Perfect timing for the link, Joxie, because today's date has to do with women in the military.
On March 9, 1976, 119 women became the first women cadets at West Point when they joined the Class of 1980.
When the female cadets first started, they were greeted with hostility. Susan Kellet-Forsyth, a graduate of that first class allowing women, said, "It was such a shock to me - to have people hate me because of my sex. But I was adamant in my belief that women had every right to be part of the military academy, and subsequently, the Army."
As the class progressed though, the women began to be accepted by both the leaders and male cadets. In 1980, out of the 119 women that started, 62 graduated and were commissioned as military officers. Today, the percentage of women cadets at West Point is about 14 to 16 percent - pretty close to the proportion of women in active military duty.
I don't have any regrets, Siren, about enlisting in the Army - it was truly a great experience all around. But those were different times....the world has changed completely since then. If one of the girls wanted to enlist in any branch of the military, I'd do just as your Dad did, and try my damnedest to talk them out of it.
The woman for today was a soldier also, but one of a different kind. A resume of her occupations would read: slave, fugitive, Underground Railroad conductor, abolitionist, master of disguise, spy, soldier, nurse, and advocate for women's rights.
Harriet Tubman was born a slave in about 1880 (the actual date and year is unknown). She escaped to freedom in Philadelphia, but returned South across the Mason Dixon line numerous times to bring her family and other slaves to freedom also. In all, she made 19 trips on the Underground Railroad, bringing 300 slaves to their freedom.
When the Civil War started, Harriet became a scout, soldier and spy for the union, and worked as a government nurse in Washington. After the war, she spoke for women's rights, while she fought for nearly 30 years for her right to receive a military service pension - which she never got until the widow's pension she received with the death of her husband, who also had served the military. Although she was honored many times during her life - even receiving a silver medal of honor from Queen Victoria - she wasn't recognized for her military service until her death, when she was buried with full military honors.
She died March 10, 1913, at the estimated age of 93.
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." ~ Harriet Tubman
On March 11, 1903, Dorothy Schiff was born to wealthy parents in New York City. A debutante and socialite, Schiff eventually bought the New York Post, and became New York's first woman publisher of a newspaper.
She bought the paper outright, and turned a money-losing broadsheet into a successful newspaper she ran for nearly 40 years. Her love of the newspaper was just powerful as her love of men....she went through four husbands, and had countless affairs, the most notable a disputed romance with Franklin Roosevelt.
Considered a pioneer in the business, she was a labor champion believing in human integrity in the workplace and hired more women than any other newspaper of the day, though she rejected the feminist label.
Known as "Dolly", she wrote her own column for the Post titled, "Dear Reader". She had a sarcastic sense of humor, once serving Ed Koch, the mayor of New York, a dry tuna sandwich during an interview, and assigned a journalist an investigative report on hard boiled eggs.
Above all she created a memorable newspaper, described as "the good indignant mama of New York City.”
Sometimes when doing these drills for Women's History Month, I've really had to dig for something that happened on the particular day, as with the Nancy Drew thing. Other times, I don't dig very far - I'm sure I could have found something more notable to post on March 4, other than Martha being released from prison. Then there are days when more than one noteworthy woman or event pops up, and I choose what I personally think is interesting.
I was going to post today about Jane Delano, who was born on this day in 1862, and who, nearly single-handedly, founded the American Red Cross Nursing Service - most surely an honorable and noteworthy accomplishment.
Then I ran across this: On March 12, 1986 Susan Butcher won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. I've always been interested in the story behind the Iditarod, and in dog sledding in general, so my sincerest apologies to the late, great woman Jane Delano, but today's Women in History moment goes to Susan Butcher.
Susan Butcher was not the first woman to win the Iditarod; that honor goes to Libby Riddles who won in 1985, when Susan's dog team was attacked by a pregnant moose, killing two of her dogs. She won the following year, and then again in 1987, 1988, and 1990. She placed in the top five finishers 12 times. No other competitor so thoroughly dominated the sport over a half a decade.
She won many awards over the years, including the "U.S. Victor Award" for "Female Athlete of the Year" two years in a row. Alaska honors her each year on the first of March, which has been declared "Susan Butcher Day".
"I do not know the word 'quit.' Either I never did, or I have abolished it."
