Single Mothers of Invention

Sanger, a mother of three, committed to research from that moment on. She even brought her family to Paris where she fervently studied contraceptive methods. Sanger knew she had to spread the information to women in America, so in 1913, she and her three children headed for New York. Bill Sanger, her husband, did not follow.

Here are some more single mothers of then and now who have made notable differences to society. Find out more about them by going to your library and reading up. Some are widowed, some divorced, and many are MOMs (Mothers Outside of Marriage) and adoptive parents. All have met the challenges, whether briefly, or for a good part of their lives, of living as independent, courageous women. But remember, many history books and films romanticize these women by leaving out such facts as unwed pregnancies, disastrous marriages, or other separations. Do your homework and find biographies that actually document the lives of these women through their own words. For example, most people familiar with Dorothy Thompson, the first American woman journalist to head a foreign bureau as being happily married to writer Sinclair Lewis. Read Peter Kurth's account in American Cassandra (Little, Brown and Company, 1990) and learn how Dorothy saw it through her letters.

George Sand (1804-1876), born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin, was more widely read than any other writer of her era.

Prodigious in her output, Sand wrote nearly sixty novels, twenty-five plays, an autobiography which ran several volumes, innumerable essays, articles, reviews and an estimated 20,000 letters. Oh, she was also raising her two kids alone. Where or where did she find the time!

So get ready to bone up on your reading. June is a perfect month for curling up during that lazy, hazy weather and learning first hand what it was like for many single mothers throughout history.

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