Friday, May 01, 2009

BADD: A Week-by-Week Calendar of Disability History Birthdays

This is our fourth year participating in Blogging Against Disablism Day. My last three years' contributions were about US disability history (2006, 2007, 2008); I thought I'd present history for my BADD post a little differently this year.

History is the essence of innumerable biographies.
--Thomas Carlyle
I've been using the same calendar for a couple years for the "born on this date" posts, and we've gathered a pretty full calendar of dates now. I've written some of them up, some I'll do eventually, some I'll probably never get around to, so sharing some of them here gives everyone a chance to play.

Why learn about the stories behind these names? They're not listed here to be your heroes, or inspirations, or role models. Instead, the idea is that having a list of names and knowing their stories means you can fight the idea that "disabled people don't [X]." Because chances are, no matter what [X] is (for better or worse), yeah, they can and they do. And they probably have done so for generations.

So in the coming year, or years, fight invisibility with a weekly biographical dip into the history of disability. With no claims to completeness (far from it! add names as you see fit for your own uses), and abundant admissions of randomness, here's the week-by-week (linked if we've covered that person on their date):

January 1-7: Louis Braille (4 January); Father Damien (3 January), Syd Barrett (6 January); Loretta Young (6 January); Anne Stevenson (3 January); Slava Raskaj (2 January)

January 8-14: Stephen Hawking (8 January); Harold Russell (14 January)

January 15-21: Frances Browne (16 January); Ronnie Milsap (16 January)

January 22-31: Ed Roberts (23 January); Sleepy John Estes (25 January); Jacqueline du Pre (26 January)

February 1-7: Daisy and Violet Hilton (5 February); Benode Behari Mukherjee (7 February); Liz Swados (5 February); Reynolds Price (1 February)

February 8-14: Laura Redden Searing (9 February), Florynce Kennedy (11 February); Lisel Mueller (8 February)

February 15-21: Amy Tan (19 February); Alvaro Obregon (19 February)

February 22-29: Gustinus Ambrosi (24 February); Barbara Jordan (21 February); Christian Watt (24 February); Lesya Ukrainka (26 February); John Puleston Jones (26 February); Maria Fassnauer (28 February); Phyllis Frelich (29 February); Takuma Aoki (24 February)

March 1-7: Antonia White (1 March); Doc Watson (3 March); Pete Gray (6 March); Maria Gutierrez-Cueto y Blanchard (6 March)

March 8-14: Marco and Raul Midon (14 March); Granville Redmond (9 March)

March 15-21: Josef Sudek (17 March); Sunaura Taylor (21 March)

March 22-31: Flannery O'Connor (25 March); Mary Webb (25 March); Vincent Van Gogh (30 March); Anna Sewell (30 March); Teddy Pendergrass (26 March); Rebecca Horn (24 March); Antonio de Cabezon (30 March); Fanny Crosby (24 March)

April 1-7: Thomas Rhodes Armitage (2 April); Edith Södergran (4 April); Claude-Andre Deseine (6 April); Alison Lapper (7 April); Lise Thibault (2 April); Marjory Stoneman Douglas (7 April)

April 8-14: Annie Sullivan Macy (14 April); Robert Haig Weitbrecht (11 April)

April 15-21: Ida Freund (15 April); Shunsuke Matsumoto (19 April); Erastus Smith (19 April); Florence Austral (16 April); Deng Pufang (16 April)

April 22-30: Evie Hone (22 April); Ellen Glasgow (22 April)

May 1-7: Willie McTell (5 May)

May 8-14: Douglas Martin (8 May); Stanley Elkin (11 May); Chang and Eng Bunker (11 May)

May 15-21: Mark Zupan (20 May); Alexander Pope (21 May); Robin Howard (17 May)

May 22-31: Margaret Fuller (23 May); Helen Brooke Taussig (24 May); Dorothea Lange (26 May)

June 1-7: Colleen McCullough (1 June); Robert Tannahill (3 June); John Hockenberry (4 June); Thomas D. Schall (4 June); Sophie Bell Wright (5 June); Olivia Robello Breitha (6 June)

June 8-14: Ida McKinley (8 June); Cole Porter (9 June); Peter Dinklage (11 June); Alfred Newton (11 June); Harriet Martineau (12 June); John Forbes Nash (13 June)

June 15-21: Margaret Benson (16 June); Henry Lawson (17 June); Blaise Pascal (19 June); I. King Jordan (16 June); Tony Coelho (15 June)

June 22-30: Derek Bentley (30 June); Helen Keller (27 June); Andrew Foster (27 June)