She fought until the end, but lost her battle with leukemia in August, 2006. Her husband and fellow dog musher said, "It was peaceful; the rest after her greatest race. We told her we would be OK. That she had made us strong enough to carry on. When she was sure that we were ready, she was gone.”
The following year, while competing in the Iditarod himself, her husband scattered her ashes on her favorite spot along the trail, so that she would always be there to watch over the other mushers.
Today's Women in History Moment most surely belongs to Susan B. Anthony, who died on this date in 1906.
Where to start with Susan's accomplishments? Susan Brownell Anthony, (I never knew what the "B" stood for), dedicated her life to causes she believed in, playing a pivotal role in both American civil and women's rights. For 45 years, she gave nearly 100 speeches each year regarding the fight for women's rights.
She came from a family that had strong convictions when it came to civil rights; a brother was activist in the anti-slavery movement in Kansas, a sister was a woman's rights activist, her father, an abolitionist, and her mother was a progressive-minded woman who thought her children to believe in their own self-worth, and who participated in women's rights conventions herself.
Anthony took up her position as an activist early; at age 16, she collected two boxes of petitions opposing slavery in response to the gag rule prohibiting such petitions in the House of Representatives. She continued to speak out against slavery and women's oppression, gaining prominence as a powerful advocate for women's rights. "The true republic — men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less." was the motto of her weekly paper, "The Revolution", which promoted women’s and African-Americans’ right to suffrage.
Anthony was arrested in 1872 for voting in a presidential election, arguing in court that the 14th Amendment which guaranteed to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" the privileges of citizenship, and which contained no gender qualification, gave women the constitutional right to vote in federal elections. She was convicted, but fined instead of imprisoned - a fine she vowed never to pay, and never did.
She founded the National Women's Suffrage Association, and was its president until she retired thirty years later. She died six years later, on March 13, 1906....
...14 years before women gained the right to vote.
Today, we have the first lady of dentistry - a true Dental Dominatrix in the very broadest sense of the word; a woman who wouldn't take no for an answer, and who stopped at nothing until she got what she wanted.
Lucy Hobbs Taylor was born on March 14, 1833, during a time in history when women's roles were either limited to motherhood, or such professions as teacher, nurse, seamstress, or the like. Hobbs Taylor had other aspirations, and became the nation's first (and thought possibly the world's first) female dentist.
Lucy wanted to work in the medical profession, but not as a nurse. She applied to a medical college in Cincinnati, but was denied admission because she was a woman. Not deterred so easily, she hired one of the professors to give her private lessons, steering her into the field of dentistry. Again, she took private lessons under the dean of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery. Once more denied college admission because of her gender, she opened her own dentistry office in Cincinnati, and other in Iowa after she moved to that state.
After four years of serving patients in her own practice, she was finally recognized by the Iowa State Dental Society, and accepted into the Ohio College of Dental Surgery. Receiving credit for her years in practice, she earned her degree only a few months later, and became the first woman ever to receive a doctorate in dentistry.
After her husband's death twenty years later, she retired but remained active in civic and political causes, including the woman's suffrage movement.
She is recognized as a pioneer in opening the doors for women to dentistry. By the turn of the century, almost one thousand women were welcomed to the profession. Today, the prestigious Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award is given to recognize a woman dentist who "has contributed to the advancement, enrichment, and betterment of the role of women in the field of dentistry through her achievements in civic, cultural, humanitarian and academic areas."
March, 15th. Halfway through Women's History Month. Here's a quick run-down, in order of appearance, of the women of the month so far:
We had an artist/toilet inventor, a titian-haired sleuth, marching suffragists, a homemaker/billionairess/jailbird, a singer with a silky smooth voice and a generous heart, an opera conductor/oddball, a race car driver, a day of celebration, West Point cadets, an Underground Railroad conductor, a newspaper publisher with a taste for tuna sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, and men, a Red Cross nurse, a dog-sled musher, a civil rights activist, and a Dental Dominatrix.
Whew! Quite the varied list there. I wonder what will pop up on today's drill.
I never got back yesterday for March 15th's Woman of the Day. I had to go to a cereal box to find her - not the prize inside, but the owner of the company.
Born on March 15, 1887 was Marjorie Merriweather Post - a.k.a. Marjorie Merriweather Post Close Hutton Davies May. What is it with these socialites and the number "4"? Like newspaper owner, Dorothy Schiff, Merriweather Post was also a socialite, and was married four times. And she was the founder of General Foods.
