03-31 TABLE of CONTENTS:
QUOTE by John Adams.
In a letter, dated March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams reveals an awareness of sexual inequality and even warns her husband what his course of action will bring about. It is obvious that Abigail is speaking for other women as well as herself as she uses we in her threat, indicating that woman's rights advocates were alive and well in the U.S. at least 200 years before the period of the 1970s that HIStorians erroneously named the second wave of feminism.
Abigail wrote: "I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more: generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.
"That your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute; but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up - the harsh tide of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend.
"Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity? Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the (servants) of your sex; regard us then as being placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness."
03-31 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS
Event: 03-31-1776, Abigail Adams wrote her husband when he was in Philadlphia helping plan the Declaration of Independence:
"Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could... If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation."
(The Abigail's Rebels listserve is named after her.)
B. 03-31-1889, Muriel Hazel Wright, historian, writer, helped organize the Choctaw Advisory Council, 1934, and fought for just recompense for Native Americans following Oklahoma's statehood.
B.: 03-31-1895, Lizzie Miles, popular black singer in New Orleans and Los Angeles in the 1920's and 30's, developed a style known as "gumbo French" jazz.
B. 03-31-1914, Mildred Buchwalder Beck, director of the Child Study Association of America. Her widowed mother took in foster children to support her own children and Beck had to earn her own money for college.
B. 03-31-1929, Liz Claiborne, founder, president, CEO and chair as well as fashion designer of Liz Claiborne, Inc., a billion-dollar corp. Her mother taught her to sew and Liz says instilled ambition in her.
B. 03-31-1934, Shirley Jones, actor. After a very successful stage career in such musicals as Oklahoma! which she brought to the screen in 1955, she won the Academy Award for best supporting actress in Elmer Gantry (1960). Best known to a generation for her TV work in The Partridge Family.
Event: 03-31-1966, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare approves distribution of contraceptives and birth control information under a number of federal programs.
QUOTES DU JOUR
"Depend upon it, we know better than to repeal our masculine systems."
-- John Adams' reply to Abigail Smith Adams' letter. At the time married women did not have title to the clothes they wore and had no legal say in the custody, raising, or education of their children who belonged exclusively to the man.
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