The Liz Library presents Irene Stuber's Women of Achievement


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March 5
WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AND HERSTORY

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber.
03-05 TABLE of CONTENTS:

Women who have served in the U.S. President's Cabinets throughout U.S. history

Position of Women in Egypt was NOT Always Subservient

Sadker Day to Promote Gender Equity

What the Myra Sadker Day will do

More than 100 Ideas for Myra Sadker Day

DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS

QUOTES by Madonna, Molly Schepps, and James Lovell.


Women who have served in the U.S. Presidents' Cabinets throughout U.S. history:

    Attorney General:
    Janet Reno 1993-2001 (Clinton)

    Secretary of Agriculture:
    Ann M. Veneman 2001- (Bush II)

    Secretary of Commerce:
    Juanita Kreps 1977-79 (Carter)
    Barbara Franklin 1991-93 (Bush I)

    Secretary of Energy:
    Hazel O'Leary 1993-97 (Clinton)

    Secretary of Education:
    Shirley M. Hufstedler 1979-81 (Carter)

    Secretary of Health, Education, and
    Welfare (Health and Human Services until 1980):
    Oveta Culp Hobby 1953-55 (Eisenhower)
    Patricia R. Harris 1979-81 (Carter)
    Margaret Heckler 1983-89 (Reagan)
    Donna E. Shalala 1993-2001 (Clinton)

    Secretary of Housing and Urban Development:
    Carla A. Hills 1975-77 (Ford)
    Patricia R. Harris 1977-79 (Carter)

    Secretary of Interior:
    Gale Norton 2001- (Bush II)

    Secretary of Labor:
    Frances Perkins 1933-45 (Roosevelt)
            (first ever woman cabinet member)
    Ann McLaughlin 1987-89 (Reagan)
    Elizabeth Dole 1989-90 (Bush I)
    Lynn Martin 1990-93 (Bush I)
    Elaine Chao 2001- (Bush II)Madeleine Albright

    Secretary of Transportation:
    Elizabeth Dole 1983-87 (Reagan)

    Secretary of State:
    Madeleine Albright 1994-2001 (Clinton)

      [Note: The Secretary of State is normally fourth in line for the presidency in case of the death or incapacity of the president, vice-president, speaker of the House of Representatives, and president pro-tem of the U.S. Senate, in that order. However, Dr. Albright was foreign-born and therefor was not eligible to become president under any circumstances.]

    Christie Whitman was appointed head the Environmental Protection Agency by Bush II - 2001.

    Condoleeza Rice was appointed National Security Advisor by Bush II - 2001

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Women in Ancient Egypt

      "Discussing the position of women in ancient Egypt, theologian and archaeologist Roland de Vaux wrote in 1965 that 'In Egypt the wife was often the head of the family, with all the rights such a position entailed.' Obedience was urged upon husbands in the maxims of Ptah-Hotep. Marriage contracts of all periods attest the extremely independent social and economic position of women.
      "According to E. Meyer, who is quoted in the Vaertings' study, 'Among the Egyptians the women were remarkably free... as late as the fourth century BC there existed side by side with patriarchal marriage, a form of marriage in which the wife chose the husband and could divorce him up payment of compensation.'
      "Love poems, discovered in Egyptian tombs, strongly hint that is was the Egyptian women who did the courting, ofttimes wooing the male by plying him with intoxicants to weaken his protestations.
      "Robert Briffault wrote of an Egyptian woman clerk who later became a governor and eventually the commander-in-chief of an army."

            -- Stone, Merlin, When God Was a Woman. San Diego, New York, London: Harvest Harcout Brace Jovanovich. 1976. ISBN 0-15-696158-X.

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Sadker Day to Promote Gender Equity

      An attempt was made in 1998 to establish an academic day to promote gender equity in education. Obviously it was not a huge success, probably because those in charge of schools and universities do not consider gender equity a priority or - in the majority of cases - consider gender equity a threat to their masculine leadership. It certainly is not supported in the male-dominated news media.
      Be that as it may, this is how the day was proposed in 1998 and named in the honor of Myra Sadker who did such amazing work in pinpointing gender INequity in the classroom and in educational settings as a whole.
      Hopefully, at some time in the near future, the terrible waste of human resources - men and women - resulting from gender bias will be recognized and rectified.