Marjorie, a leading American socialite, was the only child of Charles William Post, who formulated the cereal Grape-Nuts, establishing the first U.S. breakfast food company "Postum Cereal Company". When he died, Marjorie became the company's sole heiress at age 27.
The company later expanded to include products other than breakfast foods when Marjorie purchased Bird's Eye Frozen Foods because she realized the need of an ever-increasing number of independent working women to have quick, easy already prepared meals. Postum Cereals then became General Foods, and Merriweather Post became the wealthiest woman in America.
Known for her lavish homes, the owner of the world's largest yacht, extravagant parties, and large collection of art from 18th century France and imperial Russia, she was also seen as a generous philanthropist.
Among her donations to the Smithsonian are the Marie Louise Diadem 275 carat diamond, the turquoise necklace and tiara set Napoleon I gave to his second wife, Empress Marie Louise; a pair of 20 carat diamond earrings belonging to Marie Antoinette, a 30.82 carat blue heart diamond ring, and an emerald and diamond necklace and ring belonging to Mexican emperor Maximilian.
She funded the construction of field hospitals in France, headed a women's watchdog committee to uphold the ethics of judges, lawyers and public officials. Marjorie was known for her annual American Red Cross International Ball, for setting up soup kitchens in New York during the Depression and for contributing to the Soviet War Relief of World War II, the Boy Scouts of America and the National Symphony Orchestra's "Music for Young America" program. She donated her yacht (the one that was the world's largest), to the U.S. Navy to use during World War II, and entertained Vietnam veterans at one of her estates. Over the years, she donated millions of dollars to charities.
When Marjorie Merriweather Post died in 1973, The New York Times wrote, "While she always lived like a queen, she has always given like a philanthropist." Her obituary read, "There was a gentleness yet firmness in Mrs. Post’s life. She was thoughtful and helpful to thousands of people, yet she was a strong woman of sound business sense … She achieved much for herself and for other people. She was a patron of the arts and a patriot of her country. Perhaps we shall never know again such a dynamic woman so devoted to beauty and so dedicated to wholesome service."
The woman I picked for today might seem kind of an odd choice; she is after-all not a real woman, and her claim to fame is as an adulteress. On March 16, 1850, “The Scarlet Letter”, what is considered Nathaniel Hawthorne’s best work was published…and Hester Pyrnne, the main character, is as quoted by an NPR article, “among the first and most important female protagonists in American literature.”
The basics of the story are simple: Hester, married to an older man who is presumed lost at sea, has an affair which results in a child, Pearl. Living in Puritan Boston, the punishment for adultery is death. Hester’s life is spared however, and she must stand on a platform in the center of the town’s marketplace to endure public ridicule and condemnation, and then forever wear a red letter “A” for adultery upon her chest.
Hester embroiders a beautiful scarlet letter, and wears it proudly, deciding to live life according to high standards she set for herself, as opposed to the low opinions others have of her. She takes responsibility for her own actions. She eventually gains the respect of the other women in Boston by building a small embroidery business, and raising Pearl, fighting to keep her when the authorities try to take the child away.
Meanwhile, the good Reverend Mr. Arthur Dimmesdale, the man she had the affair with, refuses to publicly claim Pearl as his daughter. Consumed by secrecy and guilt, he withers both mentally and physically. It is upon his death, and at long last his public admission that Pearl is his child, that a letter “A” is seen burned into his chest.
The novel is filled with symbolism and themes of morality, one of which can be seen as to how society viewed women at the time. The following is quoted from the NPR article, “Hester Pyrnne: Sinner, Victim, Object, Winner”:
"The drama is really the drama of the patriarchial society's need to control female sexuality in the most basic way," says Evan Carton, literature professor at the University of Texas at Austin. "This classic male anxiety: How do you know for sure whether your baby is yours? If you don't know if your woman and your child are actually yours, then you have no control over property, no control over social order, no control over anything — and that's the deep radical challenge that Hester presents to this society."
America was in the midst of a growing feminist movement when Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter. Professor Jamie Barlowe, of the University of Toledo, says that Hawthorne — living in Salem, Boston and later Concord, Mass. — "was very, very aware of the growing feminist insurgence. Women's rights were a part of the cultural conversation."
