Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On December 23

On this day in ...

... 1911, Adelaide Young was born in New York City. She went to college in Georgia, and then worked at a variety of jobs, among them as a server of tea on transatlantic cruise ship and as a cigarette girl in the New York nightclub that her father owned. As a newlywed Young --- whose prior outdoor experience had been limited to summer-camp counseling in New Hampshire -- in 1934 became the 1st American woman to explore the Himalayas:
Accompanied by her husband, brother-in-law, and an ever-changing cast of local porters, Young preserved botanical specimens for the American Museum of Natural History and slept with a loaded pistol under her pillow as protection against bandits.

(credit for photo of Adelaide, center, on the Young family expedition, along with her husband Jack and her brother-in-law Quentin) Adelaide Young then worked as a journalist for various newspapers in China. She met Ruth Harkness, the woman who brought the 1st giant panda to the United States; on arrival in 1937 at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, the panda (right) was given Young's nickname, "Su-Lin." (photo credit) A disc jockey in Taiwan before moving back to the United States, Young died in Hercules, California, in May 2008, at age 96.

(Prior December 23 posts are
here and here.)

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