Note from Sen. Elaine Bowers: Each year legislators are invited to select an intern to assist them. Almost every year since I was elected in 2006, I have accepted a college student to work with me. I ask each one to prepare a report either on a bill or topic and in this case this year, a report on a famous person from Senate District 36. My intern, Caitlin O’Toole, Kansas City, chose to research Peggy Hull from Marshall County, who was the first female correspondent accredited by the U. S. War Department.
Numerous historical figures come to mind when considering the continuous movement toward gender equality in the United States. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for women’s suffrage. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Harriet Tubman led more than 300 slaves to their freedom through the Underground Railroad. These women not only left a permanent and distinct mark on history, but inspired future women to challenge societal expectations and reach their full potential. In the field of journalism, Nellie Bly is still a renowned historical figure known for her undercover time in a mental institution and her writings on her experience. While she remains one of the United States’ most famous journalists, her work also inspired a young Kansas native to become the first woman accredited as a war correspondent.