THE BLOG
05/31/2016 05:41 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2017

Aloha State Women

After my recent visit to the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum in Syracuse, New York, I began to wonder about women with ties to Hawaii. Saint Cope's ties to that State were very significant. Match the woman with her accomplishment:

____ 1. She administered to sufferers of leprosy for 35 years on the islands of Oahu and Moloka'i.
____ 2. Her debut album The Divine Miss M went platinum and won her a Grammy as best new artist.
____ 3. A songwriter and singer, she won the Academy Award for "Up Where We Belong" from the 1982 movie An Officer and A Gentleman.
____ 4. The first woman of color elected to the U.S. Congress, she was a major force behind the passage of Title IX.
____ 5. She initiated or contributed to many changes for women and Hawaiians during the years she ruled or shared royal power in Hawaii.

A. Kaahumanu
B. Saint Marianne Cope
C. Bette Midler
D. Patsy Mink
E. Buffy Saint-Marie

Queen Kaahumanu initiated or contributed to many changes during the years that she ruled or shared royal power in Hawaii. The favorite wife of King Kamehameha I saw the landing of Captain Vancouver (from England in 1793) and the arrival of the first Christian missionaries in 1820. She encouraged the King to eat with the women (formerly taboo) and adopted Christian attitudes toward good and evil. Kaahumanu served as co-leader with the royal heir after the death of the King and then was sole ruler after the royal heir's death, a first for women in Hawaii.

Saint Marianne Cope, today referred to as the Beloved Mother of Outcasts, was serving as the director of two Catholic hospitals in New York State when she answered a letter from the King of Hawaii asking for help. His letter requested assistance for the treatment of leprosy sufferers, a request that had been refused by 50 other recipients. Mother Cope (as she was known then) and six sisters of St. Francis sailed to Hawaii and arrived in 1883. First, they served on the island of Oahu at a leprosy hospital where sufferers were sent for triage. Then they moved to Moloka'i where the most serious cases were sent. Five years after their arrival, Father Damien died and Mother Cope was placed in charge of the hospitals. Her 35 years of service in Hawaii have been recognized in many ways including induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame and sainthood.

Born in Honolulu, comedian, actress and singer Bette Midler began her film career as an extra in the film adaptation of Hawaii in 1965. Her debut on Broadway was in Fiddler on the Roof in 1966. She honed her own unique style at a gay bathhouse and adopted the moniker of The Divine Miss M. She began her singing career with the release of her first album titled The Divine Miss M which went platinum and for which she won a Grammy as best new artist. Film and theatre appearances followed and she is still active in the arts today.

The first woman of color and the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, Patsy Mink grew up in Hawaii playing half-court basketball because girls weren't allowed to play full court (it was thought to be too hard on the female body). She attended the University of Hawaii and wanted to go to medical school but only received rejections. Instead, she graduated from law school but had to fight to get the right to take the bar exam in Hawaii as she was considered a non-resident due to her marriage to a man who was not native. Mink became the first female Japanese-American attorney in Hawaii history. Her many experiences with gender and racial discrimination led to her huge advocacy for Title IX during her time in Congress where she served from 1965 to 1977 and again from 1990 to 2002. Mink has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

A native Canadian songwriter, singer and social activist Buffy Saint-Marie today resides in Hawaii. She significantly influenced 1960s music with her anti-war lyrics. Underlying all of her efforts are her work to preserve Native American rights and to present Native American culture properly to the world. Her singing blossomed during her college years as she earned degrees culminating in a Ph.D. Her first album was released in 1964. Her genre is often categorized as folk but she has also written and performed other genres including country and classical. She earned an Academy Award for the song "Up Where We Belong" which was part of the soundtrack of the 1982 movie An Officer and a Gentleman. Between 1976 and 1981, she was a member of the cast of Sesame Street.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women
. These women with ties to the Aloha State are among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I am proud to tell women's stories and to write women back into history.

(Answers 1-B, 2-C, 3-E, 4-D, 5-A)