The Dismore Archives


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About the "Feminist History E-Mail Archive"

David Dismore, a Los Angeles NOW member is collecting newspaper and magazine articles dealing with feminist topics from all over the world.

David is "television news archivist and feminist history researcher for the Feminist Majority Foundation" as well as a Los Angeles NOW member is collecting and archiving old newspaper and magazine articles dealing with feminist topics from all over the world.

(High School 1960 - 1964)

Though at first I thought I 'd missed out on my chance to be part of the feminist movement (not much happening in Greenville, Ohio in 1961 when I discovered the Suffragists) it turned out I'd only missed "Part One" of the struggle for equality.

"Part Two" has been a 26 year adventure, all the way from my first NOW meeting (when I carefully peeked into the room before opening the door to see if men were allowed to attend) through demonstrations and rallies on many issues, a cross-country bikeathon for E.R.A. in 1982, to my archival work digging out, then sharing via e-mail, articles printed from 1848 to 1971 about the struggle for women's rights.

But as impressive and exciting as feminism's past has been, its future is even better. So Iet's always remember those who got us this far, while never forgetting how much work we still have to do to finish the job started in Seneca Falls.

David Dismore

Contact David Dismore at:

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By Carroll Kirkpatrick
Exclusive to the Times from the Washington Post

SAN CLEMENTE - The White House, apparently stung by Sen. George Mc Govern's charge that the Nixon Administration has treated the women's movement "as a joke," Saturday issued a "fact sheet" claiming that there are more women in high government positions than ever before.

The President also issued a proclamation naming Saturday, the 52nd anniversary of the women's suffrage amendment, as Women's Rights Day.

Mc Govern said Friday in Washington that of 12,000 policy positions in the Nixon Administration only 105 have gone to women.

He called the Nixon record of appointing women "not only unjust but ... stupid politics."


The White House made no comment on Mc Govern's promise that if elected he would name a woman to the Supreme Court.

"There are now more women in full time, policymaking positions in the federal government than ever before in our nation's history," the Administration claimed.

The statement said the President had set a goal to double the number of women in high positions, from 36 to 72, by Jan. 1 of this year. Those are jobs paying $28,000 annually or more.

"The goal was more than met before the end of 1971," the statement said. "We now have placed 118 women in policymaking positions, which means we have tripled the original number."

The White House said Mr. Nixon had appointed Barbara Hackman Franklin a staff associate to recruit top-level women to government and then named Jayne Baker Spain to the Civil Service Commission with responsibility to see that women are guaranteed equal employment opportunity.
"For the first time in history two women are chairing regulatory agencies at the same time" the statement said, referring to Chairman Catherine May Bedell of the Tariff Commission and Chairman Helen Delich Bentley of the Maritime Commission.

The President also has nominated the first woman to the rank of rear admiral in the Navy and the first six women to the rank of brigadier general in the armed forces, the statement said.

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Women ! A Tradition Shattered

NEW YORK, Aug 10, 1970 - McSorley's Old Ale House had its first coed brawl today within two hours after opening its doors to women for the first time in its 116-year history.


The bar, a favorite East Village hangout for artists that serves only ale and porter, was forced to admit women after Mayor John V. Lindsay signed a law prohibiting discrimination in public places on grounds of sex.

Lucy Komisar, a vice president of the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.), approached the old-fashioned wood doors at McSorley's in a purple jump suit, sandals and sunglasses. Dennis Lynch, a waiter, demanded that she show a birth certificate.

When he refused to accept a drivers' license as proof she was over 18, the legal drinking age in the state, she tried to push past him. The two engaged in a short wrestling match because Daniel Kirwan, the proprietor, allowed her inside, to a chorus of boos from some of the regular patrons.Shortly afterward, Miss Komisar got into a verbal battle with some young men who were drinking ale in their undershirts. When one tall, unidentified man showed her an obscene poem he had scrawled on a piece of paper, she tried to snatch it out of his hand. "Why, you little --," he shouted, dumping a stein of ale over her head.

"You can't do that," she shrieked, lunging at him. The two exchanged a few weak blows before he was escorted, protesting, outside.

Matt Maher, night manager, apologized for the disturbance. "I'm afraid it will be this way for a few days. They're a little upset, you see."

Miss Komisar also got into an argument with some men wearing undershirts. One of them dumped a stein of ale over her. He was shown out and she was allowed to stay as McSorley's enforced its rule against rowdyism, even if it couldn't enforce its ban on women.


As she entered the swinging doors, a waiter asked for a birth certificate and would not accept a driver's license as proof she was 18. There was a brief scuffle as she tried to shove past him. Then Daniel
Kirwan, who with his mother owns the bar, let her in. Kirwan had wanted his mother to be the first woman served in the bar. Mrs. Dorothy O'Connell Kirwan is part owner, but she has never been inside. She turned down her son's invitation. Two women who work in the neighborhood were the first, but they stayed only briefly.

Later a nurse dropped in on "a matter of principle" and a man brought his wife. Another woman looked in, but said she wouldn't have a drink in a place like this.

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Valentine Orders All on the Force to Get Revolvers and Learn to Shoot.

A member of the City Police Department showing how she will carry the weapon given to her yesterday.

Every woman in the city police force will carry a revolver in her handbag, under orders issued yesterday by Chief Inspector John J. Seery.

In line with Commissioner Lewis J. Valentine's recent injunction for a higher standard of marksmanship in the department's war on known thugs, the chief inspector ordered all members of the force, including the 155 policewomen and patrolwomen, to report for pistol target practice and instruction every three weeks, instead of once each month as heretofore.

In the past women have been exempt from such training. Although they have always been permitted to carry weapons, few of them have cared to do so, and those who have usually contented themselves with carrying a small automatic. Under the new regulations they must carry a revolver of at least .32 calibre. The standard police revolver is .38 calibre.

What veteran police officers term "dry shooting," a special course of instruction in the use, loading and carrying of pistols, will be given to all the women at station houses and armories beginning today.

When they have mastered the fundamentals the policewomen will begin target practice, using moving cardboard figures as targets. They will be permitted to enter the regular shooting competitions held three times a year and earn a day off if they attain an average of 85 per cent in fast and slow firing, as the men do now.

Most of the work of the women in the past has been confined to acting as matrons and to arresting "mashers." It is believed that the present move is preliminary to an extension of their duties.

The general order issued by Inspector Seery calls on all markedly substandard marksmen to practice on their days off.

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'Men Begging ... For Lives'

AUGUST 11, 1970

NEW YORK (AP) - It was a time of protest, power, pressure and promise for the women's liberation movement in New York Monday.


Female liberation movement at Statue of Liberty.

About 100 women ferried out to the Statue of Liberty and hung a banner on that colossal lady's pedestal demanding: "Women of the World Unite."

At City Hall, Mayor John V. Lindsay signed a law forcing "Men-Only" bars and restaurants to admit women, and the Mayor listened as a woman demanded he stop working out at the Athletic Club, now exclusively for men. Rep. Bertram Podell, a Brooklyn Democrat, announced he will introduce a pension plan for housewives which would allow them to set aside up to $25 a week of their husband's income tax-free.

Some of the women who invaded the Statue of Liberty said they might stay there until Congress approves a constitutional amendment banning discrimination against women.

A spokesman said they chose to demonstrate at the Statue of Liberty because of "the hypocrisy that woman represents liberty."

About 50 of the group marched up and down singing a women's liberation anthem to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." One verse said:

"There'll be men upon their knees to us and begging for their lives.

"And some we'll spare and some we'll not, for justice is our knife."

"There'll be judo, there'll be self-defense and rifles for each wife.

"For it's liberation time."

Nancy Gordon of the National Organization of Women - NOW - stood by Mayor Lindsay as he signed the law, and urged him to boycott men's clubs, and such things as the annual Inner Circle lampoon show, put on by a society of political reporters.

"I took three ladies with me last year," protested Lindsay, who did a song and dance act with three Broadway actresses at the 1969 Inner Circle.

