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February 25

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.

Why HERstory Is Necessary


QUOTES by Emmeline Pankhurst and K. Huxtable.

Excerpt from Suzanne Lebsock's
A Share of Honour: Virginia Women 1600-1945

      This excerpt sums up why HERstory is necessary and why HIStory as taught in our schools fails all of us.

      "Historians went their accustomed way, writing about men and the things men do, and calling their work 'history'... then in the 1960's things began to change. There had always been some historians who went beyond or behind politics to the society itself, who examined the way people lived and what they though about and what their most deeply held values were.
      "In the 1960's this view and the kinds of questions it engendered began to spread. This new social history attracted many young scholars and gave rise to an ever-increasing amount of exciting work. The development in France and England of new research techniques, which made it possible to ask and answer question about large numbers of hitherto unexamined groups, provided an added impetus to the growing concern with the history of society.
      "All this was going on as a resurgent feminism stirred many women to wonder about the lives and experiences of their mothers and grandmothers and all the other women who had lived and died unnoticed since the first European settlement. Some even began to wonder about the women who were here when the Europeans arrived and about the African women brought here against their will. Feminism also emboldened an increasing number of women to seek advanced training and to become professional historians. The combination of these developments has led to an explosion of studies about women and families which are remaking the historical landscape."
            -- Suzanne Lebsock, A Share of Honour: Virginia Women 1600-1945. Richmond, Virginia: The Virginia Women's Cultural History Project, 1984.

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B. 02-25-1842, Ida Lewis, oldest daughter of the lighthouse keeper at Lime Rock in Newport, R.I., who assumed her father's responsibilities when he suffered a paralytic stroke when she was 15. By rowing her sister and brothers to school and get supplies from the mainland she became an expert oarsperson. Her ability to handle a boat even in the worst weather conditions enabled her to rescue dozens of people from capsized boats in Newport Harbor. Her fame spread throughout the country, and she was honored in numerous ceremonies. President Grant and dignitaries of her area paid their respects by personally visiting this great 19th century heroine. In 1879 after 22 years of keeping the Lime Rock Lighthouse she was officially designated the first woman Keeper of the Light.

B. 02-25-1890, Dame Myra Hess, internationally acclaimed British pianist known for her interpretations of the German masters.

B. 02-25-1904, Adelle Davis, writer and lecturer on cooking and nutrition whose fame was tarnished by later claims of falsehoods. She grew up on a farm under a strict father and needed seven years of psychoanalysis to get over it. Her mother had died as a result of her birth.

B. 02-25-1907, Mary Coyle Chase, playwright. Won 1944-45 Pulitzer prize for Harvey. Her mother came from Ireland at 16 to keep house for her four brothers.

B. 02-25-1910, Millicent Fenwick, U.S. Representative, New Jersey known as the conscience of the Congress. Doonesbury's Lacey Davenport is modeled after her. Her mother died in the sinking of the Lusitania.

Event 02-25-1972, the Rochester, NY, Junior Chamber of Commerce chapter was suspended by the national organization because it admitted women as members. (Yes, 19777772 - less than three decades ago.)

Event 02-25-1986, Corazon Aquino declared duly elected president of the Phillipines.

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      "Women have always fought for men - and for their children. Now they are ready to fight for their own human rights. Our militant movement is established."
            -- Emmeline Pankhurst, My Own Story.

      "And remember, being a lesbian isn't always living a lifestyle. Sometimes it's having a life."
            -- K. Huxtable, 1993

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