For the first time in America, women were challenging the firmly established male patriarchy. Hester Prynne can be seen as Hawthorne's literary contemplation of what happens when women break cultural bounds and gain personal power.”
Here’s the entire NPR article, which I found quote interesting:
Holy cow, I will never look at cereal the same way again.
If I was talking to a Holy Cow, I'd probably never look at my cereal the same way either.....you never know what she's put in the skhymn milk.
Mooooving right along....today is St. Patrick's Day so I thought it'd be good to kill two birds with one Blarney stone, and do a Woman of St. Patrick's Day moment.
On March 17, 1989, Dorothy Hayden Cudahy became the first woman to grand marshall the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York, at age 65.
The parade had a 225 year-old tradition of male only grand marshals, with parade rules that prevented women from running. The grand marshal title has long been considered one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on an Irishman.
Dorothy, known as the First Lady of Irish Radio, and named named Irish Woman of the Year by the Emerald Society had been nominated three previous times before winning the election. When she finally won the position, she credited the win to the luck of the Irish. "I was lucky, just lucky."
I am being indecisive today and can't choose between two notable women who excelled in very different areas, so they both get a mention.
First up is Olympic speed skating champion, Bonnie Blair, who was born March 18th, 1964. One of the top athletes in her sport, Bonnie is one of the most decorated athletes in Olympic history. She was the first American woman to win five gold medals in any sport, and the only American to win 6 medals in the Winter Olympics until Apolo Ohno broke the record this year with a total of 8 medals in his Olympic career.
In her retirement from speed skating, she works with numerous charities, and is a favorite speaker, motivating audiences to "acheive their personal best." Her sporting and personal achievements can be summed up by a fan who wrote, "With her dedication, solid values and extraordinary vision, Bonnie is a super Olympian who defines the meaning of sports person. She is a true hero and role model."
Six years after Bonnie, Dana Elaine Owens was born. Better known as Queen Latifah, today is her birthday too. Her AOL Music's Biography says of her, "Queen Latifah was certainly not the first female rapper, but she was the first one to become a bona fide star. She had more charisma than her predecessors, and her strong, intelligent, no-nonsense persona made her arguably the first MC who could properly be described as feminist."
"She remained perhaps the most recognizable woman in hip-hop, with a level of respect that bordered on iconic status."
That is certainly true in my case - I know nothing about rap and hip-hop; it is my least favorite type of music which I usually avoid listening to at all costs. But even way before she branched out into movies, television, and became a CoverGirl spokeswoman, I not only knew who she was, I liked watching her perform. Loved her in "Chicago" and the basically cheesy "Hairspray"; heck, I'm even drawn into watching her CoverGirl commercials. (I never did get to see "The Secret Life of Bees" - it's still on my list to rent.)
In music, movies, and television, she's earned a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination.
So there ya go: Happy Birthday Bonnie Blair and Queen Latifah.
On March 19th, 1917, the U.S. Navy authorized the enlistment of women in the Naval Reserve, becoming the first branch of the United States armed forces to allow enlistment by women in a non-nursing capacity. The move was made because the Navy realized it would not have enough personnel to serve in clerical and other positions if the U.S. was to enter WWI.
Since 1908, women were able to serve in the Navy as nurses, but could not hold rank. The 13,000 World War I yeoman females were entitled to receive the same benefits and responsibilities as men, including identical pay.
In addition to clerical duties performed by the Yeomen (also called Yeowomen and Yeomanettes), others served as translators, draftsmen, fingerprint-experts, camouflage designers and recruiting agents.
Today more than 350,000 women serve in the United States armed forces, and there are 1.2 million women veterans in America. Currently, one in every seven troops in Iraq is a woman. Prior to World War I this would have been unheard of, but thanks to the brave women who enlisted in the Navy back in 1917, women are now allowed to serve their country alongside the men.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, says of these first women Naval Reservists, “The women of World War I served their country at a time when they did not yet enjoy the full rights of citizenship–they couldn’t even vote for their commander-in-chief–yet they raised their right hands and promised to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Their remarkable service helped pave the way for the passage of the 1948 Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, giving women a permanent place in the US military."
Passing up a lot today for a woman I personally like.