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N.O.W. Mother's Day Protest Albuquerque, NM , May 11, 1969:

The ladies of the Albuquerque Chapter of the National Organization for Women protested Sunday and handed security officer George Apodaca a miserable "Mother's Day."The women, led by Mrs. Therese Conant of 3612 Smith SE, were out with picket signs and pamphlets at the Coronado Shopping Center Sunday and so was big George. With his badge. And gun. And small beads of perspiration on his forehead.

As security officer, Apodaca advised the ladies, and the small children bearing signs, that they would have to leave to distribute their leaflets. He said no bills could be distributed on the shopping center mall, where the women planned to protest "Mother's Day" as a sacchrine-tinged symbol of alleged oppression of their sex.

Apodaca explained -- "We have signs that no bills can be distributed on the mall, Ma'am." -- as the television camera ground and the microphone waved before him in a "Mother's Day" confrontation scene of police power and the "oppressed."

The ladies, bearing signs reading "Rights Now, Not Roses," "Support the Equal Rights Amendment," and "Separate Church and State -- Repeal Abortion Laws" -- finally decided not to pass out their leaflets but to walk about the center bedecked with their signs.

After almost an hour, they left and arrived at Furr's Cafeteria at Central and San Pedro SE and walked and passed out their leaflets calling for the equal rights amendment to the constitution and repeal of abortion laws and more child care facilities. An hour later they moved to Hiland Shopping Center and spent an hour there.

Mrs. Conant said the effect of the Mother's Day protest won't be able to be gauged until after other ladies who collected the chapter's leaflets respond to its invitation to join the struggle, but, "we think it may have been a success, it was our first time and we did talk to a lot of people."

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By Lisa Hammel

Although no one in the dim ruby and sapphire Victorian parlor actually got up and cried
"Women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains," that was the prevailing sentiment yesterday morning at the crowded press conference held by the newly formed National Organization for Women.

NOW, which is the organization's urgent acronym,was formed three weeks ago in Washington to press for "true equality for all women in part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place."

The organization has been informally styled by several of its directors as the "N.A.A.C.P. of women's rights."

The board of directors asked President Johnson, in the text of a letter released yesterday, to give "top priority among legislative proposals to the next Congress to legislation which would give effective enforcement powers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission," which, the letter stated, "is a reluctance among some of its male members to combat sex discrimination as vigorously as they seek to combat racial discrimination."

Separate letters were also sent to Acting Attorney General Ramsey Clark and the three current commissioners of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"As part of the Great Society program," the letter to the President read, "your administration is currently engaged in a massive effort to bring underprivileged groups - victims of discrimination because of poverty, race, or lack of education - into the mainstream of American life. However, no comprehensive effort has been made to include women in your Great Society program for the underprivileged and excluded."

The press conference was held amid the dark Victorian curlicues and oriental carpeting in the apartment of the organization's president,
Betty Friedan.

Mrs. Friedan, who became a household word when she gave "the problem that has no name" the name of "The Feminine Mystique" in a best-seller published three years ago, explained in her book to disgruntled housewives across the country that they have been sold a bill of goods by society.

Creative dishwashing and a life unremittingly devoted to the care and feeding of a husband and children is not the alpha and omega of a woman's existence,
Mrs. Friedan maintained, nor is a woman likely to find complete fulfillment as an adult human being either among the diapers and soapsuds or in the boudoir.

"Our culture,"
Mrs. Friedan wrote, "does not permit women to accept or gratify their basic need to grow and fulfill their potentialities as human beings, a need which is not solely defined by their sexual role."

Mrs. Friedan said last week in an interview in her apartment that NOW had "just begun to think about methods" to implement its goals of enabling women to "enjoy the equality of opportunity and freedom of choice which is their truly equal partnership with men."

Speaking in a gravelly alto from the depths of the large fur collar that trimmed her neat black suit, the ebullient author suggested that women today were "in relatively little position to influence or control major decisions."

"But," she added, leaning forward in the lilac velvet Victorian chair and punching the air as if it were something palpable, "what women do have is the vote.

"We will take strong steps in the next election," Mrs. Friedan continued, "to see that candidates who do not take seriously the question of equal rights for women are defeated."

The position paper issued by
NOW at its formation on Oct. 29 stated that: "We will strive to ensure that no party, candidate, president, senator, governor, congressman, or any public official who betrays or ignores the principle of full equality between the sexes is elected or appointed to office" and that to this end the organization would "mobilize the votes of men and women who believe in our cause."

"Politics?" the Rev. Dean Lewis repeated yesterday in answer to a question. "What do you have for women in that field? Women's political auxiliaries. They are put aside in nice separate structures without policy - making powers.

Reason for Joining

Mr. Lewis, a slender man with a neat pointed beard,is the secretary of the Office of Social Education and Evangelism of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States.

"Why did I join
NOW?" he said. "It's like asking someone why they joined the N.A.A.C.P. I'm interested in equal rights for anybody who desires them. The structure of both law and custom in our society deprives women of their rights."

Mr. Lewis is one of the 5 men on
NOW's 28-member board of directors. The vice president of the organization is Richard Graham, director of the National Teacher Corps and a former Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner.

NOW states in its position paper that it is concerned with discrimination where it exists against men as well as against women.

Mrs. Friedan explained that the organization believed that most alimony laws were discriminatory against men and that NOW intended to re-examine current laws.

The 500 members of
NOW have been drawn from many fields, including education, labor, government, the social sciences, mass communications, and religion. Two Roman Catholic nuns are members of the board of directors.

"There is religious discrimination in the church, but that is not the main reason for joining the organization," said Sister Mary Joel Read, chairman of the department of history at Alverno College, a Roman Catholic college for women in Milwaukee.

"This is not a feminist movement," the nun continued. "It is not a question of getting male privileges. In the past the possibility of realizing one's humanity was limited to an elite group at the top. Women are not equal in our society. The movement centers around the possibility of being human."

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A Section

ARCHIVE (1848-1920)

Stories and articles about feminist actions from 1848 on...If you are interested in receiving more information on these historical events, get in touch with David at