Through her writings and lectures, Myra Sadker alerted Americans to the academic, physical, psychological and career costs of sexism. She wrote the first book for teachers on the issue of sexism in 1973.
      Over twenty years later, in 1994, she coauthored the first popular book on this topic: Failing at Fairness: How America's Schools Cheat Girls. Between these two publications, Myra Sadker brought her cause for educational equity to a national audience.
      Along with her husband David, Myra Sadker spoke in more than forty states and overseas, giving hundreds of presentations and workshops for teachers and parents concerned with the negative impact of sexist behaviors. She wrote scores of articles on how to raise and teach children free from the debilitating impact of sexism.

MPS also spoke out on this issue on a variety of television shows ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Dateline, from the Today Show to National Public Radio's All Things Considered.
      Even in the face of political opposition, Myra Sadker never waivered in her efforts on behalf of youth.
      The Myra Sadker Advocates are dedicated to building and expanding on Myra's ground breaking efforts, and continuing her advocacy on behalf of children.

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      What the Myra Sadker Day Will Do

      Myra Sadker Day will draw volunteers from around the nation, volunteers who individually or in groups, will identify, plan, and implement at least one activity that increases gender equity and understanding.
      These activities will range from modest gestures to major initiatives.
      As an example, a leading participant in this effort, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, will be enlisting both staff and members at clubs throughout the nation to participate.

Volunteers, who are called Myra Sadker Advocates, include teachers and parents influenced by her writings and lectures, former students, youth service workers, children of all ages, and citizens from across the nation who are committed to the goal of gender equity.
      The day will be fueled by the commitment of these volunteers.
      Their energy will be evident through a range of efforts including:

    • creating an award ceremony for the boy and/or girl who does the most to promote gender equity,
    • visiting to a women's college, working with adults and youth to eliminate gender bias in their language,
    • interviewing non-traditional workers to learn about the benefits of nontraditional occupations,
    • reading non-sexist stories to younger children,
    • developing posters that promote equity, doing presentations about gender equity in schools,
    • attending a women's athletic event,
    • creating a videotape,
    • organizing workshops for men on effective parenting strategies,
    • reformulating organizational norms,
    • rules or activities to construct a more equitable working climate.

Key to this concept is that each Advocate will be encouraged to be creative, to develop unique equity activities that reflect the interests and capabilities of their community.
      Yet together they will be part of a national effort in accomplishing these goals.
      Myra Sadker Advocates are currently seeking corporate and individual participants.

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03-05 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and EVENTS

B. 03-05-1625, Marie d'Orleans-Longueville Nemours - duchesse de, Sovereign princess of Neuchâtel (from 1699). She is best known for her memoires (1709) in which she praised her father and condemned all the relatives of her stepmother. Charles II of England asked for her in marriage but it fell through. She married a semi-invalid who died shortly after their marriage and she had no children. She was a a strict moralist and broke with her stepmother Anne-GeneviŐve de Bourbon-Condé Duchess deLongueville who was known as the "intrigeur of the Fronde." MdO fled the Fronde wars and did not take part in them.
      MdO spent most of her life attempting to gain an inheritence but was blocked by her stepmother's family. She was awarded the principality of Neuchatel in 1699.
      The Fronde was the general name of a series of civil wars in France between 1648 and 1653 that occured under the regency for Louis XIV and was an attempt to limit the power of the royal prerogatives.