On March 20 1982, "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", hit number #1 on the Billboard charts and remained in that position for seven weeks. It is still Billboard's #28 song of all time.
At age 15, Joan Jett became a founding member of the band "The Runaways", went solo for a while when the band broke up, then formed "The Blackhearts" by advertising in a newspaper that she was "looking for three good men". The newly formed band used their own money to produce albums which they sold out of the trunk of their car after performances, often unable to keep up with the demand from their fans until they signed with a record label.
The "Godmother of Punk" and the "Original Riot Grrrl", her "pure and simple rock & roll without making an explicit issue of her gender" made Joan an influence for generations of female musicians. Her long-time friend and manager since "The Runaway" days says of her, "Over the years, Joan Jett has remained honest to her vision of true rock and roll. She is unique and continues a career that has never been influenced by style or passing fashions...Joan's integrity is untouchable."
And after all this time, (from age 15 to 52), she's still in the news. A two CD 'greatest hits' set was released this month, with four newly rerecorded songs, as well as a biography and picture book which spans her career from the Runaways to present day.
So here it is, 24 years to the day after it hit number 1 on the charts - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, performing "I Love Rock and Roll".
Good stuff, Gams! Joan Jett is someone I have grown to admire, not only for her music, but for her strength, conviction, and fearlessness. It's about time she got the attention and respect she deserves. Now, if they'll just hurry up and put her in the rock hall of fame!
"It's not hogwash. It's not a rap. I was saying this long ago in The Runaways, and I was saying it when I had the big hit: It's real-I really enjoy this. It's beyond just the music. It's about performing live, having that connection with the audience, looking in people's eyes and seeing them smile and knowing that maybe they're going to remember that for the rest of their life, that little moment they had with me, just like I might remember a little moment I had, stealing David Johansen's beer bottle off the stage when I was 14."
My brother-in-law had one of those moments with Joan. During her show at a local amusement park, he went down front to take some pictures. As he got ready to raise his camera, he looked up at Joan, who looked back at him, gave him a big smile, and shot him a wink. For the next half-minute or so, she played right in front of him, letting him get all the photos he wanted, and ended the photo op with another big smile, right at him, before she went on her way. He was utterly charmed, and so were we, when he told us the story.
Here's a t-shirt my sis wore to the show with pride:
What a great story your brother-in-law has to retell, Siren! Joan is one of those people who, for decades, has a hand in all kinds of 'behind-the-scenes' projects that you wouldn't expect. But when gathering information for the post of Jett, several web-sites mentioned she gets her greatest pleasure from performing to an audience - USO tours being her biggest thrill.
Here's an interesting story I read when searching for today's Woman in History:
"On December 7th, 1941 Cornelia Fort, a young civilian flight instructor from Tennessee, and her regular Sunday-morning student took off from John Rodgers Airport in Honolulu. Fort's apprentice was advanced enough to fly regular take-offs and landings and this was to have been his last lesson before going solo.
With the novice at the controls, Fort noticed a military aircraft approaching from the sea. At first that didn't strike her as unusual; Army planes were a common sight in the skies above Hawaii. But at the last moment, she realized this aircraft was different and that it had set itself on a collision course with her plane. She wrenched the controls from her student's grasp and managed to pull the plane up just in time to avoid a mid-air crash. As she looked around she saw the red sun symbol on the wings of the disappearing plane and in the distance, probably not more than a quarter mile away, billowing smoke was rising over Pearl Harbor.
The disbelieving Fort had just unwittingly witnessed the U.S. entry into World War II."
A reenactment of the incident appears in the opening scenes of the movie, "Tora, Tora, Tora".
From the time Cornelia Fort took her first flying lesson, she was instantly addicted. Described by her sister as a "a great rebel of her time", Cornelia was the first female flight instructor in Nashville, Tennessee.
After America's entry into WWII, opportunities opened up for many U.S. women pilots. Fort was invited to join a newly established squadron, the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service, or WAFS. She and the other women pilots were hired to fly hired to fly planes from factories to military air bases, freeing up the male pilots for combat missions.
From the beginning, Fort and the other women in the WAFS were looked at with hostility from their male counterparts. But they proved themselves as professionals and capable of flying any military aircraft they were asked to, maintaining a better safety record than the men.