07/19/1848 Women's rights convention (NY)
08/02/1852 Anti women's rights editorial (NY)
09/08/1852 Women's rights convention (NY)
02/02/1857 "Abortion Pill" Ads (WI)
04/08/1859 Editorial favoring the right of married women to control their wages & property (NY)
05/12/1859 Editorial about hecklers at a women's rights meeting (NY)
01/10/1860 Antislavery convention in NY
01/08/1868 "The Revolution" newspaper's statement of purpose
01/03/1870 Antisuffrage editorial about Concord (NH) Women's Rights Convention
02/27/1870 Mill's essay on subject ion of women criticized
03/09/1870 Editorial says women too weak for politics and the professions
04/07/1870 Women as physicians
05/09/1870 Editorial about "suffragist stagnation" and criticism of Mill's essay on women
05/10/1870 Suffragists meet in NYC
05/17/1870 Elizabeth Cady Stanton on divorce & Mc Farland case
05/23/1870 New England Suffrage Assn. meeting
09/17/1870 Editorial praising women's ability to invent
11/05/1872 Susan B. Anthony votes illegally
01/18/1873 Anthony Comstock's anti-porn crusade
01/30/1873 Stanton defends Susan B. Anthony's attempt to use 14th Amendment to gain the vote
01/30/1873 Illegal abortion ads are denounced
06/16/1873 Female "Hard Hats" in Vienna
06/18/1873 Susan B. Anthony convicted of illegal voting
06/19/1873 Susan B. Anthony fined $100
06/21/1873 Editorial about Anthony trial
04/23/1881 Woman tries to be certified as lawyer in MA
05/10/1881 Belva Lockwood denied license to practice law in Carroll County, Maryland due to gender
11/09/1894 Whiskey ad aimed at women
10/12/1897 First time a woman lawyer argues a case before a jury in the New York City Supreme Court
12/14/1899 Single women oppose married women having jobs (MA)
01/28/1900 Anthony wants to raise a million dollars
04/00/1900 Anthony optimistic about suffrage
02/00/1901 Women and newspaper offices
03/00/1901 Editorial about wives and money
05/01/1901 Editorial about sexism at medical schools
05/18/1901 Businesswoman complains about clothing expenses
10/22/1902 Stanton's last letters on suffrage
04/04/1903 Editorial praising women inventors
01/02/1904 Legal training for women urged
02/07/1904 Hatpins for self-defense
05/19/1904 Editorial against women as "property"
06/30/1904 Feminist explains "Why I Do Not Marry"
09/25/1904 Woman smoker arrested
03/23/1905 Feminist explains why she chose not to have kids
04/14/1905 Anthony speaks out for divorce
02/22/1908 Suffragists giving away ice cream to attract crowds (NY)
02/27/1908 Suffragists take on Wall Street
10/30/1908 Editorial on "Suffrage Hysteria"
04/21/1909 Pope opposes women in politics
05/00/1909 Male suffragist group
02/27/1910 Male suffragist awarded giant sofa pillow
03/23/1910 T. Roosevelt calls for uplifting women
04/28/1910 Trousers on women OK in Kansas
09/24/1910 Woman balloonist gets trophy
08/01/1911 First woman pilot is licensed in the U.S.
09/26/1911 Shipboard suffrage clash
09/29/1911 Suffragists slandered (CA)
09/30/1911 Antisuffragist fails to convince anyone (CA)
09/30/1911 Largest suffrage rally in Los Angeles history (CA)
10/02/1911 Suffragist wedding ceremony (MA)
10/02/1911 Antisuffragist speech attacks "new woman" (CA)
10/02/1911 Prosuffrage editorial (CA)
10/03/1911 Four day series of pro-suffrage editorials in L.A.Tribune (CA)
10/04/1911 Antisuffrage ad (CA)
10/04/1911 Bible prosuffrage (CA)
10/04/1911 Veterans' Home accused of bias against suffragists (CA)
10/05/1911 Nanno Woods suffrage speech (CA)
10/05/1911 Antisuffrage edit (CA)
10/05/1911 Prosuffrage edit (CA)
10/05/1911 Suffragists reclaim flag (CA)
10/05/1911 Prosuffrage rally in Whittier (CA)
10/05/1911 Prosuffrage rally in San Francisco (CA)
10/05/1911 Antisuffragist spell-binds Veterans (CA)
10/06/1911 Male suffragist orator invokes Betsy Ross in peech to Veterans (CA)
10/06/1911 Prosuffrage edit (CA)
10/06/1911 Exercise good for women, says noted vaudevillian
10/06/1911 Suffragist gets labor support and puts down heckler (CA)
10/06/1911 Prosuffrage letter to e editor (CA)
10/06/1911 Antisuffrage tactics described
10/06/1911 Prosuffrage rally in San Francisco (CA)
10/07/1911 Prosuffrage editorial (CA)
10/07/1911 Female impersonator's art praised
10/07/1911 Antisuffragist deception exposed when Lindsey letter made public (CA)
10/07/1911 Big suffrage debate in San Francisco (CA)
10/08/1911 Prosuffrage ad (CA)
10/08/1911 Full page antisuffrage ad (CA)
10/08/1911 Antisuffragism backfires (CA)
10/08/1911 Antisuffrage hypocrisy (CA)
10/08/1911 Woman pilot defies sheriff, flies on Sunday (NY)
10/08/1911 Women's army proposed in England
10/08/1911 "No vote, no taxes" says suffragist
10/08/1911 Antisuffragist converted
10/08/1911 Prosuffrage letter (CA)
10/08/1911 Suffrage colors defended (CA)
10/09/1911 Antisuffragists canvass downtown Los Angeles (CA)
10/09/1911 African-American support for women's suffrage in CA
10/09/1911 Prosuffrage edit in L.A. (CA) Express
10/09/1911 College women have few divorces
10/09/1911 Antisuffragists confident (CA)
10/09/1911 Suffragists confident (CA)
10/09/1911 Prosuffrage Ad (CA)
10/10/1911 Day of suffrage vote (CA)
10/10/1911 Early vote cheers anti-suffragists In CA (11 PM)
10/10/1911 Slimness cure
10/11/1911 Suffrage vote close in CA
10/11/1911 Suffrage victory doubtful /new effort in 1912 ? (CA)
10/11/1911 Suffrage lost, says Chronicle (CA)
10/12/1911 Suffrage may win yet in CA !
10/12/1911 Suffrage wins in CA !
10/12/1911 Wild west woman vaudevillian
10/28/1912 Young women who smoke criticized
03/02/1913 Antisuffragists riot in England
03/03/1913 Suffragist march in D.C.disrupted
03/03/1913 Editorial about rioters who disrupted suffragist march in D.C.
03/04/1913 Prosuffrage "shredded wheat" ad
02/03/1914 House Democratic Caucus sets back suffrage amendment
04/03/1914 "Women Rebel" (Margaret Sanger's magazine) declared unmailable
10/31/1914 Editorial favoring suffrage as a way of combatting prostitution
11/07/1914 Ford profit-sharing plan for men only
01/00/1915 Catt addresses anti-suffragist arguments
02/05/1915 Wm. Sanger defense fund begun after arrest for giving info on birth control
02/06/1915 Antisuffrage editorial (NY)
02/11/1915 Antisuffrage leader explains her views
07/08/1915 Comstock heckled over Sanger case
09/04/1915 Wm. Sanger prepares for trial
9/10/1915 Wm. Sanger convicted and jailed
11/26/1915 Coast-to-coast caravan with pro-suffrage petitions arrives in New York
01/06/1916 M. Sanger returns, and speaks about upcoming trial
01/14/1916 M. Sanger prepares for trial
02/18/1916 M. Sanger case dismissed
04/19/1916 Stokes defies birth control law
05/20/1916 Birth control rally in Union Square distributes info (NY) control advocates at Union Square rally arrested (NY)
06/15/1916 Birth control speaker beats the rap
06/16/1916 Society for the Suppression of Vice fights birth control info
09/11/1916 M. Sanger to open birth control clinic
10/13/1916 Rankin's hair endorsed in editorial
10/26/1916 M. Sanger arrested for distributing birth control info
10/29/1916 Suffragist "postcard" campaign irks "antis"
11/11/1916 Jeannette Rankin's priorities
11/12/1916 Jeannette Rankin profile
11/15/1916 Vice Society may change its opposition to birth control if NY County Medical Society votes in favor of it
11/18/1916 NY County Medical Society divided on birth control
12/13/1916 Anti birth control resolution by Catholic nurses
12/26/1916 NY County Medical Society votes against birth control
01/09/1917 "Silent Sentinels" to picket White House
01/10/1917 "Silent Sentinels" begin picketing
01/11/1917 "Silent Sentinels" invited in by Wilson