          [A note on HIStory - WOAH compiler checked a number of histories regarding the era of Charles II (who was known as the merry who, after a few of the normal uprisings and wars, died in a tranquil nation) but I could not find the NAME of his wife. Her life and name are certainly in the several biographies about him since she failed to provide him with an heir, but I found it interesting that histories as taught in schools did not mention her name or the wives of many other kings... as if the English monarchs were like the prophets in the Hebraic texts where men begat men.       Mothers of kings, however, are usually mentioned. The queen of Charles II had a number of miscarriages and although it is claimed that Charles had 14 children of women other than his wife, he left no legitimate heirs to the throne. His brother succeeded him and also left no heirs as did the next monarch Queen Anne who had many children but none of whom lived to adulthood. Without an heir, the throne of England than passed to the Hanovers through the female line from James I. This brought about the Georges and eventually George III, the mad king who through stupidity lost the American colonies to revolution.
          Had Charles II married MdO, the history of the U.S. could have been entirely different - so much for the influence of nameless wives.
          The evil stepmother Anne-GeneviŐve de Bourbon-Condé Duchess (duchesse) de, was born in a prison where her parents had been thrown for opposition to the regent Maria de Medici and of Cardinal de Richelieu (who MDM had been chosen for his high posts). After the failures of the Frondes, she became more and more religious as did her son and she became a devoted Jansenist and a protector of them.
          The life of "royals" were filled with as many (if not more) miseries as the common person. -- IS]

DIED 03-05-1790, Flora Macdonald - legendary Sottish Jacobite hero. She helped the Stuart pretender to the British throne to escape Scotland after his Jacobite rebellion of 1734-46 failed. She has been immortalized in Scottish folk tales and song.
      She was imprisoned in theTower of London for a short time for having allowed the pretender Charles Edward to join her traveling party as an Irish spinning maid and thus avoid British capture. FM later lived in the American colonies but when her husband was captured fighting for the British during the American revolution, she returned to Scotland where he later joined her.

B. 03-05-1819, Anna Cora Ogden Mowatt - French-born American author and actor who used the pseudonyms of "Isabel" and Helen Berkley in her earlier works. Although without any acting training, she became a successful actor even in England where she performed Shakespeare. She was active in the women's movement to save Mount Vernon as a national monument.

B. 03-05-1840, Constance Fenimore Woolson - U.S. author whose travel sketches evolved into stories involving various Southern locations. She spent most of her later life in Europe and wrote a number of major novels. Her so-called romance with Henry James used as a "cover" for both of them has been disproved. They were friends, however.

B. 03-05-1948, Leslie Marmon Silko - U.S. poet and novelist. She is often referred to as the premier Native American writer of her generation. LMS is of the mixed ancestory of Amerind/Laguana Pueblo, Mexian and white. She grew up on the Laguana Pueblo reservation in New Mexico.
      "Silko drew on the Laguna stories she had heard in childhood. She combined concerns of Laguna spirituality, such as the relationship between human beings and the natural elements, with complex portrayals of contemporary struggles to retain Native American culture in an Anglo world," one critic wrote.
      Her first full novel was Ceremony (1977) and her second Almanac of the Dead (1991).
      In 1981 Silko received a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and she produced the volume Storyteller made up of poetry, tribal stories, fiction, and photographs.
      Like many Amerinds in the Southwest who have to travel huge distances to attended school on a daily basis, Silko traveled 100 miles a day to school in Albequerque.
      She holds a BA and has done graduate work.

B. 03-05-1852, Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory - Irish playwright, poet, and founder of the Abbey Theatre. IAG's translations of Irish legends, her comedies and fantasies based on folklore, and her work for the Abbey Theatre played a considerable part in the late-19th-century Irish literary Renaissance. Sean O'Casey, her protege, wrote her epitaph:

"Crying out in her quiet determined wayu through all the mumbo-jamboree of twilight that there were things to cook, sheet to sew, pans and kettle to mend .. This woman, who, in the midst of venemous opposition served as a general runabout in sensible pride and lofty humility; crushing time out of odd moments to write play after play that kept life to and fro on the Abbey Stage... In the theater, among the poets and playwrights, herself a better playwright that most of them, she acted the part of a charwoman, but one with a star on her breast."

      Lady Gregory was not only the founder and director of The Abbey and a talented playwright, she recorded the folklore of Ireland and inspired her people for a free Ireland.

