading this book to appreciate the remarkable lives and achievements of these women.

Reviewed by Mary

More Stories