July 1-7: Nancy Mairs (3 July); Christine Lavant (4 July); Frida Kahlo (6 July)

July 8-14: John Clare (13 July); Woody Guthrie (14 July); Harriet McBryde Johnson (8 July); Josiah Wedgwood (12 July)

July 15-21: Dorothy Cottrell (16 July); Hermann von Reichenau (18 July); Elizabeth Joan Jennings (18 July); Harry Relph (21 July)

July 22-31: Doris Irene Taylor (25 July)

August 1-7: Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August); Anna Haining Swan (7 August); Kristin Hersh (7 August); Rahsaan Roland Kirk (7 August)

August 8-14: Andre Dubus (11 August); Louise Bogan (11 August)

August 15-21: Jack Metcalf (15 August)

August 22-31: Max Cleland (24 August); Isabel Mary Mitchell (25 August); Rick Hansen (26 August); Janet Frame (28 August); Justin Dart Jr. (29 August); James Brady (29 August)

September 1-7: Sarah Orne Jewett (3 September); Jane Addams (6 September)

September 8-14: Jose Feliciano (10 September) Gabriela Brimmer (12 September)

September 15-21: Frances Farmer (19 September)

September 22-30: Andrea Bocelli (22 September); Ray Charles (23 September); Horatio Nelson (29 September)

October 1-7: Tanaquil LeClercq (2 October)

October 8-14: Art Tatum (13 October)

October 15-21: Hugh Gallagher (17 October); Lajos Tihanyi (19 October); Daniel Sickles (20 October)

October 22-31: Gertrude Ederle (23 October); Sigrid Hjerten (27 October); Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (28 October); Sarah Bernhardt (23 October)

November 1-7: Morris Broderson (4 November)

November 8-14: Aaron Fotheringham (8 November); Walter Geikie (10 November); Vachel Lindsay (10 November); Kim Peek (11 November); Silken Laumann (14 November); Neil Young (12 November); Edward Rushton (13 November)

November 15-21: Wilma Mankiller (18 November); Dahlia Ravikovitch (17 November)

November 22-30: Joaquin Rodrigo Vidre (22 November); Josh Blue (27 November); Linda Bove (30 November)

December 1-7: John Henry Davis (7 December)

December 8-14: Gustav Flaubert (12 December); Cootie Stark (9 December); Matilda Aston (11 December); Diane Schuur (10 December); Annie Jump Cannon (11 December); John Milton (9 December); Rosemary Sutcliff (14 December); Bill Hargreaves (12 December)

December 15-21: Chantal Petitclerc (15 December); Richard Leakey (19 December); Laura Bridgman (21 December); John Greenleaf Whittier (17 December)

December 22-31: Elizabeth Ware Packard (28 December); Satish Gujral (25 December); Henry Moyes (25 December)


rickismom said...

Interesting list, although I haven't heard of too many of them (but I quess that's my ignorance....)

Damon Lord said...

Thanks for posting this! A lot of people on that list, some of whom I recognised, and some of whom I had no idea were disabled, which shows that they don't let disabilities define them and are inspirations.

Penny L. Richards said...

Nah, Rickismom, it's a very diverse list, and the idea is that it shouldn't all be superfamous names. It's a starting point for exploring. Just click any of the red ones to see what we've posted about the person at DS,TU. Or google the ones that aren't linked.

Cheryl said...

No one on my birthday :( but a great list to reference. Thanks!

Ruth said...

I hope you forgive my brevity as I am making the rounds, but would like to say- how wonderful!

imfunnytoo said...

What a great starting point and reference tool this is...thanks for posting it!

Cyn Bagley said...

This list is great and I did know that Flannery O'Conner had lupus. Sometimes the disability comes later in life.
Yours, Cyn (for instance, I am 47 and contracted Wegener's Granulomatosis when I was 41)

Laurie Toby Edison said...

Thanks for doing this. It's a really useful list.

The Goldfish said...

I'm kind of hoping, being an academic, you may have already published books with this stuff in, but if not, it would make an excellent book, especially for young disabled people, looking for people like us in history. Thanks, as always, for helping make BADD a great success!

Penny L. Richards said...

No, no book--blogging is easier. ;) But some of these will be in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of American Disability History (Facts-on-File, 3 vol.)--out next month, I'm told!

Thank you for a fourth BADD--now that the weekend is over, I hope to read more of the contributions.

i-am-micro-managing said...

Amy Tan?! Her name caught my eye immediately -- thanks for the interesting list & links.