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May 10

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
from the draft of an unpublished book based on
Irene Stuber's files on women of achievement and herstory.
The full text of this episode of Women of Achievement and Herstory
will be published here in the future.


The Mary Owen dinner


QUOTES by Dhanvanthi Rama Rau.

The Mary Owen dinner

      Kristin Jokabsson wrote WOA online:
      "On May 10, approximately 850 women in Melbourne, Australia, celebrate the achievements of women in general as well as a particular guest of honour at the annual Mary Owen dinner in the Town Hall. Probably 300-400 more women would like to be there but there is never enough room.
      "This event began as a retirement dinner for Mary Owen who had worked extremely hard to improve conditions for women, working women in particular.
      "The dinner had a guest list of almost 500 women (her closest friends). It was so successful and so much fun that it has become an annual event. There is a different guest of honour each year. The hall is decorated in purple, white and green and most of the guests wear feminist colours. It is spectacular."
      While Kristin Jakobsson was working at the Dept. of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden, she organized a small party there to honor women in the Australian tradition.

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B. 05-10-1837, Lucy Louisa Coues Flower, U.S. social welfare activist whose accomplishments in Chicago and Illinois are so vast as to have changed the fundamental view of the city towards its less fortunate citizens.
      She was aided by and in turn aided Jane Addams and her Hull House reformers who led the way to welfare reform nationally.

B. 05-10-1898 (N.S.), Ariel (Ada Kaufman) Durant, Russian-born U.S. historian and writer who coauthored the last five volumes of the 11-volume Story of Civilization (1935-1975) with her husband Will Durant who gets all the credit.
      The tenth volume Rousseau and Revolution (1967) won the Pulitzer Prize.

B. 05-10-1900, Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin, English-born U.S. astronomer, was professor of astronomy at Harvard (1956). She devised new techniques for the determination of stellar magnitudes from photographic plates but her most important work was with variable stars.
      She had disagreed with the prevailing thought about the makeup of the sun vs the earth in her thesis and though the thesis was accepted, it was not given any regard.
      Many years after her theory was proven correct, the American Astronomical Society belatedly honored her for her work - in 1977.

B. 05-10-1919, Ella T. Grasso, Governor of Connecticut, 1975-80, member of the U.S. Representative 1971-75, and Secretary of State, Connecticut, 958-1970.
      ETG was the first woman to be elected governor of any state without succeeding her husband.
      Her (male) predecessor's budget deficit was overcome within her first term.

B. 05-10-1937/9, Tamara Press was born May 10, 1937 and Irina Press was born May 10, 1939. These two amazing Russian sisters who won five Olympic gold medals and set several world records.
      Tamara won gold in shot put and silver in discus in 1960 the same year Irina set an Olympic record and then won gold in the 80-metre hurdles and gold in the first ever pentathlon for women.
      In 1964 Tamara won gold again setting records in both discus and shot put.

B. 05-10-1946, Birute Galdikas, Canadian anthropologist, primatologist, and conservationist. BG is arguably the greatest authority on orangutans. She directs the Orangutan Research and Conservation Project in Borneo's Tanjung Puting National Park (1971-).

B. 05-10-1958, Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D., U.S. astronaut who has logged almost 500 hours in space conducting research.
      She holds a number of patents. EO is a classical flutist.

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      "When I was young, girls were betrothed at nine and married at fourteen; a bride went to live in her mother-in-law's house and wasn't supposed to play a musical instrument, or eat with her husband, or go out alone . . . most young brides, even those from the best of families, couldn't read or write... From as far back as I can remember, I knew what I wanted - if I could - to break these terrible bonds."
            -- Dhanvanthi Rama Rau, born 05-10- 1893, who succeeded in getting the Sarda Act of 1930 paased that raised the legal marriageable age of girls to 14. She was founder and president of the Family Planning Association of India and served as chair of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
      Her mother had written articles calling for women's equality.

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