B. 03-05-1854, Mary Elizabeth Garrett - U.S philanthropist whose endowment to Johns Hopkin s University Medical School forced it to accept women. Her first major endowment was to establish theBryn Mawr School for Girls. Her donations guaranteed that the school would behheaded by M. Carey Thomas, her domestic partner.
      MEG later donated more than $450,000 to Johns Hopkins University medical school for it to remain a graduate school in perpetuity that would (for the first time in its history) accept women students. With donations that eventually surpassed $350,000, MEG guaranteed that her domestic partner, the brilliant M. Carey Thomas, was made president of Bryn Mawr College (in spite of being a woman). Thomas made Bryn Mawr one of the great colleges of the nation with scholastic requirements higher than men entering Harvard University.
      MEG was an active suffragist. MEG lived with Thomas from about 1904 to her death in 1915 and through her will made Thomas a very wealthy woman.

B. 03-05-1854, Eliza Ann Cooper Blaker - U.S. kindergarten educator.

B. 03-05-1871, Maria do Carmo Jeronimo who lived to be the oldest woman of her time. She died 06-14-2000 - age 129. Her date of birth is authenticated in Carmo de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil, because she was a former slave and the records of her as property still exist. She died of strokes in Itajuba, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

B. 03-05-1871, Rosa Luxemburg - Polish-born Jewish German revolutionary, social theorist, and agitator. RL played a key role in the founding of the Polish Social Democratic Party and the Spartacus League, which grew into the Communist Party of Germany.
      RL became a German through marriage. She was jailed for her activities in 1916-1919 and wrote the so-called spartacus letters which led tothe formation of the German Communist party. She was killed in a spartacist uprising by German soldiers during an uprising.
      She was a life-long feminist activist.
      Known as Red Paso, RL was a lifelong who spent most of her life in Germany. She opposed World War I and also disdained nationalism which she felt divided workers who should be joined in international solidarity.
      Her most famous work was The Accumulation of Capital in 1914. She also authored an economics textbook.
      RL organized the radical Spartacus League with Liebknecht and Clara Zetkin and although a pacifist, took part in the Spartacus uprising in 1919.
      Her hiding place after the uprising was discovered and she was beaten to death by a mob of soldiers. Her body was thrown into a canal. Her murderers were tried and acquitted. She was born "lame" and was very tiny in stature.
      Her primarily pacifistic writings show her to be a revolutionary socialist or communist who was trying to change a social conditions rather that incite anarchy. It is almost impossible for U.S. citizens of the 21st century to understand the terrible social conditions of the time. Little removed from serfdom, the average person of her era - in the U.S. as well as in Europe - had very few rights and workers were generally paid starvation wages.
      The socialist movement in the U.S. branched off into unions to better the condition of the working class rather than into the politics of European communists and anarchists (most of the time).

B. 03-05-1885, Louise Pearce - U.S. pathologist and physician. LP was one of the principal figures in the development of tryparsamide to control African sleeping sickness.
      Tryparsamide was discovered in a laboratory by several researchers, but it was Pearce who alone who went to the Belgium Congo to test it on humans. She set up a hospital, determined dosage and treatments. Under her care, every one of the 77 patients chosen for the test fully recovered.
      She was awarded the Order of the Crown of Belgium for her work and in 1953 was awarded the King Leopold II Prize and a check for $10,000 and a second decoration, the Royal Order of the Lion. Her three collegues were also honored.
      Later she made important research discoveries regardingf syphilis and cancer. Carrying one work with generations of rabbits that developed hereditary diseases and deformities, her research data was destroyed at her death. (A number of women did extensive studies on heredity and resultant deformities but very few ever got much credit.)
      Pearce spent her last years at Trevenna Farm, the home she shared in Skillman, NJ with novelist Ida A. R. Wylie who was part of the fabled Heterodoxy women's club.

B. 03-05-1885, Pauline Sperry - mathematics associate professor who was victim of the McCarthy-like witchhunt at the Univesity of California. She started with UC at Berkeley in 1917 as an instructor. In 1923 she was the first woman promoted to assistant professor in the mathematics department at Berkeley.
      She became associate professor in 1931. She became a victim of the McCarthy communist hysteria in 1950 when she refused, on principle, to sign a loyalty oath that was later declared unconstitutional. But it cost her her job. She was later reinstated.
      In addition to more mundane lower courses, PS also taught advanced Analytic Geometry, restricted to honor students and graduates that was an introduction to modern methods in analytic geometry with lectures, outside reading. She regularly taught the graduate courses in Differential Geometry, Metric Differential Geometry (the application of the calculus to the metric theory of twisted curves and surfaces) and Projective Differential Geometry.

