***Happy Birthday, Juliette Gordon Low***
She was the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, with the help of Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement. Baden-Powell had learned that girls wanted to join the scouts, but he felt that girls should have their own organization. He asked Low if she would like to be part of the Girl Guide movement, forming a group of Girl Guides in Scotland in 1911. In 1912 Low returned to the United States, forming a Girl Guide troop in Savannah, Georgia in 1912. In 1915, the Girl Guides in the USA became Girl Scouts and Low became the first president. She stayed active until the time of her death. Her birthday, October 31, is celebrated by the Girl Scouts as “Founder’s Day”. She was also awarded two patents, a utility patent for a “Liquid Container for Use with Garbage Cans or the Like”, Patent 1,124,925, and a design patent, D45234, for the trefoil Girl Scout Badge.
Camp Juliette Low in Cloudland, Georgia was founded by her and bears her name.
In 1948 a postage stamp honoring Low, Scott catalogue number 977, was issued by the United States. Over 63 million were printed, making this a common issue. At the time the Post Office had a policy of not honoring civic organizations, and it took a joint resolution of Congress, with the approval of President Truman, to have the stamp produced. (The National Postal Museum suggests that it may have helped that Bess Truman was honorary president of the Girl Scouts.)
On the 29th of May, 2012, the centennial of the Girl Scouts was commemorated when Low was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Low’s home in Savannah, Georgia can still be seen today, and is visited by Girl Scouts from all over the world. In 1965, her birthplace was listed as a National Historic Landmark.