Author: Andrew Zimmerman

Ida Lewis: The Bravest Woman in America

On July 18, 2017, after battling returning champions Sarah Burn and Patricia Gerli on the open seas for the better part of a week, Maddie Hawkins and Kimmie Leonard stood victorious on the podium at the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship. The championship, held this year at the Annapolis Yacht Club, has been a mainstay in the sailing community since 1995 and each year the winners are presented with the famed Ida Lewis Trophy. Outside of the sailing community, few know of her prominence, which is why she is this month’s featured mariner. Ida Lewis was born into a...

Read More

Courage in Adversity: Harriet Pickens & Frances Wills

Throughout much of my life, World War II stories have dominated my reading, research and curiosity. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I follow up one story from that time period with another. After discussing the ever-youthful shipping pioneer Captain Mary Parker Converse, I now turn your attention toward the first African-American women to be commissioned into the U.S. Navy. According to unearthed photographs and documents at the National Archives in College Park in 2016, Lieutenant Junior Grade Harriet Ida Pickens and Ensign Frances Wills were the first African-American women to be commissioned into the U.S. Navy’s...

Read More

A Pioneer: Captain Mary Parker Converse

Since I am a historian, this blog will center in on the prominent women throughout history that have made contributions to the maritime community. As I am a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, I felt it only fitting for Kings Pointer and Captain Mary Parker Converse, to have the distinction of being the first woman mentioned. A writer, a poet…and a sea captain… Born in 1872 into a modest family, Mary Caroline Parker had a very interesting childhood that saw experiences of poverty, love and the power of friendship. She learned the value of hard work from...

Read More