01/11/1917 "Silent Sentinels" criticized in editorial
01/11/1917 "Silent Sentinels" spark letters to the editor
01/12/1917 "Silent Sentinels" get raincoats (and a smile from President Wilson)
01/13/1917 "Silent Sentinels" make progress and plans, and feed squirrels
01/14/1917 "Silent Sentinels" have a tea, get arctic gear
01/15/1917 "Silent Sentinels" get a warmer reception from Wilson, get big donations
01/16/1917 "Silent Sentinels" called a "threat" to President
01/18/1917 "Silent Sentinel" strategy
01/18/1917 "Sentinels" protested
01/22/1917 Ethel Byrne sentenced to workhouse for giving out birth control info
01/23/1917 Byrne resists in prison
01/24/1917 Byrne hunger strike, day 2
01/25/1917 Byrne hunger strike, day 3
01/25/1917 "Sentinels" protested by fellow suffragists
01/25/1917 Bill to force fathers of out-of-wedlock children to pay child support approved in Oregon
01/26/1917 Byrne hunger strike, day 4
01/27/1917 Byrne force-fed
01/28/1917 Byrne force-feeding continues
01/29/1917 M. Sanger speaks to rally of 3,000 in Carnegie Hall
01/29/1917 Byrne force-feeding cotinues
01/29/1917 Mother of 11 wins a separation from her husband and $4 a week child support
01/30/1917 "Worthwhile girl" described by Harvard boys
01/30/1917 Ethel Byrne continues her hunger strike
01/31/1917 Byrne may get pardon from governor
02/00/1917 M. Sanger open letter about Birth Control Review
02/01/1917 Byrne pardoned !
02/02/1917 M. Sanger convicted for birth control work
02/14/1917 Congressional Union to see President Wilson
02/17/1917 Chauvinist Admiral chides women without children and female teachers
03/03/1917 Prominent Americans take out a signature ad favoring birth control
03/03/1917 "Sentinels" prepare for a big demonstration tomorrow
03/04/1917 Alice Paul & Woman's Party have big demonstration in front of White House
03/04/1917 House hoaxed by woman claiming to be newly-elected Jeannette Rankin
03/05/1917 Women assail minister who opposes legalizing birth control (Los Angeles, CA)
03/18/1917 Birth control literature illegal, but popular
04/02/1917 "Silent Sentinels" back
05/06/1917 M. Sanger film banned
05/30/1917 Prostitutes corrupting our soldier-boys
06/07/1917 "Silent Sentinels" criticized
06/20/1917 "Silent Sentinel" banner torn
06/21/1917 "Silent Sentinels" attacked
06/22/1917 Two "Silent Sentinels" arrested
06/22/1917 Women work in lumberyard
06/23/1917 Four "Silent Sentinels" arrested
06/25/1917 Twelve "Silent Sentinels" arrested
06/26/1917 Nine "Silent Sentinels" arrested
06/27/1917 "Silent Sentinels" jailed
06/27/1917 Antisentinel editorial
06/28/1917 "Silent Sentinels" vow to continue picketing
06/28/1917 Bessaraboff writes to newspaper to apologize for his letter to Alice Paul about "Silent Sentinels" being publicized
06/29/1917 Six "Silent Sentinels" freed
06/29/1917 Massachusetts Suffrage Association condemns "Silent Sentinels"
06/30/1917 N.A.W.S.A. opposes White House pickets
07/04/1917 "Silent Sentinels" arrested at White House / jailed
07/05/1917 "Silent Sentinels" trial
07/06/1917 "Silent Sentinels" choose jail over $25 fine
07/07/1917 "Silent Sentinels" defended
07/07/1917 Minimum wage rate for women set in CA
07/08/1917 "Silent Sentinels" to resume picketing
07/10/1917 Congressional Union for Women's Suffrage evicted
07/11/1917 NY suffragists ask "Silent Sentinels" not to picket
07/12/1917 Chippewa women gain vote
07/13/1917 Women succeed in railroading
07/14/1917 Antisuffrage tactics criticized
07/14/1917 "Silent Sentinels" arrested on Bastille Day
07/16/1917 "Silent Sentinels" blame cops at their trial
07/17/1917 "Silent Sentinels" get 60 days
07/18/1917 Wilson shocked at jailing of "Silent Sentinels"
07/19/1917 Editorial against the jailed "Silent Sentinels"
07/19/1917 Wilson pardons jailed "Silent Sentinels"
07/20/1917 Editorial against the freeing of "Silent Sentinels"
07/20/1917 Women demonstrate ability to do the work of ongshoremen if needed during the war.
07/21/1917 "Silent Sentinels" resume picketing White House
07/21/1917 "Silent Sentinel" Kinkead tells of prison life
07/21/1917 "Silent Sentinels" are criticized in letters to the editor
07/23/1917 Antisuffragists think the "Silent Sentinels" got just what they deserved by being sentenced to jail
07/26/1917 "Silent Sentinel" tells of jail experiences
07/27/1917 Woman's Party served eviction notice because of White House Picketing
08/09/1917 Suffragists ask Congress to permit White House picketing
08/10/1917 "Silent Sentinel" banner inscribed "Kaiser Wilson" torn by mob
08/11/1917 Two more banners of the "Silent Sentinels" torn
08/12/1917 Wilson's views on "Silent Sentinels"
08/13/1917 "Silent Sentinels" lose 3 more banners
08/14/1917 "Silent Sentinels" are harassed by mob, and their headquarters is attacked
08/15/1917 "Silent Sentinels" are focus of mini-riots
08/16/1917 "Silent Sentinels" are both censored and protected by cops
08/17/1917 Six "Silent Sentinels" arrested
08/18/1917 Bill introduced in Congress to ban suffragist picketing in wartime / Six "Silent Sentinels" choose jail over $10 fine
08/19/1917 Conservative suffragists do war work / criticize "Silent Sentinels"
08/20/1917 "Silent Sentinels" to resume White House picketing
08/24/1917 Dr. Shaw criticizes "Silent Sentinel" pickets
08/24/1917 Six "Silent Sentinels" sentenced
08/26/1917 "Silent Sentinels" visited by Senator Lewis in jail
08/27/1917 Six "Silent Sentinels" granted appeal
08/28/1917 Ten "Silent Sentinels" arrested
08/30/1917 NY Suffragist convention addresses many issues
09/02/1917 Women to vote at upcoming Jewish Congress in D.C.
09/04/1917 13 "Silent Sentinels" arrested
09/05/1917 13 "Silent Sentinels" arrested yesterday sent to jail
09/10/1917 Maine rejects suffrage
09/11/1917 "Silent Sentinels" honored at banquet / Wilson attacked
09/18/1917 T. Roosevelt urges big families
09/25/1917 Four "Silent Sentinels" choose 30 days in workhouse over $25 fine
10/01/1917 "Silent Sentinels" denounced by NYC Woman Suffrage Party
10/03/1917 Carrie Chapman Catt defends her patriotism
10/04/1917 "Silent Sentinels" are charged with mutiny after Occoquan Workhouse uprising
10/13/1917 Wilson criticizes the "Silent Sentinels" and hopes suffrage wins in New York
10/15/1917 Four "Silent Sentinels" arrested
10/20/1917 Alice Paul arrested for picketing White House
10/22/1917 Alice Paul gets six months
10/24/1917 Alice Paul demands political prisoner status
11/06/1917 Alice Paul goes on a hunger strike
11/08/1917 Alice Paul force-fed
11/08/1917 "Silent Sentinels" may end their picketing
11/09/1917 Alice Paul's sanity is tested /force feeding continues
11/10/1917 Mass arrests of "Silent Sentinels"
11/11/1917 Alice Paul speaks to her supporters from jail
11/12/1917 "Silent Sentinels" rearrested
11/13/1917 "Silent Sentinels" cause near riot outside White House
11/14/1917 31 "Silent Sentinels" jailed
11/15/1917 "Silent Sentinels" go on hunger strike in prison
11/15/1917 "Silent Sentinels" opposed by suffrragist
11/16/1917 "Silent Sentinels" charge jail brutality
11/17/1917 "Silent Sentinels" getting too much pork
11/18/1917 Alice Paul note on herimprisonment published
11/18/1917 NY antisuffragists say suffrage victory due to German support
11/24/1917 "Silent Sentinels" moved from workhouse to DC jail
12/02/1917 NY antisuffragists say women will soon want to "give back" the right to vote
12/09/1917 Women who want to be active in politics must accept men's profanity
07/17/1918 M. Sanger ousted from Birth Control League in feud
08/19/1918 German women protest possible restrictions on birth control

