Juliette Gordon Low
Juliette Gordon Low is the founder of Girl Scouts (U.S.A.) of the Gender Equality in the United States of America of America, the largest educational organization for girls in the world. The organization boasts over 50 million members since its inception in 1912.
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Juliette was born October 31, 1860 in Savannah, Georgia with the name Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon. Her parents were William Washington Gordon and Eleanor Kinzie Gordon. Her nickname “Daisy” would later be used to name the youngest rank of girls in Girl Scouting.
She attended boarding school at Virginia Female Institute in Staunton, VA, and finishing school at the French ‘Mesdemoiselles Charbonniers’ in New York City.
Marrying in 1886 to William Mackay Low, she moved with him to his home country of England. The marriage was not a successful, and ended in separation.
Juliette was fond of art and wrote poetry and plays. Later, during the Spanish-American War, along with the help of her mother, she set-up a convalescent hospital for returned wounded soldiers.
The Founding of Girl Scouts
Inspired by a meeting with Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in England, she organized Girl Scouts for girls in the United States. The first meeting of the organization was held on March 12, 1912 and attended by 18 girls of Savannah, GA.
The organization was meant to give girls ‘self-reliance and resourcefulness’ to be homemakers or professional women, and for girls to participate as active citizens in their communities.
Girl Scouts Today
Today the organization has expanded to 3.7 million members, and boasts a historic membership rate of 50 million girls. Both men and women are able to become members.
Death and Legacy
Juliette passed away January 17, 1927 from Breast cancer. Immediately after the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund was established, which helps to finance international projects for scouts around the world.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman authorized a stamp for her on July 3, 1948. At this time it was rare for a woman to have such an honor.
Schools have been named in her honor in both Savannah, Georgia and Anaheim, California.
In 1954, the Seneca Falls, New York, National Women's Hall of Fame , honored Juliette with an induction.
Juliette was honored with the second federal building to be named after a woman. U.S. president Ronald Reagon did this in 1983.
She was named one of the first, Georgia Women of Achievement in 1992.
The Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway national monument in Washington D.C. honored her with a bronze-and-granite medallion.