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February 23

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.

Anna Howard Shaw, Suffragist


QUOTES by Toni Morrison and Mary Ashton Livermore.

Anna Howard Shaw, Suffragist

      One of the eloquent orators on behalf of women's suffrage and rights, Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) was one of Susan B. Anthony's closest associates. She headed the women's suffrage movement in 1904-15 between the terms of Carrie Chapmen Catt.
      Many masculists and HIStorians attempt to paint the leaders of the women's rights and suffrage movement as elitist and not representative of the "common woman." Balderdash.
      Let us quote from Ms. Shaw's autobiography of when she was 12 in 1859, a far cry from the cleaned up versions of her life you read in biographical sketches:

"We all had an idea that we were going to a farm (in Michigan), and we expected some resemblance at least to the prosperous farms we had seen in New England. What we found awaiting us were the four walls and the roof of a good-sized log house, standing in a small cleared strip of the wilderness, its doors and windows represented by square holes, (its floor was only untamped dirt) the whole effect achingly forlorn and desolate... and I shall never forget the look my mother turned upon the place... something within her seemed to give way, and she sank upon the ground.
      "She could not realize even then, I think, that this was really the place father had PREPARED for us, that here he expected us to live (alone, without him). When she finally took it in, she buried her face in her hands, and in that way she sat for hours without moving or speaking. We stood around her in a frightened group, talking to one another in whispers. Our little world had crumbled under our feet. Never before had we seen our mother give way to despair.
      "Night began to fall. The woods became alive with night creatures... and we children whimpered around her, our mother still sat in her strange lethargy.
      "(While her 20-year old brother) was picketing the horses and building his protecting fires my mother, came to herself, but her face never lost the deep lines those first hours of her pioneer life had cut upon it."

[Ms. Shaw's recitation continued in WOA02-24, another chapter of what they don't teach you in school ...]

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B. 02-23-1749, Gertrude Elisabeth Mara, German-born soprano and voice teacher

B. 02-23-1787, Emma Willard, elected to Hall of Fame for Great Americans in 1905. Noted educator, primarily for girls and young women, opened the Middlebury Female Seminary in her home, established the Emma Willard School (1821), one of the first women's colleges in the U.S. Society and custom in those days prevented women from learning anything but the most elemental reading and writing.

B. 02-23-1857, Margaret Deland, U.S. writer, one of the first women members of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

B. 02-23-1868, Katherine Pettit, instituted a number of settlement house projects in Appalachia, which not only taught children but acted as health centers. She was instrumental in the building of many roads and held farmers' institutes to improve animal production and care. Two of the schools, Hindman and Pine Moutain Schools, were still is existance into the 1980's.

B. 02-23-1879, Agnes Arber, botanist who specialized in monocotyledons.

B. 02-23-1901, Ruth Roland Nichols, aviator, held more than 35 "firsts" for women in the early days of aviation, including being the first woman to receive an international hydroplanes license. In 1917 was one of the first two women to receive a transport license from the Department of Commerce. Co- founded the Ninety-Nines, a networking organization for early women pilots, During WWII she formed Relief Wings, a civilian airplane ambulance service. She made a world tour on behalf of UNICEF (1948).

Event 02-23-1970, Deeny and Mary Sandmann are the first women in the U.S. allowed to distribute the Eucharist during a Roman Catholic mass.

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      "If you're going to hold someone down, you're going to have to hold onto the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression."
            -- Toni Morrison, I Dream A World, 1989.

      "Other books have been written by men physicians... One would suppose by reading them that women possess but one class of physical organs, and that these are always diseased. Such teaching is pestiferous, and tends to cause and perpetuate the very evils it professes to remedy."
            -- Mary Ashton Livermore [1820-1905], What Shall we Do with Our Daughters?

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