Nestled in the gardens of the Juliette Gordon Low childhood home, the “Lady of Compassion” sculpture was unveiled on March 25, 2014. Sculpted by great-great niece, Nina de Burgh, the statue depicts Juliette seated on a bench in her garden with her dog. Everyone knows Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. History teaches us that she was an accomplished artist, sculptor, and “rabble rouser” as Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the United States has stated.
Building a World of Successful Women:
What we may have forgotten over the years is that Juliette Gordon Low (or “Daisy”) encouraged girls to be more, learn more, and live broader lives. At a time when girls were prepared for lives of traditional homemaking roles, Daisy was building the possibility that girls could attain future roles as professional women. She envisioned women engaged in the world of arts, history and science. She was also engendering a spirit of active citizenship outside the home.
I was inspired by the comments of Ms. Chávez during the dedication and unveiling. I was impressed with the words of Nina de Burgh as she shared the commitment of her Father, Richard Platt, to the organization. (Did you know that Juliette Gordon Low was given America’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom, in May 2012. Mr. Platt traveled to the White House to accept the award on behalf of Juliette Gordon Low and her ancestors.) Dr. Stan Deaton, Senior Historian, Georgia Historical Society, spoke eloquently interweaving Daisy’s vision and dreams for girls of the world with the historical influences of her time.
One Hundred and Two years later her vision is as powerful today as it was then. Ms. Chávez stated during a recent luncheon “… when boys speak up, they are lauded for exhibiting “executive skills” while girls are told to stop “being bossy” and assertive. ” Ms. Chávez is dedicated to continuing Juliette Gordon Low’s legacy and never forgetting that the Girl Scouts are a foundation of development for the future of young girls worldwide.
Girl Scouts today are in dire need of volunteers, women willing to carry the torch that Juliette Gordon Low first lit so long ago, even before women achieved the right to vote. Take a moment to consider whether you have a gift to share with our future women leaders.
A Few Quick Facts About Juliette Gordon Low:
On March 12, 1912 Juliette called a girlfriend in Savannah and ”I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight.” Girl Guides, later called Girl Scouts, was born in America.
On July 3rd, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill authorizing a three-cent commemorative stamp in honor of Juliette Gordon Low.
During World War II, a liberty ship was named in her honor.
In 1954, the city of Savannah honored her by naming a new school for her.
On October 28, 1979, Juliette Gordon Low was installed in the Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. The Hall of Fame is to “honor in perpetuity those women, … whose contributions to the arts, athletics, business, education, government, the humanities, philanthropy and science have been of greatest value to the development of their country.”
On December 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill naming the new Federal Building in Savannah, Ga. for Juliette Gordon Low. It was only the second Federal Building in history to be named for a woman. The first was named after Mary E. Switzer for her years of service to public welfare, and specifically for championing on behalf of people with disabilities.
Visit the First Girl Scout Headquarters This Summer:
Bring your daughter, or your sister. Maybe your best friend from childhood. It really doesn’t matter. Walk in the footsteps of the woman who changed so many young girls lives. Visit the home where the belief that girls can be more and do more was born. Book a Two-night stay online (or by phone). You must mention Girl Scouts in the comment section and two free admissions to the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace are included.
Chosen as #5 of “19 Truly Charming Places To See Before You Die”