"On March 25, 1949, during the McCarthy era of anti-communist hysteria that gripped the country, the Board of Regents of the University of California decided to adopt a loyalty oath to be signed by all members of the University's faculty and staff.
      "This oath required a specific denial of membership in the Communist party or belief in organizations advocating overthrow of the national government. In July, 1950, thirty-one faculty members of the Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses of the University of California were dismissed by a two-vote majority of the Board of Regents for refusing to sign the required loyalty oath.
      "Three of the dismissed professors were women; one was Pauline Sperry. As David Gardner writes in his book about the California oath controversy:
      "
'The irony was that not one of those dismissed was ever accused of being a Communist or in sympathy with any other organization allegedly subversive. Furthermore, each had been found by the Academic Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure to be a competent scholar, an objective teacher, and untainted by disloyalty to the country. How the Regents of the University of California came to severe from the institution's service men and women against whom no charge of professional unfitness or personal disloyalty had been laid is an extraordinary study in futility.' "

      On October 17, 1952, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state of Californai had pre-empted the field of loyalty oaths and that university personnel could not be required to execute any other loyalty oath other than that prescribed for all state employees. The court ordered the Regents to issue letters of appointment to the dismissed professors upon acceptance by them of the state enacted loyalty oath (known as the Levering oath).
      It was a hollow victory for the non-signers; the court passed no judgement on tenure rights, academic freedom, or political tests for appointment to academic positions. Because Pauline Sperry had reached retirement age during the loyalty oath controversy, she was appointed Associate Professor of Mathematics Emeritus as of July 1, 1952.
      In 1956, after further litigation, the Regents granted her and the other non-signers back pay for the salary they lost as a result of their dismissal in 1950. In June, 1953, the president of the University of California, Robert G. Sproul, wrote Pauline Sperry a letter to "express our appreciation of the loyal and effective service you have given to the University." He went on to say:

"In the course of the thirty-six years that have passed since you came to the Berkeley campus as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics, you have demonstrated exceptional ability as a teacher in a subject in which the quality of teaching can be responsible in large measure for the difference between brilliance and mediocrity in a student's work. A simulating guide, unsparing of self in your efforts to aid those in your charge, selfless also in your devotion to your Department and the University, you have made a contribution through your teaching that will be transmitted to future generations by those who have acquired acknowledge and received inspiration from you, while your contributions to scholarship is plain in the work of your doctoral students pursuing research in projective differential geometry--the field of your own special interest."

      In response to Sproul's reference to "the recent unhappy break in the continuity of [her] long service to the University," Sperry replied:

"I think I can justly accept your tribute to my devotion to the interests of the University. Over all the years I have tried to put those interests as I saw them first and not least in the last years which I do not regard as a 'break' in the 'continuity' of my 'long service', but perhaps as the crowning service. . . The greatest gift to mankind--the freedom of the mind--is in great peril. If we lose that we lose everything. The universities are its greatest bulwark. They are the first to be attacked. The battle is only just begun."

Sperry continued to be politically active after her retirement from teaching. She petitioned to ban testing of nuclear weapons and was involved with the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women Voters.

B. 03-05-1892, Josephine Herbst - U.S. writer and journalist, JH's trilogy Pity is Not Enough (1933), The Executioner Waits (1934) and Rope of Gold (1939) was regarded critically as "as one of the most sweeping and ambitious" fictional reconstruction of American life ever attempted by any writer.
      She leaned towards communism for a time but after covering the Spanish Civil War as a reporter, she broke all ties with that ideology. She had well publicized affairs with women. Her mother was a storyteller who inspired her daughter to write.
      Her many novels, short stories, and articles were highly praised and deserve a higher place in today's literature than is being awarded her.

B. 03-05-1897, Soong Mei-ling - president Chiang Kai-shek and sister of Soong Ch'ing-ling, wife of Sun Yat-sen, and T.V. Soong, prominent industrialist and official of the Nationalist Chinese government. {Brit Encly}

B. 03-05-1899, Racklem Holt - U.S. ghost writer for much of her early caree. She wrote George Washington Carver (1943) under her own name.

