Category Archives: Juliette Low
Happy Birthday to Juliette Gordon Low!
This Friday, October 31st, is not only Halloween, it’s Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday! Born in 1860, this year would have been her 154th birthday! In Girl Scouting, October 31st is also known and celebrated as Founder’s Day.
Every so often, throughout the years, the handbooks and/or badge books for Girl Scouts change and evolve with the times, but one thing remains the same: they include the story of Juliette Low. She was born in Savannah, Georgia and nicknamed Daisy as a child. Her life since childhood had been filled with a lot of trials and strife including the loss of most of her hearing as a young adult and the death of her husband at about the turn of the century. In her search for a sense of purpose, especially after her husband’s death, she began traveling the world and in 1911 in England she met Lord and Lady Baden-Powell and her life was changed. Lord Robert Baden-Powell is the founder of Boy Scouts and his sister Agnes was the leader of the early Girl Scouts, known overseas as Girl Guides. Inspired by Baden-Powell, Daisy began the first Girl Scout troop in America in 1912 and the rest is history.
Girl Scouting in America has grown from 18 girls during that first meeting in 1912 to a membership today of over 3 million girls and adults. Daisy has left a legacy that we hope will live on forever. If you want to learn more about her life and Girl Scouting, you can go to the Girl Scouts USA website to read more and check out the links to read her biography, watch videos, and more.
Happy Birthday, Daisy!
There have been over 50 million women in the United States who have been a Girl Scout, and there are anniversary celebrations happening all over the country today, March 12, 2012. On this date in 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low started the very first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, Georgia. Today, 3.2 million girls are Girl Scouts in the United States, and are part of the 10 million girls who are members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
Juliette Low faced many obstacles, but she had a vision that this organization would help girls not only in her lifetime, but far into the future. The 1933 Girl Scout Handbook included a message from her, written on October 31, 1924.
Dear Girl Scouts:
I hope that we shall all remember the rules of this Girl Scouting game of ours. They are: to play fair, to play in your place, and to play for your side and not for yourself.
And as for the score, the best thing in a game is the fun and not the results, for:
“When the Great Recorder comes to write against your name, he writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”
Girl Scouts, I salute you.
Your friend, Juliette Low
We would love to hear how you are celebrating this day (and Girl Scout Week!)
Any Girl Scout will tell you that at least once in her life, she would like to visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace or that the visit to the Birthplace was one of the highlights of her Girl Scout career. Located in Savannah, Georgia, the house on East Oglethorpe Avenue is where Juliette “Daisy” Gordon was born on October 31, 1860.
Girl Scouts of the USA purchased the Gordon home, also known as the Wayne-Gordon House, in 1953 from Mrs. George Arthur Gordon. Restoration of the house has been almost continual since then. In 2007 a study was conducted by an engineering firm to help plan for the structural restoration and updating the facade of the house. Work began in January 2009 and will be complete by the end of 2011 with the restorations of the garden.
The Birthplace has teamed up with the National Trust for Historic Preservation with the “This Place Matters” campaign to honor your favorite places and make a call to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to all of us. Every troop who visits the Birthplace takes a picture of the troop together, holding a sign that says “This Place Matters,” because all Girl Scouts do care about the Birthplace.
You can also help the house by joining the Circle of Friends, by making a donation to the Preservation and Travelship Endowments, or through a planned gift. The annual membership contributions to the Circle of Friends continue to grow the critical preservation endowment that will fund future maintenance and preservation projects for our irreplaceable National Historic Landmark site.
As Georgia Archives Month comes to a close, it’s only fitting to also bid Happy Birthday to our founder, Juliette Gordon Low. This year marks her 150th birthday, as she was born October 31, 1860.
Juliette shows up on the recent edition of the Fall 2010 issue of the Georgia Historical Quarterly, gracing the cover in a kimono, ca. 1886, just in time for her birthday. The issue includes a photo essay, Girl Scouting in Savannah 1912-1927.
On Sunday, October 31, the Girl Scouts First Headquarters relit the “Eternal Flame of Friendship” in the courtyard of the former Low Carriage House. It was originally lit at Girl Scout First Headquarters on November 14, 1963 by Daisy Gordon Lawrence, Juliette Gordon Low’s niece and the first registered Girl Scout. The re-lighting ceremony focused on the future. Girl Scouts who attended the Girl Guide Centennial bonfire in England re-lit the flame of friendship in Savannah, linking Girl Scouts to their international sisters as they begin their journey toward the 100th anniversary.
From the GSUSA’s website:
Juliette Low was very athletic. From her childhood on, Daisy was a strong swimmer. She was Captain of a rowing team as a girl and learned to canoe as an adult. She was also an avid tennis player. One of her special skills was standing on her head. She stood on her head every year on her birthday to prove she still could do it, and also celebrated nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays by standing on her head. Once, she even stood on her head in the board room at National Headquarters to show off the new Girl Scout shoes.”
And finally, on the Girl Scouts of the USA’s blog, there is a list of all the ways Girl Scouts all over the United States are honoring her birthday by volunteering in service projects in their article entitled “Halloween Fun and Good Deed Run-Down.”
One of the featured stories in the 2010 Georgia Archives Month display is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story of the dedication of the Juliette Gordon Low bust in the State Capitol. You can read the newspaper article, see the picture of Governor Jimmy Carter with the Girl Scouts, and view the original invitation and program of the ceremony.
On October 21, 1974, Juliette Gordon Low became the second woman to be honored in the Georgia Hall of Fame at the State Capitol (the first was Margaret Mitchell.) Eleanor Platt, who sculpted the marble bust of Margaret Mitchell, also sculpted the bronze one of Juliette Low. The bust was paid for by the nickels, dimes and quarters of Girl Scouts in the State of Georgia.