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January 29

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
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Alice Catherine Evans, bacteriologist


QUOTE by Voltaraine de Cleyre.

Alice Catherine Evans

      She explained why they ignored her discovery thus:
      "The Nineteenth Amendment was not a part of the constitution of the United States when the controversy began, and [men were] not accustomed to considering a scientific idea proposed by a woman."
      So Alice Evans, who had announced the cause and proposed a simple remedy to prevent undulant fever in 1917, saw the terrible disease ravage yet hundreds of thousands for more than a decade in the United States because the scientific community failed to heed her. After all, she had no degrees... and was a woman.
      Under pressures from Europe that adopted pasteurization of milk years before as a result of AE's studies, the U.S. scientific community and the dairy industry finally began pasteurization 1928/30. After milk was finally pasteurized (as beer and wine had been for 40 years), the terrible disease was all but eliminated in the U.S.
      During her original studies of Malta fever, her male superiors ordered her to stop her line of research because she was claiming the source of contamination was the cow itself. The scientific wisdom of the day said the disease was caused by handlers after the milk was drawn and she was just wasting everyone's time.
      She continued, however, doing the necessary tests secretly and on her own time. In the course of her investigations, she became infected with the disease, variously called Bang's disease, Malta fever, or undulant fever and suffered for the next two decades with it. It is a recurring disease that never seems to leave the system. Millions died or were severely incapacitated during the time of her first announcement and the agreement of the medical community.
      But thanks to Alice Evans who was born 01-29-1881, they have tagged and tamed the disease.

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B. 01-29-1822, Adelaide Ristori, renowned Italian tragedienne who won unanimous praise for her passionate acting style in worldwide tours, including four tours of the U.S.

B. 01-29-1846 (or 02-10), Elisabeth von Schultz von Adačewska, Russian composer and pianist.

B. 01-29-1878, Mary Lee Jobe Akeley, American explorer, author, and photographer. She explored the headwaters of the Fraser River and in recognition for her work Canada named one of the highest peaks in the Canadian rockies Mt. Jobe. Later she started an outdoor camp for young women in Mystic, Connecticut that she maintained her entire life.
      MLJA photographed and explored Africa with her husband 1924-26, staying on after his death to map Kenya and create important photographic studies of African wildlife. She headed her own expedition in 1935 and became a campaigner for the conservation of African wildlife as well as the tribal ways. Her books celebrated the uniqueness of Africa and the dangers facing it from plundering.

B. 01-29-1881, Alice Evans, bacteriologist, who after discovering that infected cow not the handling of milk by humans caused Bangs disease, campaigned for more than 20 years to get U.S. dairies to pasteurize our milk. She was not taken seriously because she was a woman. Europeans finally forced American pasteurization of milk.

B. 01-29-1890, Marguerite Canal, French composer, won Grand Prix de Rome (1920) for the symphonic poem Don Juan, and wrote more than 100 songs.

B. 01-29-1906, Gracie Allen. It's said that in actual life Gracie shortened the light cords on the lamps in her house to save electricity. She also put salt in the pepper shakers so that if she ever got mixed up no harm would be done. A very funny lady. Husband George acted as her straight man.

B. 01-29-1911, Bernice Marion Wilbur, Lt. Col., Chief nurse, North African Theatre, U.S. Army Nurse Corps during WWII.

B. 01-29-1912, Martha Wright Griffiths, U.S. Representative from Michigan, who led the fight to adopt the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment in the House of Representatives.

B. 01-29-1924, Nancy Oestreich, anthropologist noted for her studies of the Wisconsin Winnebago Indians.

Event 01-29-1926, Violette Neatly Anderson, became the first black female lawyer to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

B. 01-29-1937, JoAnn Akalaitus, American theater director. Artistic director, New York Shakespeare Festival.

Event 01-29-1943, Ruth Cheney Streeter became the first woman to reach the rank of Major with the U.S. Marines. She became a lieutenant colonel in 1943 and a full colonel in 1944.

B. 01-29-1953, Teresa Teng, Chinese singing superstar.

B. 01-29-1954, Oprah Winfrey, America's most popular TV talk show host who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her startlingly marvelous depiction in the movie The Color Purple (1985).

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      "I never expect men to GIVE us liberty. No, women, we are not WORTH it, until we TAKE it."
            -- Voltaraine de Cleyre (1866-1912).

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