B. 03-05-1902, Eliza Jane Pratt - Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. She elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-ninth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the deathof William O. Burgin and served from May 25, 1946, toJanuary 3, 1947 and was not a candidate for renomination in 1946. She paid her own campaign expenses in a stunning victory.
      Pratt remained in Washington working for the Office of Alien Property from 1947 to 1951, the Department of Agriculture from 1951 to 1954, and the Library of Congress from 1954 to 1956.

B. 03-05-1929, Helen Stevenson Meyner - U.S. Representative from New Jersey. HSM was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-fourth and to the Ninety-fifth Congresses (January 3, 1975-January 3, 1979); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1978 to the Ninety-sixth Congress.
      Her congressional biography reads, in part:

"She served in Korea as an American Red Cross field worker from 1950 to 1952, was a guide at the United Nations from 1952 to 1953, and a consumer advisor for an airline from 1953 to 1956. In 1957 Stevenson married Robert B. Meyner, who had been elected in 1953 as New Jersey's first Democratic governor in a decade. After her husband left office in 1962, Meyner began to write a twice-weekly column for the Newark Star-Ledger which continued until 1969. She also conducted a New Jersey and New York City television interview program from 1965 to 1968. Beginning in 1971 she was a member of the New Jersey State Rehabilitation Commission.

Meyner's political career began improbably in July 1972, when the Democratic nominee for New Jersey's Thirteenth District seat withdrew because he failed to meet a seven-year citizenship criteria for public office. Meyner, who had been writing a biography of author Katherine Mansfield, entered the contest upon the request of the Democratic state committee but lost to Republican Joseph J. Maraziti. In 1974 she defeated Maraziti for election to the Ninety-fourth Congress. During her two terms in the House, Meyner served on the Committee on the District of Columbia, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Select Committee on Aging. She opposed efforts by some non-aligned nations to suspend or expel Israel from the United Nations. She also condemned the 1975 U.N. resolution equating Zionism with racism but differed with those who urged the United States to withdraw from the organization."