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Top of Page
B Section
ARCHIVE (1921-1965)

Stories and articles about feminist actions from 1921 - 1965...If you are interested in receiving more information on these historical events, get in touch with David at

02/16/21 Woman's Party calls for "absolute equality"
11/12/21 Announcement that 1st birth control clinic to open (NY)
11/13/21 Birth control talk raided (NY)
12/11/21 Archbishop decries birth control (MD)
12/11/21 "First draft" of E.R.A.
05/19/22 Last survivor of Seneca Falls sends trowel to Woman's Party for new HQ
10/01/22 Woman's Party calls for full legal equality (E.R.A. !)
07/21/23 Woman's Party sets E.R.A. text
09/23/23 Belmont calls for woman government
05/08/24 Methodists battle over ordaining women
07/12/24 Short hair causes beards on women, says doctor
12/20/24 Man blames feminism for divorce
03/02/25 Synthetic noses promoted for beauty
03/03/25 Ziegfeld says natural beauty best
11/06/25 Beautiful & intelligent women urged to have more children
01/16/26 Catt battles against immorality and for prohibition
07/20/26 Ziegfeld says women too thin
07/28/26 Husbands and kitchen work
11/10/26 Addams accused of being Communist
12/27/26 Misogynist students lose debate
02/06/27 Feminism's effect on monogamy debated
02/12/27 College girls as good as ever
02/21/27 Highest paid businesswoman honored
03/11/27 Doctor says women make men unfit
03/21/27 Sermon calls feminism a "disease"
04/07/27 Single woman opposes working wives
04/16/27 Law firms that reject women listed
05/14/27 Feminism defined
06/14/27 Oxford imposes "quota" of one female student for every three males
07/07/27 Women's smoking criticized
08/00/27 Women's Party position on birth control criticized by Birth Control Review
11/00/27 Birth control arrest in CA
11/13/27 Ruth Elder honored
11/22/27 Women aviators entitled to respect
01/04/28 Ruth Nichols first to fly NY-Miami non-stop
02/12/28 "Educated Spinster" Survey
02/14/28 "Flapper" extinct ?
04/08/28 E. Roosevelt complains that men still dominate politics
05/03/28 Pope denounces women's athletics
07/11/28 Mussolini says men still rule
08/15/28 Pope partially approves of feminism
11/10/28 Women getting stronger
01/27/29 "Flapper" policewomen useful (NY)
07/12/29 Farm wives enjoy vacation
07/29/29 Earhart complains about sexism in aviaton
09/21/29 Polish flyers say women a jinx
09/27/29 Women advise film producers
02/04/30 Low wages at 5 & 10 cent stores
03/06/30 Working wives criticized
03/26/30 10 years of suffrage celebrated
04/12/30 Single woman needs $25 a week to live well in NY
04/15/30 More women in elected office
04/28/30 First woman on garbage truck (NY)
07/07/30 Waitress earns flying license
08/02/30 Women prove chauvinist editor wrong, remain silent for a day
08/23/30 Homemakers efficient, not lazy
09/01/30 Editorial favoring women pilots
09/29/30 Professional women earn $1300 a year
10/25/30 Working wives criticized (IA)
11/14/30 Bachelor girls defended
01/04/31 Woman's Party HQ dedicated
01/05/31 Hoover says working wives OK
01/16/31 WCTU cites prohibition gains
01/21/31 Sexist Pillsbury bequest rejected
03/24/31 Divorce bill defeated (NY)
03/24/31 W.C.T.U. defends prohibition from attacks by women
04/05/31 "Home Girl" style back
05/08/31 Earhart speaks at Barnard
05/17/31 "Fashion solution" to the depression
06/02/31 Grads put jobs before marriage
07/23/31 Crime wave blamed on lax schools, women teachers, movies and feminization of society
09/15/31 $7 a week salaries protested
09/12/31 Survey compares happiness of career women & girls
09/16/31 Footbinding banned in one province of China
10/01/31 "Peace Caravan" arrives in NY
10/01/31 Working wives banned by railroad
10/01/31 Working wives defended
10/11/31 Jane Addams gets pro-disarmament resolution
12/16/31 Editorial praising Mary T. Norton, first woman to chair a committee in Congress
01/12/32 First woman elected to Senate is Caraway of Arkansas
01/28/32 Mussolini decries slimness in women
02/09/32 Women in prison can succeed in finding husbands
02/16/32 Employment outside the home needed for full equality for women
03/09/32 Women's Bank opens in Prague
03/21/32 Pay cuts for women criticized
05/16/32 Hitler opposes women in politics and business
05/20/32 Earhart tries trans-Atlantic flight
05/21/32 Earhart's trouble-plagued flight lands in Ireland
05/22/32 Women in aviation (1910 -1932)
05/24/32 "Miss" vs. "M's" question
06/14/32 Unemployed woman gives tips on saving money on lunches
06/28/32 Public men's wives compared to Hallowe'en pumpkins
09/11/32 Jewish women fight bigamy in Palestine
09/22/32 Earhart lobbies for E.R.A.
11/06/32 Study of labor laws regarding women shows discrimination
11/13/32 Woman's Party urges F.D.R. to appoint women to cabinet
11/28/32 E. Roosevelt talks about plight of women in the depression
12/09/32 Eleanor Roosevelt irks Prohibitionists in radio talk
12/30/32 Married women will no longer be hired. Engaged women have six months to marry, says Kansas company
01/07/33 Suffrage won because of invention of tin cans?
02/02/33 Wifebeater's "cultural excuse" not accepted
02/14/33 Starvation wages for women (PA)
02/22/33 Frances Perkins to be named first female Cabinet member
02/24/33 Free shampoos for Republican women
03/17/33 WCTU warns women "beer = fat"
03/20/33 Synthetic lips & noses latest fad
05/10/33 E. Roosevelt to be columnist
05/17/33 "Hop Lite Ladies" fight female unemployment
05/27/33 E.R.A. battle among women's groups
07/06/33 E. Roosevelt Anti-E.R.A.
07/08/33 Woman's Party protests firing of married women
07/14/33 Woman pitcher for "House of David Nine"
07/15/33 Unequal pay protested by Women's Clubs Federation
08/10/33 E. Roosevelt assures equal pay for men and women in new NRA codes
09/00/33 E. Roosevelt condemns the exploitation of domestic help
09/04/33 College sexism protested at a eulogy
09/08/33 E.R.A. called best way to be sure new N.R.A. codes don't discriminate against women in regard to pay
09/08/33 Women cops praised
10/03/33 Unionization of women called for
10/15/33 National Woman's Party fights for right of women to work
11/10/33 Earhart's Views on war
12/00/33 E. Roosevelt condemns war toys
01/18/34 Birth control bill argued in Congress
03/11/34 FDR praises women for their work for equality
03/27/34 Women at Barnard College urged to fight for equality
03/28/34 Abortion's toll on women
04/24/34 Firing of married women protested by L.W.V.
06/09/34 New Deal unfair to women, says Woman's Party
08/23/34 Farm women revolt (WI)
08/28/34 Woman lawyer predicts afemale President soon, and calls for more women in the judiciary
09/04/34 E. Roosevelt's views on a woman President
11/17/34 Woman's Party convention
12/02/34 Working wives survey
12/11/34 NYPD to arm women cops
03/03/35 Woman surgeon's fight against sexism revealed
03/08/35 E. Roosevelt praises activist women
03/26/35 Businesswomen over 40 praised
05/02/35 Women being pushed out of workforce
05/07/35 E. Roosevelt defines feminism
07/00/35 Jewish women in Palestine win equal rights with their husbands in leases
07/00/35 Chinese waitresses fight sexism
07/04/35 Catholic Daughters of America denounce birth control
07/15/35 Two women pummel boxer
08/03/35 Women's Unions urged
09/00/35 "The Abortion Racket" exposed
10/00/35 Women's pay shockingly low
11/07/35 Woman pilot (Helen Richey) quits airline over sexism
11/29/35 Woman's Party convention goes all out for E.R.A.
12/09/35 Catt names her "top 10" women of 1935
12/15/35 Women's petition to end war is circulating
02/02/36 E. Roosevelt defends the right of women (and wives) to work
03/10/36 La Guardia appeals to women to prevent the next war
03/16/36 "Women's Strike" scenario
03/22/36 Men-only clubs starting to have "Ladies' Days"
03/29/36 Women pilots prepared for war service
04/09/36 Food strike organizer elected first councilwoman in Hamtramck, MI
05/07/36 Wife must support unemployed ex-husband
05/09/36 Richey sets altitude record
05/30/36 E.R.A. wins approval of House Judiciary Subcommittee for the first time
06/06/36 Male values in education criticize
06/09/36 Catt speaks of "woman's century"
06/23/36 National Woman's Party fights for gender-free minimum wage plank at Democratic Convention
06/24/36 Women win victory at Democratic Convention
08/26/36 Susan B. Anthony honored by stamp / ERA fight goes on
09/03/36 Earhart to fly around the world
10/06/36 Trial of large West Coast abortion ring begins (CA)
10/09/36 Abortion "Club" Raided (NJ)
11/03/36 Election Day leaves only 6 women in next Congress
11/14/36 National Woman's Party convention
01/09/37 Blackwell disappointed women haven't done more with vote
02/11/37 Earhart world flight to begin soon
02/16/37 Earhart gets send-off from Mayor La Guardia
10/09/38 World Women's Party to be formed, Alice Paul to lead it
11/20/38 World Woman's Party formed
04/05/39 Birth control exhibit ousted from International Exhibition in San Francisco
06/26/40 Republicans endorse E.R.A.
01/13/41 Women doctors gaining acceptance
08/00/41 Illegal abortion in U.S.
05/11/42 Senate Judicary Committee approives the E.R.A.
05/17/42 Women's groups fight over E.R.A.
02/04/44 Women's groups have a debate over E.R.A. to sway Eleanor Roosevelt
03/13/44 Women reporters have made gains, but still face sexism
08/26/45 Catt celebrates 25th anniversary of suffrage
09/21/45 Truman restates support for E.R.A.
09/03/47 Abortion clinic raided, Dr. Brandenburg arrested (NY)
10/09/47 "Common scolds" jailed in PA
07/19/48 Feminist Centennial celebrations
09/07/49 Israeli women not yet equal
09/18/49 Senator Margaret Chase Smith suggests a woman be put on ticket in 1952
10/09/49 Women to be admitted to Harvard Law School in 1950
06/04/50 Poll on "women's jobs" and "men's jobs"
02/10/51 Draft women, urges ex-head of WAVES
02/15/51 No draft of women, and they willl keep traditional roles in military
07/07/51 Federation of Business and Professional Women considers and endorses women's draft
07/30/51 Lack of women in politicscriticized by DNC woman
03/16/52 Women's coverage in the press called biased
01/02/53 E.R.A. introduced early this year
02/08/53 Outlook for E.R.A. optimisticin this year's Congress
02/12/53 Celler proposes commission tostudy legal discrimination against women as alternative to E.R.A.
05/18/53 J. Cochran becomes first woman to break sound barrier
06/24/53 AAUW refuses to changeopposition to the E.R.A.
07/05/53 Women cannery workersget raise to 27 cents an hour
01/11/54 Executive women rare
03/10/55 Workforce sexism criticized
05/13/55 "Good Wife's Guide"
08/20/55 35th anniversary of suffrage marked / E.R.A. promoted
12/05/55 Rosa Parks fined $14 for violating segregation laws (AL)
08/03/56 Sexist advice to women going to Republican convention
08/20/56 Criticism of way "Ladies Day" was handled at Democratic Convention
10/08/56 Chauvinist opposes co-eds in undergraduate colleges
10/17/56 Women as political activists
11/29/56 Wall Street women
11/29/56 Invasion of male sanctuaries by women protested
01/15/57 Teen girls "reassuringly conservative"
01/16/57 Eisenhower pro-E.R.A.
08/30/57 Male psychologist critical of sexism
10/29/57 Chauvinistic "tips" on how to supervise women at work
08/27/59 Rockefeller endorses ERA
02/02/60 First lunch counter sit-in (NC)
05/09/60 Birth control pill OK'd
09/00/60 Betty Friedan says "Women Are People Too"
09/02/60 Nixon endorses E.R.A.
09/05/60 Overview of women inpolitics, past & present
11/00/60 Women in TV news
11/15/60 Connecticut supreme court upholds ban on birth control
11/08/61 JFK admits not doing enough for women
12/14/61 Presidential Commission on the Status of Women is appointed by J.F.K.
02/12/62 Women's Commission meets for first time
02/13/62 Women's Commission favors equal pay for women
04/28/62 Prochoice episode of "The Defenders"
03/06/63 Friedan attacks educational sexism
10/11/63 Presidential Commission on Status of Women reports
11/01/63 Kennedy appoints two panels on women's rights
12/30/63 Nixon reiterates support for the E.R.A.
01/14/65 Lucy Stone League still active
06/07/65 Griswold vs. CT decision over-turns state laws restricting birth control
07/30/65 Aileen Hernandez speech on sexism, Title VII, and the role of the EEOC

