|06-28 TABLE of CONTENTS:
DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and
06-28 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and
Born 06-28-1906, Maria Gertrude Goeppert Mayer
- German-American physicist, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize
for theoretical physics (1963). In 1930, while still in Germany, she published
her doctoral dissertation on the theory of double emission and absorbtion
of light quanta, a fundamental contribution to the field. She then married
and relocated to the United States.
Since her husband was with the physics department
at Johns Hopkins, she could not get a job there because of the nepotism
rule. When her husband moved to Columbia, this eminent researcher who had
published extensively and was highly honored in Europe was only recognized
in the U.S. as the wife of a professor.
In 1939 she worked on the separation of uranium isotopes
for the atomic bomb project, and in 1945 to the Institute for Nuclear Studies
at the University of Chicago.
Both Mayers worked on the Mahattan Project (the atom
bomb) in separate ways and places and then HE went to work at the University
of Chicago, HE as full professor and she as assistant professor WITHOUT
a salary. Later she was named a full professor but still with no salary.
By 1946 she was one of the most noted scientists of the world.
She alone developed the shell
theory of nuclear structure. Enrico Fermi urged her to publish, but she
withheld publication from the 1940s because she had been trained her entire
life - from infancy - to step aside and allow men - her father or her husband
- to shine. Her husband who was an infamous womanizer and all around cad
claimed that he had encouraged his wife to publish, but those statements
were generally after her fame was so overpowering.
So there was a tie instead of MGGM receiving full credit.
The very same month MGGM finally dusted off her old mss. and published,
a German Physicist Hans J. Jensen submitted the same theory. They shared
the Nobel Prize in 1963 after they met and jointly published Elementary
Theory of Nuclear Shell Structure (1955). An American physicist also
received the Nobel honors.
In 1959, for the first time,
she received a salary as a full professor at the University of California,
San Diego, but she suffered a stroke soon afterwards and was impaired.
She continued working on her theory as her health worsened. She died in
Her mother had taught school and was an accomplished
musician who believed the man ruled a woman's life. MGGM is a prize example
of a brilliant woman so trained by society top think that women are inherently
inferior that much of her personal and professional life was ruined - and
her happiness. The Mayers had two children.
Event 06-28-1778: Of course part of this
may be legend, but how many tales of men's bravery are legend? And how
many accomplishments of women were actually recorded by the military who
are notoriously jealous of the male prerogative.
WOA-H will go into the Molly Pitcher-Hays, etc., legend
in full at another time but this is basically what many women's studies
While "attending the (artillary) piece "
with her husband at the battle of Monmouth, NJ, a cannon shot passed between
the legs of Mary Hays (Molly Pitcher) tearing off the lower part
of her skirt - and she kept on loading her cannon, remarking it was a good
thing it didn't pass higher. When her husband was wounded, she either fired
the cannon once alone or several times, depending on witnesses. In 1822,
she was awarded a soldier's pension of $40 a year.
What most of the recountings don't mention is that
Hays was just one of many, many women on the battlefields where they acted
as carriers of water, food, even munitions. They also acted as beasts of
burden in a time when many women traveled with armies to feed, clean, cloth,
and care for the soldiers.
Unlike many implications, few of the women were actually
prostitutes. In the times since most women couldn't earn independent livings,
they followed their men into the army and earning their keep by doing the
"grunt" work. It wasn't only the poorer women who followed their
men (just as often fathers as wives) into the service. Many officers had
their wives with them.
B. 06-28-1819, Carlotta Grisi - Italian ballerina.
CG is considered one of the great ballerinas of romantic ballet. She is
the creator of _Giselle_ (1841). CG perormed in all the major halls of
B. 06-28-1825, Mother Benedicta Riepp established
first Benedictine convent in U.S. She successfully fought to free American
convents from European rule and then she was removed from office.
B. June 28, 1876, Clara Maass - heroic U.S.
nurse who lost her life to prove that mosquitos carried Yellow Fever.
She voluntarily risked her life in Maj. Walter Reed's yellow fever experiments
and was the only person to die. There are two different versions as to
how it happened.
What is known is that in June, 1901, Ms. Maass allowed
herself to be bitten by the mosquito suspected of carrying Yellow Fever.
One version says she recovered and allowed herself to be bitten again to
establish the link while another version says the doctor (with Reed's knowledge?)
determined that her first case was too mild and had her bitten again. She
did not recover the second time.