B. 03-05-1931, Jerrie Cobb - U.S. aviator. JC was the first woman to qualify as an American astronaut. She was consequently rejected because she was a woman.
      JC learned to fly at 12, earned her pilot's license at 16, and received her commercial and flight instructor's liense at 18, At 21 JC was the only female international ferry pilot in the United States. As chief pilot, she flew over wild terrain and mountains, once being arrested as a spy after a forced landing in South America.
      JC passed the same 87 physical and psychological tests administered by NASA that it used in the selection of the original seven male astronauts. Several women, including Cobb, surpassed the test results of the men who were chose (including right stuff himself John Glenn).
      NASA officials admitted later in a Congressional investigation that they had no intentions of allowing women to pilot space craft; the testing was merely a sop. [Some revisionists today are questioning the charge and claiming that the rejection of women was a practical matter, not sexual bias. The author of WOAH has seen the original spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. In many of the first flights, the astronauts were simply passengers, lying strapped to "mattresses" and with only a small porthole to see outside. There was no moving around and now piloting involved.]
      JC is one of the four Americans to hold the Golden Wings of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and was chosen 1959 pilot of the year by the National Pilot's association. She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her piloting of medical supplies into dangerous South American locations.
      Two other noted women pilots were tested by NASA (and passed the tests), Wally Funk and Bernice Steadman. Both the women do NOT agree with revisionists and maintain it was sexual bias that kept them from the program.
      Cobb testified before a congressional hearing that of the 25 women who applied to the space program in 1960, 13 had been found qualified.
      The National Air and Space Museum described the turndown: "They had hoped to be the country's first women in space and they had reason to think that a few might make it. But no one had warned them that having the 'right stuff' might also mean being the 'right sex.'"
      The following information was gleaned from information provided by the web site of the 99s - the organization of women in aviation. It is located at http://www.ninety-nines.org/ and is a fascinating site!
      President Lyndon Johnson announced the formation of the FAA's Women's Advisory Committee on Aviation, May 4, 1964. Most of the 27 non-government members, including Jane Hart and Jean Ross Howard, co-chairman, and five government members, were 99s.
      Although members of this committee pushed for admission of women to NASA, they were 17 years too early to become astronauts.
      In 1961, Jerrie Cobb was the first female to pass all three phases of the Mercury astronaut Program. Twelve other 99s passed the series of 75 exhaustive physical competence tests and laboratory tests. They were rejected, and the first female in space was Russian.
      Jerrie Cobb was deeply discouraged by the failure of NASA to put a female in space, and in the same year (1964) she became a jungle pilot in the Amazon. She has devoted all her resources and talents to helping Indian tribes in unexplored parts of six countries. (and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts).
      In June 1963, Valentina Terreshkova, Soviet cosmonaut, became the first woman in space. She manually controlled Vostok-6 during parts of the 70.8-hour flight through 48 orbits of earth. Some revisionists, aka HIStorians, have said that VT was only a pretty face passenger "allowed" to touch the controls for publicity purposes. In fact, she went through a rigorous training program the same way the male cosmonauts did.
      It would be 32 years after Terreshkova before an American woman touched the controls of a space craft!
      In the meantime to squelch growing complaints, on 01-16-1978, the post of "Mission Specialists" was created by NASA and six women were appointed to fill the posts. It marked the first time since the inception of the U.S. space program in 1959 that NASA had recognized women.
      Janet Guthrie, who would win fame as an Indianapolis 500 racer, was turned down because NASA decided all the women had to have Ph.D. degrees.
      The first American woman in space was Sally Ride, who used the shuttle robot arm to release and retrieve satellites. The first American woman to perform a spacewalk was Kathryn Sullivan, who practiced techniques for refueling satellites, and Kathryn Thorntorn went outside the shuttle to help repair the Hubble Space telescope. The non-pilot women trainees hold Ph.D's in their fields of expertise.
      On February 2, 1995 Cobb was the personal guest of Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins, 38, as Collins lifted off from Cape Canaveral in the co-pilot's seat - the first woman to co-pilot an American space craft.
      An Air Force test pilot, Collins was selected for the NASA space program in 1990, the first woman chosen as a space shuttle pilot. Eight years later she would sit in the pilot's seat to become the first American woman to pilot a spacecraft. Her first command was a frightening one because of equipment failure but she kept her cool and the mission was completed.
      Since then other women has quietly moved into the pilot's seat.
      However, when NASA decided to test the effects of space on older people, they chose John Glenn (a U.S. Senator with a life of sedentary pursuits) instead of Jerrie Cobb - again. Glenn became quite ill on the flight and it almost had to be scrubbed. Cobb who maintained her physical abilities was disgusted.

B. 03-05-1931, Vera Pless - U.S. mathematician. She joined the University of Illinois-Chicago's department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science as a full professor in 1975. VP is a University of Illinois Scholar. She is author of An Introduction to the Theory of Error-Correcting Codes, and has published over 100 papers according to university information.

Event 03-05-1934: Mother-in-Law Day, established 1934 in Amarillo, TX.

B. 03-05-1938, Lynn Alexander Margulis - U.S. microbiologist who helped develop and then refined the Gaia hypothesis into a more widely accepted theory. She has been called "one of the most original and creative biologists of our time."
      LAM developed the symbiogenetic theory of cell evolution. Put simplistically, Margulis argues that the complex cells of today are collections of small ancient organisms that combined.
      In essence, she said evolutionary changes were not caused by natural selection but on merging. Her findings, according to noted researcher W. Ford Doolittle, were "the signal event in cell biology."
      However, her findings, rejected 15 times, couldn't get published until 1967 and then were ignored. She persisted and tweaked and did more research. Finally in 1981 she published Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, which is now considered a classic in biology and in 1983 she was invited to join the National Academy of Science.
      Commenting on her brief marriage to the noted Carl Sagan whom she met at 16 and married at 18, and had babies and kept house while he pursued HIS career, before divorcing him, she said, "As a 16-year-old, I learned a great deal from him. In marriage, I had nothing but hinderance from him."
      She married Thomas Margulis and had two more children but was divorced again because her work took precedence over caring for him. She attacks those who have misused the Gaia principle to say that earth is fragile. "Gaia is a tough bitch. People think the earth is going to die and they have to save it. That's ridiculous. If you rid the earth of flowering plants, people would die, period. But the earth was without flowering plants for almost all of its history. There's no doubt that Gaia can compensate for our output of greenhouse gases, but the environment that's left will not be happy for any people. It will, however, be happy for microbes."
      She has been a member of the Boston University faculty in 1963 and a full professor since 1977.
      [Much of the material for this article was taken from an excellent January 14, 1996 article by Elizabeth Radio in the New York Times Magazine.]