Cornelia's service in the WAFS lasted for only a few months. On a mission with both male and female pilots, one of the men's landing gear clipped Fort's plane, sending it plummeting to earth. Fort didn't have time to parachute to safety.
She died March 21, 1943. She was the first American woman to die on active military duty."
The article I read ends as follows:
"Fort and the other 37 female pilots who died flying military planes during the war, received no military recognition. The army didn't even pay for their burial expenses because the women were considered civilians. Fort's achievements as a military pilot are commemorated by an airpark named after her that was built in 1945 near her family farm. Her own words on an historical marker at the site simply and modestly sum up her wartime contribution: "I am grateful" she wrote, "that my one talent, flying, was useful to my country.""
when gathering information for the post of Jett, several web-sites mentioned she gets her greatest pleasure from performing to an audience - USO tours being her biggest thrill.
Several years ago, Joan made an unpublicized stop at our nearby air force base. She played a set for soldiers and their families, then signed autographs and posed for pics with them. My sis, who works on-base, found out about this after-the-fact, by reading the base newspaper. Joan told the base reporter the same thing you said above, that she gets great joy from playing for our military, and, in fact, most enjoys performing for our troops in action. She said she prefers that they send her to the more remote and dangerous places, close to the action, since she figures those troops need the entertainment and encouragement the most.
Thank you for posting about Cornelia Fort. What a fascinating story! Just recently, NPR featured a story about the WASPS of WWII, the Women Airforce Service Pilots, civilians who volunteered to learn to fly so that they could assist the war effort. The story stated, as you did, that they got no recognition from the military, and weren't even allowed to have the U.S. flag on their caskets when they died in service. Their fellow WASPS would pool money to send their bodies home for burial, since the military did not extend that service.
This year, the WASPS finally got official recognition from our government. Here's a link to the story, along with a great photo gallery:
Post by lolapalooza on Mar 23, 2010 2:35:36 GMT -6
Joooooooaaaannnnn!! Oh hell yes! I saw her on He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named's late night show last week but only because the channel was on NBC when I turned on the tv. Had to stick around around for the performance. Omg, she's what? 40? (Only because I surely can't be older than that.) Wow, she looks fantastic, her energy made me tired just watching and that girl can rock it hard! Last night someone wanted to hear 'Cherry Bomb' and I was all too excited to play it.
I can't wait to see the movie. Saw a documentary on The Runaways a couple years ago that was made by band member but it didn't include Joan in it. Sounded like she had cut ties and wanted nothing to do with them some thirty years after the fact. Here's a info from imdb.com about Edgeplay:
This documentary about the all girl rock band The Runaways, has no original Runaways music. The only music you hear is by other artists or you hear the band doing cover songs. That's because Joan Jett refused to take part in the production and refused to grant permission for the music to be used.
I learned a lot about the band in the documentary but it did leave me with a sad feeling; seemed Vickie Blue has not been able to move on. Interestign quote from her, "What I learned -- and to this day it still blows my mind that I was even there -- is that there's such a level of damage... We all were damaged from our stint in The Runaways."
I'm definitely interested to see Joan's take of the band in this new film and I hope the buzz about the movie really helps to give cred to this ground breaking band.
Lola! Just as fans yell "Bruuuuuuce" and "Jooooooooan", I hereby cyber-scream "Loooooooooolaaaaaaaa" in your honor. Hola!
I, too, am awaiting "The Runaways" movie. It's too bad that, because of the bad blood/legal squabbling/etc we'll probably never get the complete story of that band. The movie is based on Cherie Currie's book, and has her and Joan's cooperation. And it's mostly their story. It seems the other members of the band are either barely mentioned, or have their identities changed completely. The feud between Joan and Lita Ford would, I think, make for great drama. In fact, Joan's story is so fascinating, we need a movie about her alone.
You're right, Lo - Joan rocks monumentally hard. I read somewhere that she says her young bandmates are chosen with their ability, youth, and vigor in mind; she says they keep her on her toes. And she is so fit and radiantly beautiful (in a business that generally leaves people looking like either dried apple dolls or Jabba the Hutt), she must take very good care of herself.
This year, the WASPS finally got official recognition from our government.
Thanks for the link, Siren - I love NPR's stories. The similarities between the WAFS's story and the WASP's story got me curious - were they the same organization? A quick two-second drill says yes - the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service (WAFS) was renamed the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) when the value of their contribution became recognized. Too bad it was only in name at the time, and they had to wait so many years to receive official recognition.
