Homage to two remarkable women and to one unknown
Human History is almost always a single long men's singles. There were, however, great Women who have given their contribution to the development of Humanity in various fields of knowledge, but they are not so many. With this article I will mention two Women certainly known to the general public, but also a third, unknown to many.
The first great Woman that I want to remember is Marie Curie. On the contrary: Maria Sklodowska, born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1867 and then naturalized Russian. French by adoption, wife of Pierre Curie in 1895, French scientist and professor at the Sorbonne.
About Marie Curie many words were already written and many more will in the future. The articles about her are countless, as well as studies, dissertations, all those detailed analyses that are the daily duty of historians and researchers. It is not my intention to even remotely try to add something unsaid, but simply recall here briefly the contributions to human society made by this great scientist.
And what contributions! In 1903 she received, together with her husband Pierre, the Nobel Prize for Physics in recognition of their studies on radiation and the discovery of radium and polonium. In 1911 she received a second Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her studies on the chemical properties of the radioactive elements recently discovered. Marie Curie is the only woman to have won more than one Nobel Prize and, in addition, in two separate fields of study.
The consequences of her research have been enormous: medicine, industry, pure and applied research have benefited from her enormous intellectual effort and practice.
Just think of the uses of radium in medicine in the treatment of cancer, insights from the beginning, or those scientific of polonium that led James Chadwick in 1927 to the discovery of the neutron.
Humanly, Marie Curie had a strong and sustained temperament, not inclined to humor and self-irony. She suffered much for the death of Pierre, overwhelmed in 1906 by a horse-drawn cart as he walked on foot in a Paris street. To escape the pain of the loss she found comfort in the family and in the work.
Marie Curie never forgot her native Poland, even though France was her second homeland. She participated in the First World War as a nurse on the French front, creating a radiological instrument mounted on ambulances to treat the wounded French soldiers.
She died July 4, 1934, and in 1995 her body was moved from the cemetery in Sceaux to the Pantheon in Paris, where it still stands today, as a further recognition of her greatness.
The second remarkable Woman that I want to remember here is completely different from the scientist of Polish origin but no less admirable in her actions.
Amelia Mary Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1897 and escaped to a life of anonymity becoming, coincidentally, the most famous American aviatrix and of the world, in a time when aviation was writing heroic pages and legendary feats were accomplished.
In 1920, when she was already 23 years of age, she gave herself a sightseeing in a biplane at a cost of $1. Her father accompanied her to the Airfield Daugherty of Long Beach, California: it was the birth of an infinite passion. Flight became the life of Amelia Earhart, and there followed a series of successes: first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, world record in 1931 reaching an altitude of almost six kilometers aboard a Pitcairn autogiro, first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo in 1932 and again in 1932 first woman to cross the United States non-stop, first person to cross the Pacific Ocean solo starting from Oakland, California and coming to Honolulu in Hawaii, once again in 1932.
1932 was certainly an amazing year for Amelia!
Books, interviews, a clothing line for women aviators, a husband founder of a publishing house that always supported her and was at her side.
Amelia Earhart had a strong and adventurous character: she was not afraid of challenges and indeed she sought them.
Nicknamed Lady Lindy after the flight across the Atlantic Ocean, in 1936 she started to set about the circumnavigation of the globe through the longest equatorial route of 47,000 kilometers, piloting a Lockheed Electra L-10 monoplane.
The first attempt failed in March 1937 due to technical problems at the time of take-off. The second attempt took place on June 1, 1937, from Miami, Florida and after several stages Amelia's L-10 Electra got to Lae, New Guinea, on June 29, 1937, where she left to go about 11,000 kilometers across the Pacific Ocean but contacts with the aviatress and her co-pilot Fred Noonan were lost in the vicinity of Howland, a strip of land on which they had to land to refuel, assisted by U.S. Navy ship Itasca.
The search began almost immediately but was in vain. Despite the intense effort of the search, they were not found, nor the remains of the plane. Amelia Earhart was officially declared dead in 1939, after her husband obtained an exemption from the seven-year period for the declaration of presumed death.
There have always been various theories about the disappearance of the American aviatress, some very imaginative, but the most likely is an error in the organization of the last stretch of the flight due to an excess of confidence and geographic information which was partially incorrect.
Whatever the case, Amelia Earhart was an independent and adventurous spirit who wrote wonderful pages of the History of Aviation.
The third great Woman that I want to remember here is a complete unknown to the general public. She was not a scientist, she was not a courageous aviatrix, she was just mother of a family, as there are many in the world.
She was Italian, our Woman, Roman "de Roma" as they say in those parts. Daughter of working people. And she died a little over a year ago.
Here I want to remember Isabella Viola, who died murdered by the difficulty of living, the first Italian case of karoshi.
Isabella did not know how to fly a plane. She could not do complex math calculations. But she knew one thing: to live and feed her family, an unemployed husband and 4 children to raise, she had to get up before sunrise and travel for more than two-hour up to the bar where she worked, the same to return home.
Every day that God placed her on this Earth.
In the end, that generous heart succumbed to the strain of living and stopped on a bench in the subway of Rome, one morning in November 2012.
Isabella Viola was a victim of all the freedom-killing laws approved by the Italian government in the last twenty years. Laws that have a verdict of guilty inside them, a verdict without appeal: a person is guilty because (s)he is a worker. But leaning casually to the dictates of the International Monetary Fund and of all associations alike, Italy has achieved the opposite results to those declared in advance: unemployment has increased, labor decreased, many companies and factories have been closed or transferred, people are becoming ill.
Isabella Viola is therefore still the symbol of the complete failure of Italian economic policy and the disappearance of the Left, its core values, its ideals. A society that calls itself evolved and civilized cannot allow that one of its members dies exhausted by work and effort. Yet this has happened in this Italy still associated with U.S. in their civil wars by proxy.
Humanity needs women such as Amelia Earhart or Marie Curie but also has a daily need of unsung heroes like Isabella Viola, who was used to say that a woman does not wear her best jewel but gives it at birth.