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January 15

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.

The First Woman Jockey


QUOTES by Allen Guttman, Phyllis McGinley, and John Stuart Mills.

Barbara Jo Rubin

      Event 01-15-1969: In South Florida Barbara Jo Rubin, 19, was to ride as the first woman jockey at a major race track - and then was taken off her mount by track officials.
      BJR was an experienced rider who exercise and schooled (trained) race horses in the early morning hours at the track. However, when she wanted to try real racing, the boy jockeys threatened to strike. The little gentlemen also threw things at her dressing room door and shouted some rather ungentleman-like words and phrases. They also said a woman in a race would make it too dangerous for the men riders.
      But it was money, not chivalry that was at the heart of the matter. A winning jockey gets ten percent of the purse and the jockeys, always a very touchy group because of their smallness and their constant dieting, didn't want to share the pots of gold (and ego) with a GIRL!
      Finally, on February 22, 1969, Jo was able to ride at Charles Town, West Virginia without the world stopping - and she won her first race. Using the publicity as the first woman jockey, she got what are called live mounts, i.e., horses that are figured to win or be in contention. She crossed the finish line first in 11 of her first 22 starts.
      Unfortunately Jo at 5'5" was tall by jockey standards and was still growing. Her height combined with an old knee injury ended her racing career in less than a year.

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B. 01-15-1809, Carnelia Augusta Connelly, American founder of the Society of the Holy Child. She and her husband converted to Catholicism, then separated so he could become a priest. She later became a nun and then her husband decided against the priesthood and sued her for custody of their five children and restoration of sex rights. She refused and a terrible ecclesiastical and legal battle broke out over the ownership of a wife by her husband and her lack of sexual rights.

B. 01-15-1810, Abigail Kelley Foster, American abolitionist and women's rights' lecturer. She suffered physical and verbal abuse - rotten vegetables and stones - and she was tagged a fallen woman for speaking in public and daring to address men as one of the first women to speak before sexually mixed audiences. Several times she and her husband refused to pay taxes because she was not allowed to vote.

B. 01-15-1819, Abigail Kelley Foster, highly effective abolitionist lecturer who added temperance and women's rights to her speeches in later years. Suffered physical and verbal abuse, and was called a fallen woman for daring to speak in public. In those days in the United States (and other nations) women were not allowed to speak to mixed sex groups, and were stoned, beaten, booed, and otherwise abused for doing so. Several times she and her husband refused to pay taxes because she was not able to vote.

B. 01-15-1842, Mary McKillop, Australian religionist, formed the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. A bishop disbanded the congregation and excommunicated her, but she was soon reinstated and eventually won the fierce struggle against the church hierarchy's desire to control the Josephite sisters. On January 19, 1995, Mary became the first Australian ever to be beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. [Background provided by Judy Redman, Chaplain, Monash Uni -Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Australia.]

B. 01-15-1845, Ella Flagg Young, educator, first woman president of the National Education Association and superintendent of the Chicago school system (1909), the first woman to supervise a school system in a major U.S. city. When an anti-woman faction tried to unseat her in 1913, she drew on all her political experience and rallied public pressure that forced four of her opponents to resign.

B. 01-15-1850, Sony Kovalevski, Russian mathematician who was awarded the Prix Bordin of the Paris Academy with the prize money doubled because of the importance of her work: outstanding contributions to the theory of differential equations.

B. 01-15-1860, Katherine Bement Davis, chemist who determined the relation of food to social welfare. Also the Superintendent of New York State Reformatory for Women where she instituted vocational training for women in prison for the first time in U.S. Men had been being trained in prison for years.

B. 01-15-1864, Frances Benjamin Johnston, American photographer said, "the women who makes photography profitable must have... good common sense, unlimited patience to carry her through endless failures, equally unlimited tact, good taste, a quick eye, a talent for detail, and a genius for hard work." Probably the first woman to earn her living solely from photography. Her earlier work recorded workers in portraiture while her later work of recorded buildings and homes in the South that became a major contribution to the history of southern colonial architecture and of southern life. Her studio work aimed at catching personality rather than just likenesses.

B. 01-15-1885, Mazo de la Roche, Canadian author.

B. 01-15-1892, Jane Margueretta Hoey, social worker, founding director of the Bureau of Public assistance, served on the Social Security Board (1936-1953) and removed by President Dwight Eisenhower to be replaced with a Republican. A firm believer in monetary aid to help recipients, JMH spent a lot of her time convincing state officials to develop eligibility standards as well as setting a level of assistance payments, She was untiring in helping states develop adequate programs for the poor. She was outspoken about only 1% of key federal officials being women.

Event 01-15-1978, Lisa Levy & Margaret Bowman, two students at Florida State U. were murdered by serial killer Ted Bundy in their sorority house.

Event 01-15-1988: State Farm Insurance agreed to pay unnamed millions in damages and back pay to women who were refused certain jobs in California over 12-year period.

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      "Now that historians have at long last begun to look for evidence of women's sports, the evidence has begun to appear. Not a great deal of it, but enough to disprove the dismal null hypothesis about play's total absence from the lives of medieval women."
            -- Guttman, Allen. Women's Sports, a History. New York: Columbia University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-231-06956-1.

      "It's this no-nonsense side of women that is pleasant to deal with. They are the real sportsmen. They don't have to be constantly building up frail egos by large public performances like overtipping the hat-check girl, speaking fluent French to the Hungarian waiter, and sending back the wine to be recooled."
            -- Phyllis McGinley in "Some of my best friends..." The Province of the Heart, 1959.

      "The most important thing women have to do is to stir up the zeal of women themselves."
            -- John Stuart Mills in an 1869 letter.

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