Those brave women were certainly pioneers in their field. Here's a story that Stepper sent me about a present day woman pilot serving her country:
Omg, she's what? 40? (Only because I surely can't be older than that.)
Yes, yes, Lola....of course she's only 40. Because that would mean I'm still in my early thirties, and surely I've got a long way before I'm close to your proposed age for Joan. Hell, let's make her still in her thirties, and then we can all be twenty again.
I've been out of town, and have a couple of days to catch up here, so it's time for some quickies, because sometimes that's all you get.
March 22 marks the date another female band had a number 1 song, when in 1986 Heart's "These Dreams" hit the first spot on Billboard's Hot 100. The song was the first on which Nancy did the lead vocals, instead of Ann. The raspy sounding voice of Nancy in the song was due to a cold she had when it was recorded. Her producers liked the sound so much, they wanted her to reproduce it on future recordings, asking her, "Can't you just get sick again?"
Yesterday's Women of the Day moment belongs to Joan Crawford, who was born March 23, 1905....March was also when she won her Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in "Mildred Pierce" during the 1946 Academy Awards.
Today....who knows? I haven't drilled deep enough yet.
Ok, before I get behind again, here's today's Woman in History Moment.
Dorothy Hearst, who would come to be known as the "Godmother of the Women's Movement" was born on March 24, 1912.
Receiving a scholarship to Barnard College for her oratory skills, she was still denied admittance because at the time Barnard only allowed two African Americans per year to enroll, and had already met that quota. Dorothy instead went on to receive her Master's Degree in psychology in New York University, and afterward became a caseworker in New York City's Welfare Department.
Joining the National Council of Negro Women in the 1930s, she fought for equal rights for women and African Americans, becoming its president in 1957 until 1997. During the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, her program "Wednesdays in Mississippi" brought black and white women from both the North and South together to "create a dialogue of understanding".
Her influence while working with the YWCA led the organization to desegregate, and to be involved in civil rights beginning in the 1960s.
Her various positions led Dorothy to travel extensively abroad, serving on many commissions connected with women's and civil rights. In the U.S., presidents sought her counsel and she encouraged President Eisenhower to desegregate schools, and President Johnson to appoint African American women to positions in government.
In 1986, Dorothy founded the annual Black Family Reunion, a national festival aimed at bringing families together, to combat the negative stereotypical images of African American family life.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton presented Dr. Height with the Medal of Freedom; in 2004 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Currently, at age 98 - NINETY-EIGHT!!! - she is the Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the largest civil rights organization in the U.S..
Every year, she still personally attends the National Black Family Reunion, celebrated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C..
"Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals." ~ Dr. Dorothy Height
I love this photo of her on Wikipedia. All of her work and accomplishments aside, you can just look at this picture and imagine a slew of kids either at the National Black Family Reunion or in her own living room, waiting to run up and give grandma...or great-grandma a big hug.
Today marks the birth-date of two activists in the cause of civil and women's rights; Matilda Gage was born on March 25, 1826, and Gloria Steinem was born March 25, 1934.
Growing up in a house used as a station on the Underground railroad, Matilda Gage became a prolific writer, editor, and is best known for her work with fellow social activists and abolitionists Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Together they co-wrote the first three volumes of "A History of Woman Suffrage". She went on to write "Woman, Church and State", and founded the newspaper, " The National Citizen and Ballot Box."
"There is a word sweeter than Mother, Home, or Heaven; that word is Liberty." ~ Matilda Joslyn Gage, engraved on her tombstone.
Gloria Steinem is a feminist, journalist, social and political activist, and prominent writer. In the 60s and 70s she became leader and spokeswoman for the Women's Liberation Movement, and later the founding editor of Ms. magazine. She is today considered by many to be one of American history's most recognized and important women.
"If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?" ~ Gloria Steinem
Ok...that one is just so I can remember to repeat it to Hubs on occasion. Here's another....
"We need to remember across generations that there is as much to learn as there is to teach." ~ Gloria Steinem
Matilda's birthday, (I'm assuming), is the 24th of March, not the 25th. Ah...the problem with drilling; conflicting information. The site I got that today is the birthday to two women's rights activists is apparently wrong; the sites I pulled the quote from, and the information about her, lists yesterday as her birth date.
