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January 5

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Erica Morini, Viennese-born concert violinist

Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn

Texas Women


QUOTES by Lydia M. Child and Carolyn Heilbrun.

Erica Morini

      Born Jan. 05, 1908, Erica Morini, Viennese-born concert violinist, child prodigy, was not allowed into the Vienna Conservatory because women students were only allowed in its piano classes. (At the time violins were considered "too masculine" for women to play.)
      The ban was lifted after one of the conservatory teachers heard her play when she was eight years old. She won a public competition but the award money was refused her because the grant read "the man who..."
      Her concert career encompassed all the major orchestras of Europe, the U.S., and Australia.

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Hail! Aurora

      Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn, called Eos in Greek mythology, is in full glory January 6 as she finally begins to draw back the veil of winter. Although the shortest day of the year occurs at the Winter Solstice, it happens that the latest sunrise doesn't occur until around January 6. The date is marked on the Christian calendar by the Epiphany, alluding to the appearance or manifestation of a divine being, e.g. The Sun. Similarly, the earliest sunset occurs around Dec. 8, a date marked on the Christian calendar by the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
            -- Submitted by Ronnie Falcoa

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Excerpt from Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?

      "It is astonishing how recently Texas women have achieved equal legal rights. I guess you could say we made steady progress even before we could vote - the state did raise the age of consent for a woman from 7 to 10 in 1890 - but it went a little smoother after we got some say in it.
      "Until June 26, 1918, all Texans could vote except 'idiots, imbeciles, aliens, the insane and women.' The battle over woman's suffrage in Texas was long and fierce. Contempt and ridicule were the favored weapons against women.
      "Women earned the right to vote through years of struggle; the precious victory was not something handed to us by generous men. From that struggle emerged a generation of Texas women whose political skills and leadership abilities have affected Texas politics for decades.
      "Even so, Texas women were not permitted to serve on juries until 1954. As late as 1969, married women did not have full property rights. And until 1972, under Article 1220 of the Texas Penal Code, a man could murder his wife and her lover if he found them 'in a compromising position' and get away with it as 'justifiable homicide.' Women, you understand, did not have equal shooting rights. Although Texas was one of the first states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which has been part of the Texas Constitution since 1972, we continue to work for fairer laws concerning problems such as divorce, rape, child custody, and access to credit."
            -- Molly Ivins, pp. 168-169 of her wonderful book Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? It's a real treasure!
      [The dates above ARE correct: 1890 for the age of a woman's consent from 7 to 10 (no wonder men say we didn't have a problem with rape and incest, etc., in the old days. They didn't consider it a crime!)]

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Event: 01-05-1759, wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis marries George Washington and her money enables him to pursue his military and political career.

B. 01-05-1762, Konstanze Mozart, (Maria Constantia Caecilia Josepha Aloisia, born Weber), Austrian singer and pianist.

B. 01-05-1835, Olympia Brown, American religious leader and social reformer. OB became a Universalist minister in 1863, the first woman to become clergy in a major ecclesiastical group. OB served congregations in New England and Wisconsin. Ardently involved in the campaign for women's suffrage, she gave up her pastorate in 1887 to devote herself to the cause. She helped found several suffrage organizations.

B. 01-05-1850, Dame Sidney Jane Browne, British nurse won a number of honors including the peerage for serving in four military campaigns and wars. She became the first president of the Royal College of Nursing. B. 01-05-1869, Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, the most noted American black singer of her day. She disliked being compared to Adelina Patti (B. 02-19-1843), the great white opera singer, but toured extensively with the group called the Black Patti Troubadours. The group performed standard black routines although Sissieretta always performed more opera than the Negro spirituals during extensive tours in the U.S. and Europe.

B. 01-05-1869, Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, most noted black singer of her day. She disliked being compared to Adelina Pati, the great white opera singer, but toured extensively with the group called the Black Patti Troubadours which performed standard black routines although Joyner-Jones sang only operatic selections. She toured Europe and major cities in the US, always performing more opera than the Negro spirituals audiences required of a black singer.

B. 01-05-1901, Aryness Joy Wickens, noted economist, special economic advisor, U.S. Secretary of Labor (1959).

B. 01-05-1902, Stella (Dorothea) Gibbons, English writer won the Femina Vie Heureuse prize with her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm (1932).

B. 01-05-1906, Dame Kathleen Kenyon, British archaeologist who excavated Jericho. Her meticulous excavation techniques proved Jericho existed as the oldest, continuously occupied human settlement beginning as early 7000 BC. She worked in 1929 with sister-British archaeologist Gertrude Caton-Thompson, revealing the Zimbabwe ruins.

B. 01-05-1908, Carolyn Schnurer, fashion designer of casual, comfortable clothes.

Event 01-05-1925, following her election to fill the unexpired term of her husband, Nellie Tayloe Ross was sworn in as Governor of Wyoming. She was appointed the first woman Director of the U.S. Mint by Franklin Roosevelt a few years later.

B. 01-05-1932, Raisa Gorbachev, embodied the new woman of the U.S.S.R. when reform premier Michael Gorbachev took power.

B. 01-05-1935, Nancy Lee Johnson, U.S. Representative, was a member Connecticut Senate 1977-82 and member of Congress from the 6th Connecticut district 1983.

B. 01-05-1946, Diane Keaton, won Academy Award for best actress in Annie Hall (1977) and nominated for her work in Reds (1981).

B. 01-05-1947, Kathy Switzer, American athlete, who had been refused permission to enter the Boston Marathon but got a number in 1967 as K. Switzer. While racing she was discovered to be a girl. Front page photos seen throughout the world, show race officials chasing her, trying to pull her number off. She outmaneuvered them with the help of a couple of male runners and finished the race.
As a member of the Syracuse University track team, she was promptly suspended from the Amateur Athletic Union for "running without a chaperon!" It wasn't until five years later that women were officially allowed to run in the race with men. In 1979 KS began organizing women's racing meets.

Event 01-05-95, Myra C. Selby, became the first woman and the first black member of the Indiana State Supreme Court.

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      "Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do."
            -- Lydia M. Child, prominent abolitionist

      "Modern writers have at least established that the unexamined marriage, like the unexamined life, is not worth living."
            -- Carolyn Heilbrun, author and English professor.

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