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Top of Page

C Section
ARCHIVE (1966-72)

Stories and articles about feminist actions from 1966-1972...If you are interested in receiving more information on these historical events, get in touch with David at

04/23/66 Abortion reform favored in public opinion poll
06/20/66 Martha Griffiths says that women should use E.E.O.C. to fight sexism
06/29/66 Idea of N.O.W. conceived
08/01/66 L.A. Times favors reform of CA abortion law
09/00/66 Invitation to join NOW
10/00/66 Women reporters cover Viet Nam
10/12/66 Memo on upcoming NOW organizational meeting
10/20/66 NOW steering committee memo
10/29/66 NOW press release #1
10/29/66 NOW Statement of Purpose
10/29/66 "How NOW Began" by Betty Friedan
11/05/66 American Women's Medical Association wants abortion law liberalization
11/08/66 Editorial about NOW and the feminist movement
11/09/66 Report to the Charter Members of NOW
11/11/66 NOW writes L.B.J.
11/11/66 NOW writes to Attorney General Clark
11/21/66 NOW press conference #1
11/22/66 NOW lobbies E.E.O.C.
12/03/66 Abortion "classes" in CA
12/11/66 Pauli Murray writes LBJ
12/21/66 N.Y. Governor Rockefeller favors liberalizing state abortion law
12/26/66 NOW's second major newspaper article, and interview with Betty Friedan
01/03/67 "Most Popular Women" poll
01/04/67 Samples of press sexism in California
01/06/67 Liberalism is Democrats' hope (CA)
01/13/67 Prochoice editorial (NY)
01/13/67 NOW press conference
03/11/67 CA abortion providers defended
03/14/67 NOW "Progress Report"
03/22/67 Friedan & Luce on alimony /domestic help / NOW
04/00/67 Clare Booth Luce on NOW
04/01/67 Southern California NOW press release #1
04/06/67 Baird busted for dispensing birth control
04/24/67 Prochoice editorial (CA)
04/25/67 CO liberalizes abortion law
04/27/67 CA abortion law reform debated
04/27/67 Schlafly tactics may cause Republican mutiny
06/00/67 NOW editorial / "Glamour"
06/12/67 Interracial marriage bans struck down by Court
06/19/67 Prochoice editorial (NY)
07/22/67 Airline sexism to be re-examined by EEOC
08/23/67 So. Cal. NOW charter members listed
08/30/67 New York Times picketed
10/23/67 LBJ orders equal opportunity in federal jobs
11/18/67 NOW Public Relations Committee report
11/18/67 NOW abortion policy discussion paper
11/18/67 NOW resolutions and Bill of Rights for 1968
12/01/67 NOW memo about the upcoming EEOC protest
12/04/67 NOW in "Newsweek"
12/14/67 E.E.O.C. Picketed
02/00/68 Radical feminists consider the future
03/10/68 Overview of feminist movement
04/14/68 Inka O'Hanrahan profile
05/18/68 "Fast to Free Women from Poverty" day
05/06/68 NOW presidential questionnaire
06/04/68 NOW and 1968 election /presidential questionnaire
06/13/68 NOW and Valeria Solanis (shooter of Andy Warhol)
07/00/68 Nixon reiterates support for the E.R.A.
07/23/68 NOW pickets N.Y. Times over its "male and female" want-ads
07/30/68 NOW testifies before Republican Platform Committee for feminist planks
07/31/68 Friedan testifies before Republican Platform Committee
08/08/68 CA Democratic Party adopts women's rights plank
08/22/68 "Picketing lessons" for NOW from Flo Kennedy
08/22/68 NOW banned from Overseas Press Club
08/30/68 NOW ban at Overseas Press Club protested
09/05/68 NOW pickets Colgate
09/06/68 "Miss America" picketing is planned
09/07/68 "Miss America" pageant is picketed
09/15/68 NOW guidelines on public relations
09/16/68 Editorial defends sex discrimination in want-ads (CA)
09/30/68 Antidiscriminatory want-ad rule fought by newspapers
10/00/68 NOW dissidents form "The Oct 17 Movement"
10/01/68 NOW boycott of Colgate Palmolive set for 11/14
10/21/68 Ti-Grace Atkinson quits NOW
10/24/68 Agnew tells Nat'l Woman's Party he supports E.R.A.
10/26/68 NOW actions in Syracuse (NY)
11/00/68 Florynce Kennedy organizing pickets
11/01/68 Southern California NOW commends CA Democratic Party for putting Women's Rights plank in platform
11/04/68 Colgate boycott update
11/26/68 Editorial about women's progress and men's fear of competition
11/27/68 Critique of Misss America protest
12/06/68 Friedan speech to NOW convention
12/10/68 NOW national conference plans for a "militant 1969"
12/19/68 NOW Sing-In against sex segregated want-ads (CA)
01/22/69 Friedan warns feminists against ideological traps
02/00/69 "Sit-ins" at restaurants and bars the have "male-only policies" becoming numerous
02/07/69 E.R.A. gaining support in Congress
02/12/69 Oak Room of Plaza Hotel in NYC invaded by women
02/14/69 Speech on abortion rights and feminism by Betty Friedan
02/15/69 W.I.T.C.H. invades Bridal Fair (NY)
02/19/69 Polo Lounge (CA) sit-in by NOW
02/20/69 So. Cal. NOW calls for repeal of CA abortion laws
03/25/69 NOW sit-in planned for "Trader Vic's" (Beverly Hills, CA)
04/04/69 Letter protests Golda Meir being labeled a "70 year old grandmother"
04/06/69 NOW / W.L.F. / W.I.T.C.H. profiled
04/15/69 U.C.L.A. feminists attack stereotypes with skits, songs & panel discussions
05/07/69 NOW "Freedom for Women Week"
05/10/69 CA Conference on Abortion
05/11/69 Mother's Day protest (CA) and (NM) by NOW
05/18/69 NOW organizing In So. Cal.
06/22/69 S.D.S. sexism irks women
06/25/69 NOW pickets L.A. Times
06/28/69 Stonewall rebellion (NY)
06/29/69 NOW wants to form a women's power bloc
06/30/69 NOW press conference in San Francisco
07/01/69 Memo about NOW board meeting in San Francisco
07/28/69 "No fault" divorce protest in CA
09/00/69 Jacqui Ceballos calls for more sisterhood among feminists
09/02/69 Prochoice picket for Belous in CA
09/05/69 "No fault" divorce bill signed in CA
09/21/69 Radical women abort porn mag in San Francisco
09/23/69 Marriage protested as slavery (NY)
10/00/69 Feminists protest sexist article by Spock
10/00/69 L.A.-NOW meets radicals (CA)
10/00/69 Rita Mae Brown criticizes NOW
11/00/69 "Dividing Women" editorial
11/00/69 "Men Shouldn't Vote" satire
11/21/69 Radical feminists profiled
11/24/69 Press conference about "Congress to Unite Women" meeting
12/00/69 Article on L.A. - NOW in Los Angeles Magazine
12/08/69 NOW board meeting in New Orleans
01/00/70 Feminists confront sexism at "Free Press" (CA)
01/05/70 W.A.R. (Women for Abortion Repeal) plan protest against restrictive CA abortion laws
01/15/70 Inka O'Hanrahan obituary
01/24/70 Women take over "Rat"
01/29/70 Carswell a sexist, say feminists
01/30/70 NOW opposes Carswell nomination to Supreme Court
01/31/70 Women's Conference at U.C. Berkeley
02/03/70 NOW-N.Y. "divorces" Betty Friedan
02/11/70 Feminists confront D.A. over prosecution of abortionists (Los Angeles, CA)
02/21/70 Yale women invade alumni event to demand admission of more women
03/01/70 Yale women are militant in first year on campus
03/16/70 Newswomen sue Newsweek; "Ladies Home Journal" invaded on Mar 18, 1970
03/18/70 "Ladies' Home Journal" invaded
03/19/70 Abzug campaign's early days
03/20/70 NY NOW Chapter report to NOW convention
03/22/70 NOW convention in Chicago
03/22/70 NOW convention / Friedan profile
03/23/70 Press release about the NOW convention
03/23/70 Aileen Hernandez' priorities as new president of NOW
03/25/70 Aileen Hernandez' priorities / upcoming strike
03/28/70 Status of abortion law reform
04/00/70 Feminists studied by advertisers
04/00/70 NOW-L.A. humor ! ("Men's Pages")
04/00/70 Editorial about NOW convention
04/00/70 Gene Boyer comments on NOW's attitude toward fashion
04/03/70 NOW caravan to Sacramento (CA)
04/13/70 Women invade Grove Press
04/15/70 Women invade CBS meeting to protest TV's treatment of women
04/19/70 NOW protests sexism in new Catholic missal
04/23/70 ABC announces upcoming special on feminism
04/30/70 Berman says "raging hormonal cycles" bar women from Presidency
