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March 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.

The First Woman U.S. Court of Appeals Judge


QUOTE by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Florence Allen

      She was quoted in a nice ladies magazine of her day as saying the way for women to succeed is to "Take one generous dose of persistency, add one large measure of industry, the kind that takes no thought of dances, evening parties, or prolonged vacations. Mix thoroughly and season with a good portion of humor and several ounces of tact - and don't get emotional. It's what the men expect us to be."
      She was Florence Allen, the first women to sit as a judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals (see below).
      What she also said (that was not quoted in the ladies magazines of the day that were all edited and run by men):
      "The other judges are not expected to be responsible for selecting the dining room draperies or entertaining at a luncheon. Why, just because I am a woman, should I? I don't cook or sew or shop for the simple reason that I haven't the time or energy for these things, any more than the men judges have."
      (As a certain radio personality wouldn't say - because he wouldn't be caught dead saying good things about women whom he considers his personal punching bag: "And that's the rest of the story.")

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B. 03-23-1857, Fannie Farmer, cookbook author. "Unmarriageable" by community standards of the day because of the paralysis of a leg, she became a "mother's helper" and devised the scientific method of cooking recipes. Instead of a "pinch" or a "handful," it became "1 teaspoon" or "one cup, shifted." She attempted to have her recipes published in 1886, but the men in charge of publishing didn't think the idea had an merit (nor was there any need) and insisted she finance the publication herself. It sold more than 4 million copies.

B. 03-23-1884, Florence Ellinwood Allen, musician and lawyer who after an injury became a music critic, then studied political science, took her masters degree at 24 and was admitted to the Ohio bar at 29. She was an avid feminist and worked for suffrage. After working as assistant prosecutor in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) she was elected judge of common pleas, and in 1922 was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. She was the first woman to hold any of these posts and in 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She retained that seat for 25 years, the last year as chief judge. Her mother was a member of Smith College's first year class.

B. 03-23-1908, Joan Crawford, strong-willed and talented U.S. film actress about whom much bad and very little good has been written in the usual fashion of scandal mongers. She was the victim of a terrible childhood. Won Academy Award for her portrayal of Mildred Pierce (1945). She made more than 80 films, starring in most. Outstanding business executive.

B. 03-23-1926, Martha Wright, singer who sang one part 1,080 times for the longest run ever recorded on the Broadway stage, but few remember her name because she succeeded Mary Martin as Nellie Forbisch in South Pacific.

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      " 'Why does it matter to you, Piedro? It is my problem, and I must deal with it in my own way. If you wish, I will explain that it had nothing to do with you - that you asked me to, and I refused.'
      " 'You can't do that,' he said harried.
      " '...I'm in enough trouble with him without having him think...' He stopped but to Jaelle, surprisingly, it was as if he had spoken aloud what was in his mind: THINK I CAN'T MANAGE MY OWN WIFE.
      That did make her angry. She said, between clenched teeth, 'Why should you think that it reflects on you?'
      " 'Damn it, woman,' he burst out. 'You're wearing my name! Everything you do reflects on me, whether you mean it to, or not...'
            -- p 36, Thendara House by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

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