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December 9

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.

A Season for Giving...

Katherine Zalenska


QUOTE by Voltaraine de Cleyre.

You are Needed

      We do not want to play Scrooge at the expense of the traditional charity fund drives this Christmas.
      However, we would like to see women add two groups to our gift-giving list and perhaps give them priority: your local Battered Women's Shelter and Rape Crisis Center.
      This Yuletide season, when you see twinkling lights and listen to ho-ho's on the street corners, remember screams in the night that too often go unanswered by mainstream society - by those very ho-hoers, if you will.
      In your phone book there should be the post office box and phone numbers of your local shelter - or call your police station and ask for a woman detective. (The actual location of the shelters must remain secret. Authorities cannot or will not protect them... and please make sure the shelter is actually one for battered women and not fake ones set up by religious rights who preach "obedience to your man so he doesn't HAVE to beat you.")
      Telephone the shelter to get information on how best to donate money or for directions on ways you can donate food, toys, household cleaning supplies, linens, clothes, diapers or anything - ANYTHING to help the innocent victims of abuse.
      The simplest items of living are needed because victims of domestic violence are often forced to flee from their abusers without anything except their injured and bleeding bodies, forced to leave everything behind in order to save their lives and protect their children.
      So when you see bright and cheery lights this Christmas, think of bruised and beaten women - abused women and their children cowering in fear - who are wondering why they cannot share in the season of "Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards... men?"
      Merry Christmas and Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Welcome to the Returning Sun, or whatever your faith... just remember that without the grace of the great goddess that unanswered scream in the night could be yours.
      Please help your sisters.
                       -- Irene Stuber

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Katharine Zalenska

      While Katherine Zalenska was still young, her Polish father was killed at the Katyn Wood massacre in World War II and her mother deported to the Gobi Desert by the Germans. Left alone in Poland with her sister, she worked as a courier for the Polish underground taking messages throughout Poland and surrounding countries. The girls fooled the Germans by acting like silly schoolgirls without a thought in their heads. She was decorated twice.
      Following the war she continued her nurse/doctor training and in 1956 learned her mother was alive and living in England. After a joyful reunion, she relocated to Nigeria to do medical work.

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B. 12-09-1895, (Isidora) Dolores Ibarruri (Gomez), "La Passionaria," Spanish Communist leader, an impassioned orator during the Spanish Civil War, she coined the Republican battle cry, "They shall not pass!"

B. 12-09-1899, Leonie Fuller Adams, mystical American poet, shared Bolinger Prize (1954) with Louise Bogan for Poems, a Selection, (1954). Was instructor at Columbia University.

B. 12-09-1902, Margaret Hamilton, stage, screen and TV actor with hundreds of credits but that one defining, perfect role as the Wicked Witch of the West in Wizard of Oz (1939) will last as long as film endures.

B. 12-09-1905, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dame, German soprano who performed in the major opera houses of the Western world and is remembered especially for her mastery of the German lieder.

B. 12-09-1906, Admiral Grace Murray Hopper developed the concept of automatic programming with a compiling system using words instead of mathematical symbols. Also contributed to development of COBOL. Ph.D. in mathematics. Worked on UNIVAC. Retired from U.S. Navy in 1986 with rank of Rear Admiral.

B. 12-09-1906, Esther Eggersten Peterson was appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor and director of the Women's Bureau, the U.S. Department of Labor by President John Kennedy. Her first involvement with the labor movement was when she saw girls who received $1.32 for every dozen dresses they sewed square pockets on going on strike when they were ordered to sew on heart-shaped pockets which took more time. Was active in movements to educate working women who often had to drop out of school very young.

Event 12-09-1907, Emily Perkins Bissell placed on sale the first Christmas seals she had designed and printd out of her own pocket to raise money for tuberculosis research.

B. 12-09-1950, Joan Armatrading, West Indies singer and songwriter of excellent lyrics and melody lines.

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      "Let every woman ask herself: 'Why am I the slave of Man? Why is my brain said not to be the equal of his brain? Why is my work not paid equally with his? Why must my body be controlled by my husband? Why may he take my labor in the household, giving me in exchange what he deems fit? Why may he take my children from me? Will them away while yet unborn? Let every woman ask."
            -- Voltaraine de Cleyre (1866-1912) written in 1890.

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