B. 03-05-1940, Mary Rose Oakar - U.S. Representative from Ohio. In eight terms in Congress, MRO

"established a place for herself in the internal operation of the House of Representatives while pursuing legislative matters of interest to her and her constituents. Starting as a member of the Democratic whip's organization, she worked her way to the position of vice chair of the Democratic Caucus in the Ninety-ninth and One-Hundredth Congresses. A member of the Committee on House Administration since the Ninety-eighth Congress, Oakar served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Personnel and Police which oversees an important part of the internal business of the House.
      "Oakar also served on the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs (where she was chair of the Subcommittee on Economic Stabilization), the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, and the Select Committee on Aging. These assignments provided a forum for her to pursue such issues as economic redevelopment of older industrial areas like her district, equal and comparable pay for women in the workforce, and benefits for congressional employees...
      "In 1963-1970; assistant professor, English, drama, and speech, Cuyahoga Community College, 1968-1975; member, Cleveland City Council, 1973-1976; Democratic State Central Committeewoman, 1973-1975; alternate delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1976; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-fifth and to the seven succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1977-January 3, 1993); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1992 to the One Hundred Third Congress."

      [Information about MRO is excerpted from her official congressional biography.]

B. 03-05-1954, Marsha Warfield - U.S. actor-comedian.

Event 03-05-1974: Helen Thomas was named UPI White House reporter, the first woman ever named to cover the presidential beat. She had been an award-winning reporter in Washington for 30 years before being allowed to cover the president. For many years women reporters, such as Lorena Hickok were only allowed to cover the wives of presidents.

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QUOTES DU JOUR

MADONNA:
      "I may be dressing like a traditional bimbo, whatever, but I'm in charge... And isn't that what feminism is all about; you know, equality for men and women? And aren't I in charge of my life, doing the things I want to do?"
            -- Madonna in a Boston Globe article written by Suzanne Gordon, December 26, 1990.

SCHEPPS, MOLLY:
      "...Another reason is given against woman suffrage; it is said that equal say will enable the women to get equal pay, and equal pay is dangerous. Why? Because it would keep the women from getting married. Well, then, if long, miserable hours and starvation wages are the only means man can find to encourage marriage, it is a very poor compliment to themselves. In the name of a purer marriage, we must have equal voice in making the laws for we have found out from experience that it is not only men who have to get married... "
            -- In a speech to the 1912 Wage Earner's Suffrage League by Molly Schepps as it appeared in America's Working Women, A Documentary History-1600 to the Present, compiled and edited by Rosalyn Baxandall, Linda Gordon, and Susan Reverby.
      The book demolishes the propaganda that the women's movement and suffrage movement was the work of a few women in the middle and upper classes and did not reflect the concerns of the majority of women, especially working women.

LOVELL, JAMES:
      "We've never sent any woman into space because we haven't had a good reason to. We fully envision, however, that in the near future, we will fly women into space and use them the same way we Use them on Earth - and for the same purpose."
            -- James Lovell, astronaut, 1973. One must remember this was "before" the blossoming of the women's movement and Lovell, as part of the original astronauts was a well protected, highly cosseted person in the all-masculine atmopshere that bred contempt for women. The wives were just as much a part of the NASA training and they all resembled "the Stepford wives."


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© 1990-2006 Irene Stuber, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902. Originally web-published at http://www.undelete.org/. We are indebted to Irene Stuber for compiling this collection and for granting us permission to make it available again. The text of the documents may be freely copied for nonprofit educational use. Except as otherwise noted, all contents in this collection are © 1998-2009 the liz library.  All rights reserved. This site is hosted and maintained by the liz library.

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