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Belmira Nunes

Belmira Nunes

In 1917, Belmira Nunes (1899-1994) graduated as valedictorian and only Cape Verdean girl from Wareham High School. She attended Radcliffe College where she became the first Cape Verdean woman graduate. Belmira had a distinguished teaching career in the New York City School system.

Mary Hudson Onley

Pioneering educator and community activist Mary Hudson Onley (1889-1980) was one of the first African American graduates of Bridgewater State Normal School in 1912.

Amelia Piper

Abolitionist Amelia Piper (1796-1856), as one of the managers of the New Bedford Female Union Society, organized one of the first anti-slavery fairs in New Bedford held on January 1, 1840.
Emma Louise Piper

Emma Louise Piper

Emma Louise Piper (1845-1915) was the first African American teacher in Cambridge, MD after the Civil War. Emma was one of 41 New Bedford men and women, both Black and White, who participated in the efforts to educate the newly freed people.

Annie Holmes Ricketson

Annie Holmes Ricketson (1841-?) accompanied her husband on at least three whaling voyages, chronicled in journal entries filled with details about life as the lone woman aboard ship.

Mary Rotch

A leading intellectual and deep religious thinker, Mary Rotch (1777-1848) remained true to her belief in the Light Within.
Margaret Ryckebusch

Margaret Ryckebusch

Educator and labor leader Margaret A. Duggan Ryckebusch (1940-1998) was a professor, department head, and union leader at Bristol Community College.

Mary Schwartz

As first chair of the Holocaust Education and Memorial Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, Mary Schwartz (1920-2015) led efforts that created the Holocaust Monument at Buttonwood Park in New Bedford in 1998.

Marian Shaw Smith

Marian Shaw Smith (1866-1913) sailed the world’s oceans as a whaling captain’s wife, log keeper, photographer, navigator, correspondent, and business partner.

Elizabeth Taber

Known as “Marion’s Fairy Godmother,” Elizabeth Sprague Pitcher Taber (1791-1888) became the town’s most significant benefactress.
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