05/00/70 NOW "Who's Who"
05/02/70 Women insulted by ads
05/09/70 NOW lobbies Celler on E.R.A.
05/11/70 Prochoice protest (Ottawa, Canada)
05/17/70 Article about feminism and Toni Carabillo
05/20/70 Hernandez meets with L.A. N.O.W., and is interviewed in press
05/28/70 Atkinson praises prostitutes
06/00/70 Editorial about the role of men in the feminist movement
06/00/70 Women's image in ads is protested
06/03/70 Aileen Hernandez profiled
06/05/70 Aileen Hernandez profiled
06/18/70 Women invade male-only London bar
06/20/70 NOW vs. State University of New York
06/21/70 Women's image on TV criticized by New York N.O.W.
06/28/70 Homophobic psychologist discusses "study" of homosexuality
07/00/70 Newspaper sexism banned at Washington Post
07/08/70 Feminists throw brick in window of San Francisco "Chronicle" to protest its sexism
07/20/70 U.S. files first sexdiscrimination suit
07/21/70 NYC bans "male only" bars and restaurants
07/30/70 NOW pickets NAM and the EEOC in several cities
08/00/70 Seven women in politics profiled
08/00/70 Kate Millett profiled
08/00/70 Overview of Women's Movement
08/00/70 Gloria Steinem essay on what it would be like if feminists won
08/05/70 Women still prohibited from commodity trading at Merrill Lynch
08/06/70 Woman's Party battles on for E.R.A.
08/10/70 Mc Sorley's bar admits women
08/10/70 Statue of Liberty demonstration (NY)
08/12/70 "Women's Strike for Equality" planned in L.A. (CA)
08/13/70 NOW urges quick action by Senate on E.R.A.
08/16/70 Anti-ERA editorial causes protest by women employees of S.F. Chronicle
08/17/70 Feminist books popular
08/17/70 Flight attendants complain of sexism
08/23/70 "Women's Strike for Equality" preparations
08/24/70 CBS recognizes feminism
08/25/70 "Women's Strike for Equality" planned in NY
08/25/70 Four products to be boycotted by feminists
08/26/70 "Women's Strike for Equality"
08/26/70 NY "Women's Strike"
08/26/70 LA "Women's Strike"
08/26/70 SF "Women's Strike"
08/26/70 DC & SF "Women's Strike"
08/26/70 Chicago "Women's Strike"
08/26/70 Indianapolis (IN) "Strike"
08/26/70 Presidential proclamation on women's equality
08/26/70 McSorley's Bar (NY) and women
08/26/70 "Traditional" women's groups and liberation
08/26/70 "Average women's" views on "strike"
08/26/70 Prominent women's views on "strike" & feminism
08/26/70 NOW overview of day's activities and media's distortions
08/26/70 Lesbians confront gay group about sexism
08/27/70 Kate Millet profiled
08/27/70 Editorial about feminist movement
08/28/70 "Free Press" women ads
08/28/70 Free Press "Women's Issue" editorial
08/28/70 Media vs. women
08/31/70 Unkind Susskind
09/14/70 Union women pro-ERA / Sexism in medicine criticized
09/14/70 NOW criticizes Nixon for insensitivity to women's issues
09/15/70 Wilma Scott Heide assails sexism at ERA hearing
09/15/70 Male astronaut says the time isn't here for female astronauts just yet
09/15/70 First woman to join Secret Service
09/22/70 "Seven deadly myths about women"
09/25/70 NOW asks AFL-CIO for a meeting about the ERA, and sexist labor laws
10/04/70 NOW-Phoenix president interviewed
10/08/70 Abzug runs for Congress
10/13/70 African-Americans and feminism
10/16/70 NOW urges National Press Club to admit women
10/17/70 UCLA conference on feminism
10/19/70 Steinem & Flo Kennedy discuss feminism & support Angela Davis
10/28/70 National Press Club vote on admitting women fails
11/00/70 KNX fires women's editor (Los Angeles, CA)
11/00/70 Friedan's plans for action
11/15/70 Sexist schoolbooks criticized
11/19/70 Abzug ready to fight
11/19/70 Woman doctor convicted of peforming abortion on a patient with German Measles
12/00/70 Toni Carabillo profiled
12/00/70 NOW criticizes Robin Morgan book, "Sisterhood is Powerful"
12/00/70 Backlash against Millett and feminism
12/01/70 NOW Denver gets Denver Post to desexigrate ads
12/07/70 Women Adjusting to Cal Tech (Pasadena, CA)
12/09/70 Women's National Press Club will admit men
12/10/70 Feminism and Black liberation are compatible says Hernandez
12/17/70 NOW statement on lesbianism
12/17/70 Feminists support lesbians
12/21/70 Nashville Tennessean to sue National Press Club over male-only policy
12/22/70 Robin Morgan attacks media's male chauvinism
12/31/70 NOW demands more women in TV and radio
01/00/71 Women vs. airlines
01/00/71 Women doctors face many obstacles
01/01/71 Feminists seize building in NYC
01/08/71 NOW Center for Women's Studies open in L.A. (CA)
01/13/71 African-Americans explain why they're not pro "women's liberation"
01/15/71 National Press Club finally admits women
01/15/71 NOW meets advertisers to discuss portrayals of women
01/18/71 NOW statement on child care
02/04/71 Maryland's sexist state motto criticized
02/11/71 Snow White "liberated"
02/16/71 Women sue sexist restaurant (Sam's Hofbrau in Sacramento, CA)
02/25/71 Cincinnati NOW refutes eminist stereotypes
03/06/71 Women "liberate" building at Harvard
03/06/71 Abzug won't wear hot pants in Congress
03/11/71 Atkinson attacked on-stage by Buckley's sister
03/23/71 Lesbians discuss concerns at L.A.-NOW meeting
03/27/71 Repro rights march in Albany, NY
03/28/71 Komisar's book for teens reviewed
04/00/71 Lesbians & feminism editorial in "Glamour"
04/15/71 Brownmiller essay "On Goosing"
04/25/71 Catholic backlash against NY abortion liberalization
05/05/71 Female pages getting approval by Senate
05/18/71 L.A.- NOW resolution on lesbian rights
05/12/71 U.S. bans sexism on hiring
05/21/71 NOW liberates "Red Coach Grill" in Yonkers, NY
05/25/71 L.A.-NOW and "Contemporary Lifestyles"
06/09/71 Cincinnati NOW (OH) wins a pledge of job equality from City Council
Summer 71 NOW "Happenings" around the country
06/21/71 Antisexist humor about how newspapers describe women
06/22/71 ERA and "Wiggins Rider"
06/22/71 Feminist support for antiwar movement asked
07/10/71 N.W.P.C. organizers meet
07/19/71 Nola Claire & Sharon Schulberger leave on a nationwide Women's Liberation Lecture Tour
07/26/71 "Time" essay on feminism and "extremists"
07/31/71 Shirley Chisholm for Prez?
08/18/71 Feminists prepare for Aug. 26, 1971 celebration
08/26/71 Chicago NOW rally disrupted
09/00/71 Friedan calls for more women in politics
09/01/71 Clegg for NOW board
09/03/71 First West Coast NOW Conference in L.A.
09/03/71 Muriel Fox biography (Updated 12/18/00)
09/03/71 Lesbians in NOW criticize Friedan statement
09/06/71 First west coast NOW conference / controversial issues
09/07/71 NOW Conference pressrelease
09/30/71 Pauli Murray applies for Supreme Court post
10/04/71 Democratic women demand equality
10/27/71 "Fly Me" airline campaign assailed by Miami (FL) NOW
12/07/71 NOW President Wilma Scott Heide interviewed and profiled
12/07/71 NOW president Heide calls for less sexism in language
12/13/71 Women's groups becoming more active
12/15/71 Campus sexism fought
01/09/72 Black Women's conference
01/24/72 Jeannette Rankin profiled and interviewed
02/12/72 NOW regional conference / Rankin honored lack of female statues criticized / tax rebellion suggested
02/13/72 Abzug's dream of a Chisholm Cabinet
03/01/72 Truck firm bars women drivers from going on road with men drivers
03/23/72 "Gender Gap" showing up in poll
03/24/72 Virginia Slims poll on women shows gains for feminism
03/27/72 NOW-L.A. President Virginia Carter profiled
04/08/72 "Gridiron Club" picketed over male-only membership policy
07/03/72 Holtzman campaign going well
08/06/72 Feminists discuss the issues of clothing, grooming and image
08/13/72 Jean Westwood interviewed
09/00/72 NOW boycotting feminine deodorant products
10/23/72 Feminists arrested at an anti-Nixon rally (NY)
03/12/73 Pat Schroeder often not recognized as member of Congress due to her youth

