Juliette Gordon Low: Founder

Juliette

Juliette

On 31 October 1860 Juliette Magil Kenzie was born to William Washington Gordon and Eleanor Kinzie Gordon. She was the second born of six children and was affectionately called Daisy by her family and friends.

Juliette was a happy and talented girl growing up in her home in Savannah, Georgia. Juliette loved listening to the stories her great-grandmother told her about being captured by native Americans. Juliette loved to help others, along with sisters and cousins she would organise sewing clubs with her cousins. Juliette was also well educated getting taught in some of the most prominent boarding schools.

On 21 December 1886, when Juliette was 26, she married William Mackay Low. When rice was throne over the couple at the wedding a piece got stuck in Juliette’s ear. When the piece of rice got removed her eardrum got pierced. This resulted in Juliette losing most of the hearing in that ear. Juliette and William divorced in 1901 after a long and bitter split.

Juliette with two other Girl Scouts

Whilst living in Scotland Juliette met Robert Braden-Powell at a party. Juliette was interested in trying to carry on the Girl Guides Group that Robert’s sister Agnes was starting. When she returned to America Juliette and her cousin started recruiting girls from influential families to be members and leaders. On 12 March 1912 Juliette’s niece, Margaret Gordon, was the first registered member if the first Girl Guides Troupe.

The Girl Guides movement spread fast and changed their name to the Girl Scouts. By 1916 there were over 7,000 members. And in 1919 there was the first meeting for the International Council of Girl Guides and Juliette was the representative for the United States.

In 1923 Juliette developed breast cancer, she kept it hidden so that she could carry on working for the Girl Scouts. At the age of 66 Juliette died on 17 January 1927. Juliette was buried wearing her Girl Scout uniform with a not in the pocket reading “You are not only the first Girl Scout, but the best Girl Scout of them all.”

Juliette in her uniform


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