Today, October 31, we celebrate the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low, a pioneering woman from Savannah, Georgia, who more than a century ago started the Girl Scout Movement. As the founder of the largest girl leadership development organization in the world, Juliette had, and through her legacy continues to have, an extraordinary influence on the lives of millions of girls across the country.
To honor this remarkable Savannah native and original G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader), Girl Scouts is asking the Georgia General Assembly and Governor Nathan Deal to change the name of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah to the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge.
As background, on September 28, 2017, the Savannah City Council passed a resolution proposing that the state of Georgia rename the Talmadge Memorial Bridge the Savannah Bridge, to be more inclusive and reflective of modern-day Georgia. Girl Scouts believes that this iconic bridge, which serves as the gateway to the city, should instead be renamed after our trailblazing founder who, beginning with a gathering of 18 girls in Savannah on March 12, 1912, broke the limiting conventions of her time—reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure all girls had a place to grow and develop their talents and leadership skills.
The legacy that Juliette Gordon Low left is Girl Scouts, an organization that has nearly 2 million girl members and 800,000 adult members, including volunteers who help set girls up for a lifetime of leadership and success. Indeed, our alumnae, currently more than 59 million strong, are high achievers: all three female U.S. secretaries of state were Girl Scouts in their youth, as were the majority of women in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures nationwide, most women in business, and the first American woman to walk in space.
At Girl Scouts’ recent convention in Columbus, Ohio—G.I.R.L. 2017—thousands of attendees signed our petition (and an accompanying banner) in support of renaming the bridge after our founder, and we currently have almost 4,000 signatures and counting. In January, Girl Scouts from across the state will hand-deliver the petition to members of the Georgia General Assembly and Governor Deal.
On her birthday, as always, we are deeply proud of Juliette Gordon Low, whose life mission was to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, and we are grateful for her enduring impact. We ask that everyone who values girls and their incredible leadership potential join with us to elevate the legacy of Girl Scouts’ founder—sign our petition at advocate.girlscouts.org. And be sure to encourage others to sign, too!