Regardless of which version is correct, the fact that
she was bitten twice in so short a period makes many wonder how expendable
"a mere woman" was to the Army's medical staff. Regardless, Maass
proved the mosquito the culprit with her life and Maj. Reed got the glory.
(An aside: Some years before the Reed experiments, an American nurse ordered
mosquito netting for her patients claiming that it was the flying creatures
carried the Yellow Fever. Is this another case of a man getting the credit
for invention/discoveries made by a woman. And of course, he was a DOCTOR
and she was only a nurse.)
B. 06-28-1891, Esther Forbes, U.S. writer and
historical novelist. When her Paul Revere and the World He Lived
In (1942) won the Pulitzer Prize in history, she became the second
woman to win the award. Her Johnny Tremain won the 1943 Newbery
Medal. She was the first woman member of the American Antiquarian Society
(1960). Her mother wrote local history and rediscovered gravestone art.
B. 06-28-1894, Dame Anne Loughlin, British
trade union official who at 16 became the sole support of herself and
younger sisters. She soon became a union organizer with a gift for negotiating
as well as fiery oratory. She served as general secretary of the General
Council of England's powerful Trades Union Congress for almost 40 years.
B. 06-28-1945, Jane Harman, U.S. Congressional
Representative form California, 1993 -.
B. 06-28-1948, Kathy Bates - U.S.actor.
KB won the 1991 Academy Award for her role of Annie Wilks in Misery. Her
marvelous "Towanda" in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes inspired
many a young feminist. Her characterization of the title role of Delores
Clairborne is one of the great character roles of film. She also directs
Event: 06-28-1949: All 12 of the women who
were the first to be admitted to Harvard Medical School in 1945 (YES,
1945 and then only because there weren't enough young men around because
of World War II enlistments), graduated, two as cum laude. None flunked
out as predicted and the walls did not tumble in, nor was the future of
the medical profession irreparably harmed.
Event 06-28-1969: Although it goes down
in history as gay "queens" fighting back when police enter the
Stonewall bar in New York to harass them, in the several days of rioting
that followed, almost as many women as men participated - and got whacked
by police clubs.
Event 06-28-1976: 157 women cadets reported
for training at U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1,200 women applied. In May, 1980, 98 of the original 157 graduated. For
the women's personal training, the Air Force only supplemented the male
staff with regular Army women officers for the first year and then demanded
the women train their lower classmates in protocol, etc., while the male
cadets continued to have professional instructors.
DIED 06-28-1977, Magda Lupescu, original name
MAGDA WOLFF - mistress of King Carol II of Rumania and virtually co-ruler.
Carol had begun a relationship with ML in the 1920s and renounced his rights
to the throne in 1925 to stay with her. In 1930 he agreed to a public reconciliation
with his wife Princes Helen of Greece and returned to Rumania to claim
the crown. However, he installed ML in her own residence in Bucharest and
she was said to have wielded more influence than any government minister.
Her father was Jewish (and mother Roman Catholic) and she was attacked
viciously for her "sinister Jewish influence" as the government
slowly moved to fascism. They both fled Rumania in 1940 as the Nazi/fascists
took power. The couple married in 1947 and he conferred the title of Princess
Elena on her. He died in 1953 and she lived quietly in Portugal until her
death in 1977. In spite of the political comments, many of which are anti-Semitic
in origin, theirs was one of the great love stories of the 20th century.
Event 06-28-1993: Long Island, N.Y., police
spot a pickup truck without a license plate. Giving chase, the driver avoids
capture for 20 minutes until he crashes into a utility pole. A woman's
body is discovered in the back of the truck. Unemployed landscape gardener
Joel Rifkin, 34, takes police to the bodies of other women and claims to
have had sex with 17 prostitutes before killing them.
Event 06-28-1996 - the Citadel voted to admit
women ending a 153-year-old, men-only policy for the South Carolina
school. Had the school wished to retain its male-only policy, it could
have by turning down public tax dollars. (See 06-27
WOA for the brief in the Virginia Military Institute suit that explains
the difference between tax payer supported institutions and private colleges.
QUOTES DU JOUR
bottom line is that I am responsible for my own well-being, my own happiness.
The choices and decisions I make regarding my life directly influence the
quality of my days."
-- Kathleen Andrus
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