November 11 Birthday: ALICE RAMSEY’S GRAND ADVENTURE

Alice Ramsey
November 11, 1886 – September 10, 1983

 ALICE RAMSEY’S GRAND ADVENTURE
by Don Brown
 (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)

Don Brown introduces us to yet another little-known heroine. On June 9,
1909, twenty-two-year-old Alice Ramsey hitched up her skirts and climbed
behind the wheel of a Maxwell touring car. Fifty-nine days later she
rolled into San Francisco, becoming the first woman to drive across
America. What happened in between is quite a tale! Through words and
pictures, the author shares this story of a brave and tenacious young
woman who followed her vision to conquer the open road – even when the
road was nothing more than a wagon trail. Alice Ramsey’s adventure
offers a unique perspective on turn-of-the-century America and pays
tribute to the pioneering spirit that helped create it.

November 11 Birthday: LaVern Baker: SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL: THE FOUNDERS OF ROCK AND ROLL

LaVern Baker, musician
Nov. 11, 1929-Mar. 10, 1997


Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock and Roll by Holly George-Warren, illustrated by Laura Levine (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

“Tweedle Dee,” a top song recorded in 1954 and “Jim Dandy,” a 1956 hit made Baker, a jazz-and-R&B-vocalist-turned-rocker famous. As an African American, Baker suffered backlash from her early records being labeled “race records.” But she continued to record and eventually the barriers came down.

Read more about Baker’s life and music at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.