By Shanna Lisberg
March is National Women’s History Month, a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. Over the years, the Association of Junior Leagues International has had many remarkable members – from First Ladies to authors, actresses, politicians and more. In honor of National Women’s History Month, here are six extraordinary women who have volunteered with the Junior League.
Shirley Temple Black
Known for her curls and dimples, Shirley Temple Black made her first appearance on the silver screen at the age of 4. In 1959 she joined the Junior League of Palo Alto. She would go on to head the Multiple Sclerosis Society, become a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and serve as the U.S Ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
Not only was Nancy Reagan a First Lady of the United States, a dazzling movie star in the 1950s, and the spokesperson for the “Just Say No” campaign, she was also a member of the Junior League of Los Angeles. She currently supports the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and advocates for embryonic stem cell research.
Before authoring Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child was a member of The Junior League of Pasadena, where she contributed to the League’s magazine. After joining the League in 1935, Julia Child would go on to become a member of the Office of Strategic Service, author numerous cookbooks and star in various television series.
Katharine Hepburn may have won four Academy Awards for Best Actress, but she was also a member of the Junior League of Hartford. She sought to challenge stereotypes about women and campaigned for women’s issues during her time with the League. An advocate for reproductive rights, she also spoke out against anti-Communism in Hollywood in the 1940s
The longest-serving First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt was a member of the Junior League of the City of New York. After being introduced to the league by her friend, Junior League founder Mary Harriman, Eleanor Roosevelt worked with Junior League volunteers to improve living conditions for immigrants on the Lower East Side. Eleanor Roosevelt was a delegate to the United Nations and served on the UN Commission on Human Rights, where she oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
You may know her best as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, but Margaret Hamilton was also a member of the Junior League of Cleveland. Trained as a teacher, Margaret Hamilton worked with children’s theatre programs and was an advocate of causes to benefit children and animals.
Visit the Junior League of Seattle’s website or The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. to learn more about these and many other amazing Junior League women.