The Special Side of a New Twenty Dollar Bill

Harriet Tubman might soon be on a new twenty dollar bill. Enslaved in Maryland by the owner of a small farm, Harriet Tubman (c.1822-1913) ran away when she was approximately 18. She left her husband and family behind but repeatedly…

The Vaccine Benefits That No One Talks About

With better school attendance and learning, and then higher work productivity, the positive externalities of childhood vaccination have an economic impact.

Gender Issues: Literate Women

For millennia, men have tried to stop women from learning to read. Before we look back, I wanted to share these World Bank maps that let us see the status of female literacy, 2009-2013 Female Literacy in Developing Nations: Worldwide ratios of female…

Connecting Abigail Adams to Janet Yellen

Reading about “touch generations” in Sam Arbesman’s Wired Magazine blog, I realized that Abigail Adams and Janet Yellen were connected. Different generations touch when one’s birth year coincides with someone else’s death. Born in 1744, Abigail Adams died in 1818, the year that Karl Marx was…

Gender Issues: Literate Women

Why have men sought to prevent women from reading? Even in colonial Massachusetts, the law required boys to attend school while girls were primarily educated at home. Consequently, while John Adams attended school in Braintree and entered Harvard when he was…