Let's just pretend yesterday's opening paragraph reads:
Today marks the birth-date of two activists in the cause of civil and women's rights; Dorothy Hearst was born on March 24, 1912, and Matilda Gage was born on March 24, 1826.
Gloria Steinem's birthday is today....I believe. <shrugs> At least that's what the drill tells me. Unless Lola changed the date, and made her 30 years and one day younger.
I'm passing up Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve in the Supreme Court, whose birthday is today in favor of some hometown pride; today's Woman of the Day grew up 10 minutes from where I did.
Bertha Van Hoosen was born March 26, 1863 in Stoney Creek, Michigan, where she dreamed of becoming a doctor. Her parents though, were not supportive of her plans to study medicine in a time when there were not many women doctors. Bertha taught calisthenics and physiology to put herself through college at the University of Michigan. Despite the financial difficulties, and occasional delays, she received her bachelor's degree in 1884, and was among the first women to graduate from the University of Michigan's medical school, receiving her M.D. in 1888.
Dr. Van Hoosen opened her own private practice in Chicago, and taught anatomy (without pay) at Northwestern University Woman's Medical School, and later headed the obstetrical department of the Chicago Hospital for Women and Children. She became the first woman faculty member at the University of Illinois College of Medicine despite considerable opposition from male faculty.
Her book, Petticoat Surgeon, is an autobiography describing 19th century Michigan farm life, and what it was like to enter a career as a woman in a field dominated by men. She was the first president of the American Medical Women's Association.
She was the only woman of her time, other than Madam Marie Curie, elected an honorary member of the International Association of Medical Women.
Dr. Van Hoosen continued to practice medicine until the age of 88, a year before she died.
Guess whose birthday it is today? I will give you a hint.
Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday, Dear Patty, Happy Birthday to you.
Yep, today is Patty Smith Hill's birthday. Patty (March 27, 1868 – May 25, 1946), along with her sister, Mildred J. Hill, wrote the "Happy Birthday" song.
The song originated as "Good Morning to All", a song the Hill sisters, both teachers, sung with their nursery school and kindergarten students every morning. It was later changed to the "Happy Birthday" lyrics, which is the most widely recognized song in English-speaking countries, and has been translated into 18 different languages.
The Hills grew up with the best possible education their parents could provide, and they encouraged the sisters to be independent thinkers, while their mother also believed her children should have fun at every possible opportunity.
Patty benefited from this type of upbringing and as a teacher, tried to practice the same ideas with children in her classroom. She incorporated progressive education ideas and philosophy to kindergarten teaching, with an emphasis on the natural creativity and instincts of children, rather than the rigid, structured educational methods that were then in place.
She was a leader of the Kindergarten Movement in the United States, and helped create the Institute of Child Welfare Research at Columbia University Teachers College. Her work initiated curriculum reforms that permanently changed kindergarten education in the United States, impacting the lives of millions of children.
Happy Birthday, Dear Paaaa-ttty. Haaa-pppy Birthday to youuuuu.
Bertha Van Hoosen was born March 26, 1863 in Stoney Creek, Michigan, where she dreamed of becoming a doctor.
I know I'm getting to this late, but it was, or would have been, my mother's birthday too! Not as memorable to the public as your doctor, but I've always thought she was pretty special. As it happens, March 26th was also my last day with Lockheed Martin. I hated losing the seniority, but I move on the the next job beginning Monday. It requires an additional certification that I'm working on which is part of the reason I've been gone so much. Hopefully this will be settled before the end of the year. Until then, I'll just have to keep checking in on your posts!
I know I'm getting to this late, but it was, or would have been, my mother's birthday too! Not as memorable to the public as your doctor, but I've always thought she was pretty special.
Every great woman deserves a mention in here, Stepper...but since I can't include every one of them, I'm glad you stopped in to mention one that has been very special to you. From all you've wrote about her, she certainly sounds like she was one great lady.
I hated losing the seniority, but I move on the the next job beginning Monday. It requires an additional certification that I'm working on which is part of the reason I've been gone so much. Hopefully this will be settled before the end of the year.
Sorry you've got to start over, but it's great you've got something to move on to already. Good luck in the new job, and hope you'll keep stopping in when you find some time.