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January 20

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.

Have Your City or Town Proclaim March as Women's History Month

Hanna Reitsch, German test pilot


QUOTES by Boston Women's Collective and Rita Mae Brown.

How to Get March Declared as Women's History Month

      January is the time to go to your town or city's council and request that March be declared as your city's Women's History month. Congress and the President have proclaimed March as National History Month since 1987. It's a very, very simple procedure since most politicians are eager to court the "gender gap" vote.
      Always approach women on your council first, or lacking any , contact the representative from your district. Enclose the proclamation form below with your letter (make it easy):

      WHEREAS, women have contributed in a fundamental way to the history and heritage of these United States; and
      WHEREAS, the celebration of women's accomplishments dates back to the first International Women's day on March 8, 1911, which led to a Congressional resolutions beginning in 1981 proclaiming National women's History Week, which became National Women's History Month in 1987; and
      WHEREAS, the purpose of the celebration is to educate all people in the study of the contributions of women to government, business, industry, science, health, education, social work, and the cultural arts; and
      WHEREAS, it is the purpose thereof to preserve, celebrate and teach about the contributions of women to our history and further to promote month-long activities to dramatize and demonstrate the historical role of women; now therefore, be it
      RESOLVED, that March is hereby proclaimed as Women's History Month in [your city]."

You may also send a request to the governor of your state to remind her/him.

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Hanna Reitsch

      Somehow Hanna Reitsch's special physical ability was discovered by the Germans in World War II. She had been a glider pilot and glider pilots are not known to be subject to stresses, so one may wonder how she was found and chosen, especially in a society where most women were discouraged from doing anything other than having babies and servicing the menfolk.
      But the official reports say Hanna Reitsch had the special physical ability to withstand tremendous pressures and was well suited to solve a special problem with the V-1 rocket.
      Seems like the wings kept falling off.
      So a special seat was installed in the nose of test V-1 rockets for Hanna Reitsch so she could visually spot the problem and report (hopefully alive) why the wings kept falling off.
      (Needless to say, it couldn't have been either a very safe nor a very comfortable job.) She spotted the trouble and the V-1 went into production and the "buzz bomb" became the weapon of choice against England.

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B. 01-20-1480, Margaret of Austria, helped consolidate Hapsburg rule in the Netherlands and with Louise of Savoy negotiated the Treaty of Cambrai.

B. 01-20-1820, Anne Jemima Clough, English educator and feminist who was the first principal of Newnham College, Cambridge.

B. 01-20-1856, Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Stanton, formed what became the Woman's Political Union that initiated the drive for women's voting in New York. She served as an administrator for WWI federal agencies. Her daughter Nora Stanton Blatch (B.1883) was the first woman in America to receive the degree of Civil Engineer. Harriot Blatch was probably the initiator of public rallies and street parades for women's suffrage and rights that Alice Paul got credit for after returning from England. Three hundred marched in Blatch's first parade in 1908 and 20,000 marched in the Woman's Political Union march down Fifth Avenue in New York in 1914.

B. 01-20-1867, Yvette Guilbert, French singer, reciter, and stage and film actor used songs drawn from Parisian lower-class life. She had a risque, double entendre delivery.

Event Jan. 20, 1869, Elizabeth Cady Stanton becomes the first woman to testify in a congressional hearing and spoke about woman suffrage and rights.

B. 01-20-1877, Ruth Saint Denis, American dance innovator who influenced almost every phase of American dance through her style and choreography. She founded the Denishawn school and dance company, assisted by her husband.

B. 01-20-1888, Ella C. Deloria, sociologist, lived at poverty level most of her life after her graduation from Columbia University while she made the most complete studies of Dakota Indian folk legends, language, mores, etc., ever made. Her studies were at the encouragement of anthropologist Franz Boas with whom she co-published a book on Dakota grammar. Boas lived quite well, thank you.

B. 01-20-1906, Maurine Whipple who wrote about the Mormon polygamy lifestyle from a woman's viewpoint in Children of God.

B. 01-20-1910, Joy Friederike Victoria Adamson, conservationist and writer best known for her Born Free series on lions which tracked the life of Elsa and her cubs. It was made into a highly popular movie. Adamson founded the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal (1961). Ironically, the two most noted conservationists in Africa of their generation were murdered there: Joy Adamson at the game reserve in Kenya in 1980 and Dian Fosse in Rwanda in 1985.

B. 01-20-1926, Patricia Neal, actor, won Academy Award for her work in Hud (1963) and nominated in 1968. She won Broadway's Tony award as Regina in Another Part of the Forest (1947.) Suffered a stroke and her rehabilitation was an inspiration to millions.

B. 01-20-1940, Carol (Elizabeth) Heiss, leading U.S. woman figure skater from 1955 through 1960. CH, now a coach, held more international titles than any North American woman in history. She won the Olympic figure skating gold in 1960.

Event: 01-20-1952, Patricia McCormick became the first officially recognized woman bullfighter.

B. 01-20-1955, Genni Louise Batterham, Australian film maker who contracted multiple sclerosis, activist for disabled persons. Her film Pins and Needles (1979) was translated into five languages and won seven international awards.

Event 01-20-1975, the first EVER national conference on rape was held at the University of Alabama.

Event 01-20-1985, Geri B. Larson took charge of the Tahoe National Forest in Nevada City, California, the first woman forest supervisor in the U.S. Forest Service history.

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      "Feminism must change the way we raise our children, pushing us to open the world of feelings and vulnerability to our sons and the possibilities of self-assertion and decisiveness to our daughters."
           -- Boston Women's Collective

      "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle."
-- Rita Mae Brown

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