American Women!
A Celebration of Our History
April 22 -- October 29, 2000

Founder of the Girl Scouts


"I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all of the world, and we're going to start it tonight."

First Lady and Girl Scout


"A Boy--ah, what wouldn't I give just about now to be one!"
--written to a friend after college graduation


A woman nicknamed "Daisy" started the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. with 18 girls. And a tomboy called "Lou" helped the organization grow into its current membership of over 3.5 million!

Juliette Gordon grew up artistically talented, high spirited, and beautiful, and after marriage to a wealthy Englishman, William Low, Daisy enjoyed London society and continental vacations. Then she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and the English Girl Guides. In 1912, she returned to Savannah, Georgia, to bring Scouting to American girls. By this time Low was a deaf, gray-haired, 52-year-old widow, and had never spent one day in an office organizing anything. But Daisy crusaded across the nation, and used her deafness to mistake the word "no" for "yes!"

Lou Henry grew up enjoying the outdoor life, and was the first women to receive a degree in geology from Stanford. She traveled the world with her husband Herbert Hoover, and assisted him with his mining ventures and famine relief activities. During World War I she met up with Juliette Low, and was a Girl Scout for the next 25 years. As First Lady and national leader of the Girl Scouts, Hoover quietly aided people in need during the Depression, and was also the first to desegregate White House social functions. Lou remained a Scout the rest of her life and led the first Girl Scout cookie drive in 1935.

Juliette Low and Lou Henry Hoover brought together girls from the North and South, wealthy and poor, black and white, athletic and handicapped--instilling confidence that all women can develop their potential to be whatever they wish to be.

Historic Artifacts:

LETTER from Grace Coolidge to Lou Henry Hoover regarding "ex" First Ladies, 6-3-29
PORCELAIN, Ch'ing Dynasty, collected by Mrs. Hoover
DE RE METALLICA, 16th century mining text written in Latin by Agricola, translated by Herbert and Lou Hoover, 1912 edition
MOVIE CAMERA of Lou Hoover's, c. 1930s
GARDEN PARTY DRESS worn by Hoover when First Lady, early 1930s
-- From the collection of Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, West Branch IA

GIRL SCOUT HAT worn by Juliette Low
PURSE carried by Low
SKETCH of Low sculpting, drawn by her niece, Nancy Lyon, who was the first Girl Guide
-- On loan from the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace / Girl Scout National Center, Savannah GA

Return to the "From Jazz to War 1920-1950" index page
"red arrow" Continue the story--NEXT.... From Fifties to Feminism, 1950-1990
or visit:"
  From Colony to Country, 1600-1800 "From Prairie to Polls, 1870-1920"
  From Growth to War, 1800-1870 Into the 21st Century, 1990 onward
"red arrow" View an alphabetical list of all 106 women included in American Women! with links to photos and biographies for selected women
"red arrow" View a Thank You to over 100 lenders to Ameican Women!
"red arrow" Return to American Women! index page
"black arrow" Return to Hoover Library-Museum virtual exhibits page
"black arrow" Return to Hoover Library-Museum main index page