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May 11

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from the draft of an unpublished book based on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.


Wives of U.S. Presidents


QUOTE by Marcia Davenport re Madame Alma Gluck.

Wives of U.S. Presidents

      In a recent survey, academics rated the wives of U.S. Presidents in the following order:
      1. Eleanor Roosevelt; 2. Hillary Rodham Clinton; 3. Abigail Adams; 4. Dolley Madison; 5. Rosalyn Carter; 6. Lady Bird Johnson; 7. Jackie Kennedy; 8. Barbara Bush; 9. Betty Ford; 10. Edith Wilson.
      The WOA compiler would have listed Edith Wilson much higher since she actually acted as President of the United States during her husband's illness. She kept government together so well that the U.S. Senate was stymied in its attempts to find out the extent of Wilson's disability... or as some say, "They saw that the affairs of state were going along so smoothly that they didn't want to disturb things."
      And we would have rated Nancy Reagan in there for her single-mindedness in pushing her actor-husband to the presidency and directing how to hide his growing mental confusion as he suffered through the developing stages of Alzheimer's

Now why aren't we surprised?
      Women only receive 30% of scholarship funds, 17 % of recruiting money, and 23% of the operating budgets in colleges where women are more than one-half the enrollment.

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B. 05-11-1823, (Catherine) Sister Irene Fitzgibbon, headed a home for foundling babies whose care had previously been assigned to prisoners or the inmates of poorhouses.
      She established the New York Foundling Hospital, a maternity hospital, a hospital for children, a care facility for children, a hospital for TB patients, and developed a program to give decent care for unwed mothers both before and AFTER birth.

B. 05-11-1892, Dame Margaret Rutherford, British actor, appeared in more than 30 films and 100 plays. On TV she was considered the quintessential Miss Marple. MR won the Academy Award for her work in VIP's (1963).

B. 05-11-1894(3?), Martha Graham, the woman who most embodied the movements of modern dance.
      MG was a National Treasure who influenced American modern dance as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer.
      Her career spanned more than 60 years during which she created almost 200 works from solos to feature presentations.

B. 05-11-1901, Gladys Rockmore Davis, U.S. artist who has works hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

B. 05-11-1905, Catherine Krouse, highly influential U.S. housing expert who advocated that residents should be involved in the planning and operation of low income housing, an idea that seems to have died with her - although there is some revival of her ideas as the warehousing type of low-cost housing becomes a breeding ground for crime and next-generation failure

B. 05-11-1906, Bidu Sayao, Brazilian coloratura soprano. BS made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera 1937.
      Her upper-class family was shocked when they discovered she was taking voice lessons and tried to stop her debut in Rome but soon her triumphs in Europe and the U.S. overcame all familial objections.
      There is an amusing story of when BS, along with her mother, were in the Met office discussing her contract, her mother kept whispering in Ms. Sayao's ear in a distressed manner. The Met general manager seeing what he thought was disapproval kept raising the salary. It turned out that Ms. Sayao's mother spoke no English and was seeking the lavatory.

B. 05-11-1938, Carla Bey, songwriter and a founding member of Jazz Composers Guild.

Event 05-11-1972: Barbara Lynn Herwig is the first woman to hold a top administrative post in the FBI.
      She is charged with recruiting women as FBI special agents. In July 1972, Susan L. Roley and Joanne E. Pierce become the first FBI agents.

Event 05-11-1978: Brigadier General Margaret A.Brewer became the Marine Corps' first general officer who is also a woman. She was assigned Director of Information, Headquarters Marine Corps. Brewer had been director of the Women Marines, the seventh and last women's director, suceeding Colonel Sustad on 1 February 1973. During Brewer's tenure, the women marine corps was disbanded and all women were made a part of the regular marine corps.

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      "I marvel at the self discipline, the strong character of a young and beautiful woman who was working terribly hard at music and yet would let herself be encumbered by a small child and all the annoyances that go with it."
            -- Marcia Davenport, noted American novelist wrote of her mother, world renowned opera star Alma Gluck, born 05-11-1884. Madame Gluck took Marcia her with her on her many concert tours, often singing as many as 100 concerts a year. Madame Gluck sang with Metropolitan for 12 years but preferred the concert stage. One of her recording sold almost two million copies! Her granddaughter is actor Stephanie Zimbalist. Her father, most often in absentia because of his concert schedule, was noted violinist Ephram Zimbalist Sr.

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