The Liz Library presents Irene Stuber's Women of Achievement

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August 27

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber.


QUOTE by Ann Richards.

The full-text version of this episode...

...will be published here soon.

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B. 08-27-1796, Sophia Smith, a retiring, deaf woman inherited the family fortune at 65. She endowed the Clarke School for the Deaf. She endowed Smith College with $393,000 under her will. It was chartered in 1871 and opened in 1875.

B. 08-27- 1805, Sallie Chapman Gordon Law, organized a 12-bed hospital in Memphis for Confederate soldiers and somehow managed to care for the wounded of the great battle of Shiloh in 1862. When Memphis was taken by the Union forces, Law converted her assets into medicinal drugs which she smuggled into the South.

B. 08-27-1872, Mary Anderson, Swedish-born Director of the Woman's Bureau of the U.S. Dept. of Labor for more than 20 years. Arrived in the U.S. at 16 not knowing a word of English, worked as a cook, stitched shoes in a factory for 18 years of ten-hour days, and with a fierce determination educated herself in the evenings. She became active in her local of the International Boot and Shoe Union.

B. 08-27-1875, Katharine Dexter McCormick, philanthropist who promoted woman suffrage, birth control and higher education. Her husband became emotional unbalanced early in their marriage and she spent a considerable amount of money and efforts trying to find cures.
      She was an active lieutenant of Carrie Chapman Catt in the National-American Woman Suffrage Association, provided funds for the NAWSA's Woman's Journal, and served as the organization's treasurer.
      KDM financed biologist Gregory Pincus in his development of the first birth control pill. She had recognized the value of Pincus' research when others did not... and had the courage to support him in an era that disapproved of women having control of their reproductive systems instead of men.
      KDM built the Stanley McCormick Hall West (1962) and East (1968) dorms for 342 women at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to overcame MIT's stated excuse for not accepting more women students, i.e., because there was no housing for them.

B. 08-27-1905, Mary Jane Ward, author of the chilling Snake Pit (1946) about life in an insane asylum. She commented: "There was no attempt to write any sort of fact. Juniper Hills, from tubs to tunnel, was built and peopled by a mind that was on vacation."

Event 08-27-1908, Sarah J. Rooke, a telephone operator, disregards her personal danger to alert and save most of the people of Folsom, New Mexico, from flood waters.
      She died when the flood washed away the building as she was desperately trying to reach more residents.

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      "What makes me impatient are the pulp magazine articles which suggest that there's something wrong with a woman if she chooses a career over raising a family. A lot of us did both. We found it hard to do, of course. But that's because women are the principle caregivers in family life.
      "I don't care how many men stand up and say, 'I help my wife every way I can.' The key point is: 'I help my wife.' - But it's still her responsibility."
            -- Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas, guest speaker, course on American politics, Brandeis University. (1998)

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© 1990-2006 Irene Stuber, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902. Originally web-published at 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.