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November 10

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.

Farm Women


QUOTES by Helen Cunliffe and Naomi Thornton.

Farm Women

      "In 1875 farmers comprised about 48 percent of the U.S. population. Now they were moving westward, seeking new land for new farms, opening up the Western frontiers, settling the prairies. The Homestead Act had a great impact on this exodus; and the farm wife pressed westward, shoulder to shoulder with her husband.       "She helped fight off Indians, claim jumpers, and grasshoppers. She coped with prairie fires, plagues, blizzards and tornadoes, as well as epidemics of smallpox, cholera, typhoid fever, diphtheria, and malaria.
      "She rose at dawn to stoke the fire in the hearth of the cook stove, haul water, cook breakfast, and bake the day's bread. She made her own soap and candles, helped her husband 'break' new sod and plant new crops, fed livestock, milked cows, and educated her own children until schools were built.
      "Her babies (she bore an average of 6 to 8 of which 3 - 5 might grow to adulthood) were delivered without benefit of a doctor."
            -- from an article by Marjory F. Hart, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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B. 11-10-1858, Selma Lagerlof, Swedish writer, winner of Nobel Prize for Literature in 1909 although her crowning achievement, the powerful Lowenskolds trilogy wasn't written until the 1920's. She authored Antikrists Mirakler (1897) and Jerusalem (2 vols, 1901-2) among other works leading to the Nobel. She published three volumes of memoirs and autobiography.

B. 11-10-1865, Mabel Loomis Todd who with Thomas W. S. Higginson prepared many of Emily Dickinson's poems for their first publication. After ED's death, her sister Lavinia discovered some 900 poems no one seemed to know existed and enlisted the aid of Todd who in turn enlisted Higginson, a literary man of the day to whom ED had sent several of her poems for consideration.
According to editor Thomas H. Johnson whose publication of the poems in 1955 returned her poetry to as close to its original form as possible: "Higginson's problem was compounded by the fact that during (ED's) lifetime he was never convinced that she wrote poetry... together (Todd and Higginson) made a selection of 115 poems for publication. But Colonel Higginson was apprehensive about the willingness of the public to accept the poems as they stood. Therefore in preparing copy for the printer he undertook to smooth rhymes, regularize the meter, delete provincialism, and substitute 'sensible' metaphors... and occasionally line arrangements was altered."
      In 1896 Todd alone edited the third in the series of ED's poems being selected for publication and she also edited Letters of Emily Dickinson (1894). In 1914 Martha Dickinson Bianchi, ED's niece and literary heir issued The Single Hound... "and alterations in the text... are refreshingly few."

B. 11-10-1893, Mabel Ethelreid Normand, popular film star was the actual inventor of the pie-in-the-face routine, throwing one while a bored teenager on the Max Sennett set during the early days of Hollywood. She became a top drawing film actor but was hit over the head with a vase which might have caused some brain damage. Afterward she became a cocaine addict. She was considered a suspect in the unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor.

B. 11-10-1907, Jane Froman, Broadway singer, was seriously injured in a plane crash while on tour entertaining troops in WWII. She never fully recovered from her injuries nor did her career. The movie With A Song In My Heart (1952) had Susan Hayward doing the acting while the sound track was Froman's singing.

B. 11-10-1907, Mildred Lawrence, author.

B. 11-10-1949, Ann Reinking, dancer.

B. 11-10-1949, Donna Fargo, country singer whose "Happiest Girl in the Whole USA" made her an overnight star and won her the Grammy award for Song of the Year 1972.

Event: 11-10-1993, the English Anglican Church votes to ordain women as priests.

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      "I just can't stop laughing, I can't stop crying."
-- Helen Cunliffe, longtime advocate of the women's priest lobby when the Church of England voted to ordain women as priests, November 10, 1992. The first women priests were ordained March 11, 1994 and performed their first priestly duties Sunday May 13, 1994, Mother's Day in England.

      "The minute a woman's age is known she is not seen for what she is - or for what her fantasies are - but quickly tagged by others with a certain mental set. She is pinioned by her years, able to go neither backward or forward."
-- Naomi Thornton

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