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January 8

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.

Emily Green Balch

Butterfly McQueen will always be remembered


QUOTE by Abigail Adams.

Emily Green Balch, co-recipient of 1946 Nobel Peace Prize

      Born 01-08-1867, Emily Green Balch, graduated Bryn Mawr with its first matriculated class, founded the Denison (Settlement) House in Boston with Vida Scudder and Helena Dudley. She was invited to teach at Wellesley by noted economist and historian Katherine Coma. She taught sociology and economics from 1897-1918. The Wellesley Board of Trustees then failed to reappoint her because of she had gained prominence as a pacifist, having been one of the founders of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
      She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1946). Her Our Slavic Fellow Citizens (1910) was a major sociological work on immigration and the problems of immigrants.

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Butterfly McQueen

      Born 01-08-1911, Butterfly McQueen, black film actor who hated her most famous role which portrayed her (and her foremothers) as dimwitted and lazy. In later years she grew to appreciate it because it gave her a living. Hattie McDaniel got the Academy Award in 1939 for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone With The Wind, but McQueen got immortality in one defining moment of the movie.
      For better or for worse, in spite of a long but discouragingly unimportant career on stage and film, Butterfly McQueen will always be remembered for her stunning acting as she dwaddled down the hot and dusty Atlanta street playing with picket fences and delivering her immortal line: "Miss Scarlet, I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies!"
      She gained her bachelor's degree in political Science from New York's City College at age 64. Tragically she died in December 1995 of burns suffered when a kerosene heater exploded. Her body was donated to science because she had no family but neighbors and her fans from throughout the world united in a memorial to a warm, helpful person who gave us a precious, shining moment on film - something thousands of other, much more highly paid actors will never have.

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Event 01-08, Gynaikokratia is celebrated in Greece. Roughly translated "women's rule(s)," women do what men do for the day: dance, drink, carouse, and have fun while the men stay home and take care of the kids and the house.

B. 01-08-1859, Fanny Workman, American explorer and mountain climber. A pioneer cyclist, she traveled throughout Europe with her husband before they went to India and made seven expeditions into the Himalayas. In the Ice World of Himalaya (1905) was the first of five books that meticulously described the terrain, ice formations, etc. The books are still authoritative for the area. FW took pride in the fact that she always wore long dresses, not trousers as other women mountaineers did.

B. 01-08-1905, Nancy Faulkner, author of biographical and historical novels for young people.

B. 01-08-1910, Alice Marriott, author and ethnologist. First woman to earn a B.A. in anthropology at University of Oklahoma (1935).

B. 01-08-1937, Shirley Bassey, Welsh-born popular British and American singer at her zenith in the 60s and 70s. Although her strong voice carried well on records, her forte was concerts and cabaret acts. Among her best known renditions are "For All We Know" and "Never, Never, Never."

B. 01-08-1943, Susan Vail Berresford, American philanthropic foundation executive. SVB began her career with the Ford Foundation (1970) and moved up in rank from program officer, vice-president, executive vice-president to president in 1996. The Ford Foundation endowment exceeds $8 billion, making it one of the most important non-profit corporations in the world.

Event 01-08-1975 - For the first time in U.S. history, a woman, Betty S. Murphy is named chair of the National Labor Relations Board, the first woman member of the board. On this same day, for the first time in U.S. history, a woman, Ella Grasso of Connecticut, takes office as the first woman governor elected in her own right.

Event: 01-08-1925, When the three members of the Texas State Supreme Court had to disqualify themselves, Gov. Pat Neff appointed three women to hear and determine a case regarding the Woodman of the World, thus becoming the first (and only) State Supreme Court of all women.

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      "It is really mortifying, sir, when a woman possessed of a common share of understanding considers the difference of education between the male and female sex, even in those families where education is attended to... Nay why should your sex wish for such a disparity in those whom they one day intend for companions and associates. Pardon me, sir, if I cannot help sometimes suspecting that this neglect arises in some measure from an ungenerous jealousy of rivals near the throne."
            -- Abigail Adams, 1778

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