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January 13

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.

Women marched with the British and American armies


QUOTES by Mary Wollstonecraft and Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

American Revolutionary War Women

      "As many as 20,000 women marched with the British and American armies (in the American Revolutionary war). These women acted as paid and unpaid cooks, nurses, doctors, laundresses, guides, seamstresses, and porters. It appears that more women served the British than with the American army because, of course, the Americans could rely on local help...
      "A matron described the appearance of the British force as it entered Cambridge, Massachusetts: 'I never had the least idea that the Creation produced such a sordid set of creatures in human figure poor, dirty, emaciated men, great numbers of women who seemed to be the beasts of burden, having a bushel baskets on their backs, by which they were bent double, the contents seemed to be pots and kettles, various sorts of furniture, children peeking through the gridirons and other utensils, some very young infants who were born on the road, the women bare feet, clothed in dirty rags.' "
            -- from A History of Women in America by Carol Hymowitz, Carol and Michaele Weissman. New York: Bantam Books, 1978.
      (Ah, the officers and gentlemen who defended women's honor in the gallant days of powdered wigs...and historical hypocrisy. Historians ignore the fact that only a few women of money or royalty were of the leisure, pampered class. A true view of history shows that most women worked long, long hours all their lives with no legal rights to ameliorate their conditions.)

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B. 01-13-1381, Saint Colette, French Abbess founded the Colettine Poor Clares and reformed the entire Poor Clares order to strict behavior.

B. 01-13-1616, Antoinette Bourignon, Flemish mystic and religious enthusiast who advocated a doctrine of inner light and divine immediacy. Some authorities portray her religious view as to be the "woman clothed with the sun."

B. 01-13-1793, Rebecca Lukens, pregnant and with four small children took over her later husband's debt-ridden steel mill and made it a success through depressions and resentment. The mark of her management style was her loyal workers who were employed through bad times and good

B. 01-13-1850, Charlotte R. Ray, the first black lawyer in the United States who was also a woman and certified as the first woman admitted to practice in Washington, D.C. By 1878, in the face of overwhelming sexual and racial prejudice when not even black men would consult her, she returned to teaching.

B. 01-13-1884, Sophie Tucker, Russian-born American singer billed as the last of the red-hot mamas, known for sentimental ballads, "torch songs," and blues. She was born on a wagon when her mother was traveling out of Russia escaping from a progrom. Her mother supervised the family restaurant in America.

B. 01-13-1924, Ursula Aarburg, German musicologist, writer.

B. 01-13-1925(?), Gwen Verdon, American dancer, choreographer, Grammy and Tony winner. Won the Broadway award for her work in Can-Can, and Damned Yankees.

B. 01-13-1926, Carolyn G. Heilbrun, writer and English professor at Columbia University. In addition to a number of nonfiction books, CGH wrote a series of very popular mysteries using the pseudonym Amanda Cross. She took early retirement as English professor at Columbia University charging she was ignored and isolated for 32 years because she was a woman and that the male professors behaved like little boys.

Event 01-13-1928: Nellie Zabel Willhite soloed and became South Dakota's first licensed woman pilot - and probably the first pilot who was almost completely deaf. NZW became a much sought-after performer in the airshows that were the rage during the period and did so much to popularize flying. She was outstanding in the tight, fast maneuvering necessary in balloon target racing in which pilots would fly into balloons to burst them. The shows were necessary to underwrite flying costs and NZW, like almost every other pilot of the day, gave sightseeing rides.

Event 01-13-1972, attempts to bar professional umpire Bernice Gera from the major leagues fail in the New York State Appeals court. Three months later she is offered an umpire's contract for the National Baseball League. She had been refused the contract in 1969. Hours after her first game, she resigns stating that she received threats.

Event 01-13-1976 - Sarah Caldwell, The Divine Miss Sarah, founder of the highly successful and artistically marvelous Boston Opera Company, the second woman in the history of the New York Philharmonic to conduct its orchestra (1975) became the first woman to conduct an opera at the Metropolitan, Verdi's La Traviata. Devoted to her Boston Opera company and opera in general, she uses off-beat methods to draw customers by using stage innovations which included such things as motorcycles and circus acts. It has led some misogynists to say she's a better stage director than conductor, but Bostonians know better. One can be both !!! She was born 03-05-24.

Event 01-13-1992, Japan apologized for forcing Korean women to act as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WWII but refuses to pay reparations.

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      "...I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness... [dismiss] then those pretty feminine phrases... supposed to be the sexual characteristics of the weaker vessel..."
            -- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 1792.

      "My mother was quite aware that her life was a loss and so she was very clear to me; be independent, be your own person, do something.
      "It was a very strong message and I listened to it."
            -- Carolyn G. Heilbrun

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