When NASA astronauts first walked on the moon in 1969, eight-year-old Pamela Melroy was watching. Very few people who saw the Eagle land have forgotten the sight, but for Pam, the experience was more than awe-inspiring-it changed the course of her life.
For girls who are the bookworm sort - and any true devotee of the often 500-page-plus Potter books probably qualifies as one - Hermione is the kind of heroine who gives flight to their imaginations, who inspires and serves as a role model.
In 1998, voters in a focus group were asked to close their eyes and imagine what a governor should look like. "They automatically pictured a man," says Barbara Lee, whose foundation promoting women's political advancement sponsored the survey. "The kind you see in those portraits hanging in statehouse hallways."