Juliette Gordon Low had a dream.
When she brought that first group of girls together in Savannah, Georgia in early March, 1912, she wanted them to explore new possibilities and the wonders of the world around them, and she wanted them to do it together. Over the past century, Low’s small circle of girls has grown to include more than 59 million Girl Scout alumnae—united across distance and decades by lifelong friendships, shared adventures, and the desire to do big things to make the world a better place.
Since its inception, the Girl Scouts have nurtured some of the most fascinating women of our time: Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, actresses Shirley Temple and America Ferrera, NASA astronaut/physician Mae Jemison, comedienne Lucille Ball, fashion designer Vera Wang, race car driver Danica Patrick, Grammy-winning singers Dionne Warwick and Mariah Carey, activist Gloria Steinem and journalists Barbara Walters and Katie Couric, all widely-known and respected women who’ve made significant contributions to their country in the arts, science, law, medicine and women’s rights.
As a result of Low’s courageous decision to build an all-girl organization, her dream of creating opportunities for girls everywhere eventually took center stage, leaving much to be desired of her personal life. Take a look at the questions below to see how well you know our beloved founder!
Q. What did Juliette sell to help fund the Girl Scouts?
A. Low sold her pearls. For the next several years, Low personally funded the growth of the Girl Scouting program.
Q. How did Low originally design the Girl Scout trefoil?
A. The original, three-leafed trefoil featured “traditional American symbols” including an eagle, shield, a shaft of arrows and an olive branch. In 1978 the design was changed; the three leaves now represent diversity, continuing commitment and girls.
Q. What famous English author did Low befriend?
A. Rudyard Kipling. The Nobel laureate is known for writing works like The Jungle Book, The Man Who Would Be King and a host of poems and other short stories.
Q. Which U.S. president authorized a postage stamp in honor of Juliette Gordon Low?
A. President Harry S. Truman. Low became the eighth woman to have a stamp dedicated to her!
A. A grain of rice. At the end of her wedding, the rice that was thrown at her for good luck apparently got lodged in her eardrum!
Q. In what year was Low inducted into the National Woman’s Hall of Fame?
A. 1979. You can learn more about Low and other amazing women at the Hall of Fame’s location in Seneca Falls, New York! In 2012, Low was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.
Q. Who did Low meet with that helped inspire her dream of Girl Scouts?
A. Low met with General Robert Baden-Powell, an English-born war hero who founded the Boy Scouts of America!
Bonus: How much were membership dues in 1925?
A. 25 cents.
While some of us might be unable to do a “birthday head stand” the way Low would each year, we can celebrate her birthday and appreciate her life in other ways. So as you and your Scout also take part in a certain spooky holiday, let’s set aside time to reflect and admire the woman who, over the years, still influences the lives of girls every day. Happy birthday, Daisy!