On October 31st, 1860, our incredible founder Juliette Gordon Low (affectionately known as Daisy) was born in Savannah, Georgia. Today, we continue to celebrate her birthday as Founder’s Day as a way to show appreciation for the #GirlScoutSuperhero that started it all. Throughout her life, Daisy was known for her independence and passion for trying new things. When she started the first Girl Scout troop in 1912, she was motivated to empower girls and show them that they can accomplish anything that they set their minds to. The original G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader), Daisy’s new program blazed a trail for female leaders before women were even allowed to vote. Her mission? To build girls of courage, confidence and character that make the world a better place.
In honor of Founder’s Day, here are 5 things you didn’t know about Daisy!
- She was an artist.
After graduating from finishing school, Daisy moved to New York to study painting. She wished to financially support herself through her art. Today, much of her art, which includes sculpture, paintings, drawings, and even metalwork, is on display at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. Her family and friends served as her main subjects, and silhouettes were her favorite!
2. She was nearly deaf for most of her life.
At Daisy’s wedding to William Low in 1886, a grain of rice, thrown by a well-wisher, became lodged in her ear. The operation to remove it, along with ear infections that had left her hard of hearing from the time she was a child left Daisy nearly deaf. Her disability made including ALL girls in Girl Scouting, despite physical impairments, socioeconomic status, or race, a top priority for Daisy.
3. She was an avid traveler.
Though she felt a special connection to her hometown of Savannah, throughout her life she traveled and lived in many different places, including Chicago and London. After her husband’s death, Daisy spent time traveling to places like France, Italy, Egypt, and India. It was in England that Daisy discovered her passion for empowering girls, and she started her first patrol of Girl Guides in a small town in Scotland before bringing the Movement home to the United States.
4. She was an animal lover.
Daisy loved animals and had many pets throughout her life, including, dogs, cats, Georgia mockingbirds, horses, and a parrot. In Daisy’s 1913 Notes on the Girl Scout Laws, she included that a Girl Scout must be a “Friend to Animals” and protect them from ill treatment and neglect.
5. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Former President Barack Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, to Daisy in 2012. The award recognizes individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”. Daisy was recognized for her “remarkable vision,” and “her dedication to empowering girls everywhere”.
How are you celebrating Daisy this Founder’s Day, Girl Scouts? Tell us by sharing your story!