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May 27

Julia Howe

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from the draft of an unpublished book based on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.


Thea Musgrave


QUOTE by Thea Musgrave.

Thea Musgrave

Born May 27, 1928, Thea Musgrave, much acclaimed Scots orchestral and chamber music composer and conductor.
      Her works have been performed by major orchestras throughout the world, often with her on the podium because most conductors don't want to take the time to learn women's music that tends to be modern and its interpretation can't be learned from phonograph records. (Also it is played so seldom that they don't feel there's any point to spending their time on it.)
      One of the giants of 20th century music, she has received numerous awards and honors. She regularly lectures at universities in U.S. and England.
      TM studied with Nadia Boulanger (1950-54) privately and as a conservatoire student in Paris, saying,
"The distinguished Nadia Boulanger was not allowed to teach composition at the Paris Conservatoire because they (the conservatoire management) had a rule that only composers could teach composition. So one of the greatest teachers of the century could not teach at the conservatory, except for piano accompaniment," said Musgrave who went on to explain, "...We never did any accompanying on the piano; it was so much more. We did score reading, figured bass, transposition, and, of course, Stravinsky; it was a wonderful general music education."

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Event: 05-27-1647: Achsah Young, of Windsor, Connecticut, was the first person executed in North America for witchcraft. It is not known if Young was a man or woman, but most of the people who were burned, hanged, and otherwise killed in torturous ways in Europe and in the United States for witchcraft were women.

B. 05-27-1818, Amelia Jenks Bloomer - U.S. fighter for women's rights, temperance, and social justice.
      Her name became interwoven with the wearing of sensible Turkish trousers, aka pantaloons, under a short skirt when the press confused her with the style's inventor who was Elizabeth Smith Miller,

B. 05-27-1819, Julia Ward Howe - U.S. author, women's rights activist, and reformer who became a national institution, sometimes referred to as the Queen Victoria of the United States. She is best known historically for her poem Battle Hymn of the Republic (1862).
      She edited the influential Woman's Journal (1870-1890), was the first woman member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was the first president (1868-1877, 1893-1910) of the New England Woman Suffrage Association.
      She worked hard for equal education and professional and business opportunities for women after seeing the terrible economic plight of Civil War widows. She advocated sex education for women. "I have never known my husband to approve any act of mine which I myself valued," wrote Howe in her diary after twenty years of marriage.

B. 05-27-1849, Alzina Parsons Stevens - U.S. labor leader and organizer and journalist, another of the noted network of important women who lived or centered their existence around Jane Addams' Hull House in Chicago.
      At her father's death, the family was left penniless and she had to go into a factory at age 13. Knowing the conditions first hand, she devoted much of her life to child labor laws and welfare, becoming Chicago's the first probation officer and head of its staff.

B. 05-27-1862, Elizabeth Sanderson Haldane - first Scottish justice of the peace who was also a woman. She was a noted social-welfare worker and author.

B. 05-27-1877, Isadora Duncan - U.S. dancer and choreographer who revolutionized the concept of dance through free movement and interpretation using natural rhythms.
      Her early career in the U.S. was uneventful but she quickly became the rage of Europe. Her unconventional personal life which included two children sans marriage and innumerable lovers - all accepted perks of male artists - made her unpopular in the U.S.

B. 05-27-1907, Rachel Louise Carson - U.S. author and biologist whose book The Sea Around Us was instrumental in starting the modern ecology movement while her Silent Spring unmasked the indiscriminate chemical, pesticide use that is destroying our world.
      We should be building altars of thanks to this wonderful woman.

Authorized 05-27-1977: Val-Kill Cottage in Hyde Park, New York, was named a National Historic site. Eleanor Roosevelt used it as a retreat in her younger years with her woman friends and made it er home in later years. It was a gift from her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt near his family's estate in Hyde Park. He wanted her to have a private place. He had a special bridge built that rumbled to warn of visitors.

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     "Music is a human art, not a sexual one. Sex is no more important than eye color."
            -- Thea Musgrave, composer

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