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December 14

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.

The incredible story of two old women...

Daughter of the Nile


QUOTE by Rosalyn Tureck.

Etta Shiber and Kitty Beaurepos

      At the time of the German invasion of France, Etta Shiber, American author of Paris Underground (1943), then in her 60's, lived in Paris with her good friend Kitty Beaurepos. They had met in a dress shop on a trip Shiber had made to Paris in 1925.
      Yearly, Shiber visited Beaurepos in Paris and when Shiber's husband of 35 years died in 1936, she moved to Paris to live quietly with KB. In 1940, they resisted fleeing Paris until there was no hope and then they joined the jam of refugees fleeing south.
      Her book graphically describes the confusion and fear felt by the refugees on the crowded roads, some on foot carrying what possessions they could, others in dog- or horse-drawn vehicles, and some like Shiber-Beaurepos in automobiles - all subject to being machine-gunned and bombed from German planes - and there was no food left anywhere.
      The two old women stopped at an inn to search for food and found, instead, a British aviator who failed to get evacuated at Dunkirk. They hide him in the trunk of their car and when the Germans caught their refugee column and turned them back to Paris, the aviator - undiscovered - went with them. They hid him in their apartment, finally making contact with the underground to get him out.
      They were told there were nearly a thousand starving British soldiers hiding in the woods around Concy-sur-Conche and Shiber-Beaurepos and the underground brought groups of four of the Brit soldiers to their apartment to house them while they prepared false papers and made arrangements to get them through German lines. In all they helped more than 150 English soldiers escape, but inevitably the Gestapo discovered their underground.
      KB was sentenced to death - she was English and had had a French husband - and Shiber (the U.S. was not at war with Germany yet) was sentenced to three years at hard labor. On May 17, 1942, Shiber, ill and half-starved, was exchanged for Johanna Hoffman who had been convicted of espionage for the Germana in the U.S.

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Doria (Ahmad) Shafik

      Born 12-14-1919, Doria (Ahmad) Shafik, founder and president of the Egyptian "Bent El Nil" (Daughters of the Nile). She campaigned for women's suffrage, and elimination of forced illiteracy for women, and polygamy.
      In 1951 she led 1,000 "Bent El Nil" women in storming the Egyptian parliament to gain women's suffrage. Her mother was kept in Moslem seclusion and her father kept a many-women harem and Shafik had been subjected to sunni mutilation at an early age.
      She held a Ph.D. and edited three Egyptian magazines. She was influenced by Madame Hata Charaovi, Egypt's Susan B. Anthony. Shafik's doctoral dissertation showed that Islam did not oppose the emancipation of women.

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B. 12-14-1883, Jane Cowl, writer and actor who collaborated with Jane Murin under the name Alan Langdon Martin after an earlier play of theirs folded. The "male" authored play ran 1170 performances. Her stage career lasted until 1948. During World War II she was co-director of the Stage Door Canteen in New York.

B. 12-14-1885, Ethel Browne Harvey, cell biologist, embryologist, most noted for her findings about cell division. Being a woman, she had difficulty in getting support for her work and for most of her life, she was an independent researcher. Her lesser known husband was a Princeton professor. Except for one small grant, EBH NEVER received any funds - a common enough situation for women in science in those days.
      Her studies brought her international fame. Using sea urchins, she was able to excite cell division without maternal or paternal nucleus. Harvey speculated that her parthenogenetic meogones might mean that fundamental characteristics of living matter (such as cell division) were cytoplasmic, while genes controlled later, more specialized characteristics (like eye color).

B. 12-14-1897, Margaret Chase Smith, first woman to serve in both houses of Congress. Elected to the Senate in 1949, Smith was the first woman of a major political party to have her name placed in nomination for the presidency of the United States by a major political party and received 27 votes when the Republican Party nominated Barry Goldwater in 1964. MCS was instrumental in passing the Women's Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 and was voted the most valuable senator for 1960.

B. 12-14-1914, Rosalyn Tureck, renowned interpreter of J.S. Bach, pianist, harpsichordist, and teacher. First woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a subscription concert (1958), conducted major orchestras world-wide, including the Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Collegium Musicum of Copenhagen, and the Israel Philharmonic. Formed International Bach Society (1966). Chicago-born, she lived in England most of her life.

B. 12-14-1916 (?19), Shirley Hardie Jackson, novelist and short-story writer best known for "The Lottery" (1948) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

B. 12-14-1960, Catherine Coleman, NASA mission specialist on STS-73, the second United States Microgravity Laboratory mission. According to her official NASA biography, in addition to assigned duties, Dr. Coleman (Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering) was a volunteer test subject for the centrifuge program at the Crew Systems Directorate of the Armstrong Aeromedical Laboratory. She set several endurance and tolerance records during her participation in physiological and new equipment studies.

Event 12-14-1970, the National Press Club finally voted to admit women members.

Event 12-14-1985, Wilma Mankiller takes the oath of office as the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the first time since since the European annexation of Amerindian lands and rights that a woman has been recognized as the head of a major American native Indian tribe. All four of her daughters are active in politics, AIDS awareness, social programs, etc.

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      "I [had] done so much research in the field of Bach that I felt I could conduct and get results more quickly at rehearsals and with more validity than conductors who had not made Bach their specialty. I walked out to my first rehearsal, lifted my hands, brought them down for the downbeat and by God they all came in. The first sound that came with the downbeat was the most thrilling moment of my life and the series of four concerts was a great success. No one realized that it was the first time I had conducted."
            -- Rosalyn Tureck, 1956.

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