An owl calls off in the distance, the yellow moon is full to bursting. Little kids dressed up as ghosts, parading around town collecting candy. Eleanor Gordon is stuck in the hospital giving birth to her second child. Juliette Gordon Low’s difficult, but rewarding life began on the dreary day of Halloween. Unaware of the obstacles in the path she would follow, Low spent most of her life without a care in the world. It took her a couple hardships to realize life is precious, and time is running short. Throughout her life, it was habit for her to give more to the world than what she received.
By creating the Girl Scout program, Juliette Low played a big part in history and helped young women during a time when women’s rights were limited. Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon Low was born October 31, 1860 in Savannah, Georgia. The summers in Savannah were tropical, and yellow fever was a great risk. As a young girl, her mother and father would send Low and her siblings to her Aunt Eliza’s house in Etowah Cliffs, Georgia. Low and her five sibling were not just the only relatives that sought refuge at their aunt’s house, there would be up to twenty cousins there at a time.
She loved staying with her aunt because her only tough decision was who to play with each day. She had a myriad of things to do for entertainment. Low liked to be a nuisance in the fruit orchards or the rose gardens, but only until she got cought by her Aunt Eliza, who then scolded her. She had the most fun prancing around, playing games like tag and hide-and-seek with her cousins and siblings in the woods and wildflower countryside. Her aunt did not object to this, however it was all the dirty laundry that made her irritated (Lombardi 10).
Low had a fair share of troubles in her education as a young girl. The subjects she enjoyed and excelled at were drawing and foreign languages. Like any other young girl, Low was not perfect in school. She struggled with spelling and arithmetic, two very important subjects (Sahatdjian 23). During the summer at her aunt’s house, she would write letters with hopelessly jumbled words to her mother. Her mother was ashamed of her spelling, so she sent her a list of spelling words for her to study faithfully everyday.
In her letters, Low’s mother would correct her daughters mistakes. Instead of Low’s spelling of “disgrase”, her mother would write “disgrace”, for her to study. Low did not spend as much time studying her spelling as her mother had hoped. Instead, she spent her time learning dances like the polka and she even took up ballroom dancing. She loved dancing so much, that she would always keep track of the latest dance moves. Another of Low’s favorite pastimes was organizing clubs and writing plays that she stared in.
She also, as a young girl, started a magazine that lasted for five years, which was a big accomplishment for her (Lombardi 9). In December of 1886, her marriage to William Low was a disaster from the first day. Rice was being thrown at the newly wedded couple as they walked out of the church. Coincidentally, a grain of it landed in her ear, causing her to see a doctor, on her wedding day, for it to be removed. She already had bad hearing as it was, but to make matters worse, the doctor punctured her ear drum removing it, almost causing her total loss of hearing.
After the wedding, Low and her husband moved to England to speed her recovery. Her new husband, William Low, decided to ruin her life by seeing other women behind her back. Low wanted a divorce immediately, but before it was final, William died of an illness in 1905 (Internet2). She did not have anything to remember him by since they had no children and he willed his entire estate to another woman. Low did not just sit back and except this, she fought the will, and eventually won a $500,000 settlement.
She then moved back home to Savannah, to be close to her family after nineteen painful years with her unfaithful husband (Internet1). While living in England, Low organized a small group of Girl Guides. Her groups would get involved in the community and rais money for fun and educational trips. When she returned home, she tried to introduce Girl Guide to the young women of Savannah, Georgia. Despite all her efforts, was not very successful, since the small group did not extend out of Savannah. Low wanted to help young women everywhere extend their horizons through her organization (Keith-Lucas).
The founder of Boy Scouts, Lord Bradon-Powell, was a good friend of Low’s. He helpfully gave her a couple encouraging words stating as follows, “There are little stars that guide us on, although we do not realize it. ” (Lombardi 11) Low followed his advice and started the Girl Scout program in 1912, and it was a success. 1912 was a time when education was limited and the outlook of the future for American women was not too promising. Keeping the future in mind, Low did not want to wait long to start her program.
She stated, “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight. ” (Internet1) The first troop meeting was March 12, 1912, in Savannah. The young women that gathered were able to actively participate in their community as valued citizens who were concerned about their future. Low made a great impact on history since tradition of Girl Scouts successfully still continues today. Between 1916 and 1999 the Girt Scouts organization dramatically increased from three thousand members to nearly three million.
Juliette Low’s death was very tragic. She died January 18, 1927 in Savannah, due to a long illness of cancer. Her passing away inspired the founding of the Juliette Low World Friendship fund. This organization raises money to send American girls to other countries and bring other girls to visit the United Stated. She was buried in her uniform beside her parents in Laured Grove Cemetery, and inside her uniform packet was a telegram she received when she was ill, stating, “You are not only the first Girl Scout, you are the best Girl Scout of them all. ” (Internet1)