Remember! If you are interested in receiving more information on these historical events, get in touch with David at

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MYTH: The right to abortion began on January 22,1973, when without public debate or popular support, women were "given" the right to choose after seven of nine men on the Supreme Court overturned ancient, universal traditions by invalidating 50 state laws which had always recognized that "personhood" began at conception.

FACT: Legal abortion has been the rule - not the exception - throughout U.S. history, and in the years just preceding "Roe vs. Wade", prochoicers had been spectacularly successful in bringing about the re-legalization of abortion.

COLONIAL TIMES: Common Law held that abortion prior to "quickening" (the point at which movements of the fetus can be felt, usually about 16-18 weeks) was NOT a crime. Even after that stage, it's highly doubtful that abortion was ever firmly established or regularly prosecuted as even a "misdemeanor" offense.

EARLY AMERICA: "In early Post-Revolution America, abortion, at least early in pregnancy, was neither prohibited nor uncommon," according to Professor Lawrence Tribe.

1821: First anti-abortion law (Connecticut)outlaws "post-quickening" abortions. Early abortion still legal there until 1860.

1828: First law (NY) prohibiting early abortions. The legislators' motivations were clear: In primitive, pre-antiseptic days, 30% of women having abortions died, a risk over 10 times that of childbirth.

1840: Abortion still fully legal in 18 of the 26 states

850's: Ads for early "abortion pills" of dubious safety and effectiveness are found in newspapers of the time. In order to get around anti-abortion laws in some states, they are advertised as medicines which, among other wonders, will "bring on the monthly cycle". Women are "warned" in large print, that pills will cause a miscarriage if taken early in pregnancy, just in case they didn't get the message.

1860's: A wave of antiabortion statutes outlaws it in 36 states. (None allowed women to vote, so they had no say). Many legislators were truly concerned about a still-dangerous operation. Though cloaked in concern for the fetus, the all-male A.M.A. may also have lobbied against abortion as part of a campaign to improve the image of doctors, and "professionalize" medicine by stifling opportunities for midwives and other "non-establishment" female practitioners who did abortions (plus many other medical services) for female patients. Falling birth rates among "native born Caucasian women" were a racist and xenophobic
concern in the late 19th Century, and another possible stimulus for outlawing abortion.

1873: Victorianism rules, as Comstock Act makes dissemination of info on abortion OR birth control a federal crime. This law stayed on the books until 1937 when Supreme Court overturned it.

1910: Estimated 80,000 illegal abortions in New York City alone as it never stops, just gets more dangerous.

1930: Early abortion now safer than childbirth, so original "protection of women" justification now obsolete and counterproductive.

1935: 75 New York doctors perform about 190,000 illegal abortions annually, according to the Medical Examiner for the NYC Board of Health. One fourth of patients admitted to Bellevue Hospital obstetric wards were there because of poorly-performed illegal operations.

1936: Dr. Frederick Joseph Taussig publishes landmark study of abortion in the U.S., carefully estimating that some 681,600 occur every year, with 8,000 deaths among the women patients. In some industrial centers during the depression years, the number of abortions is approximately equal to births.

1940's & 50's: Illegal abortion now one of the biggest "rackets" in the country, and is widely available to those with money and connections. But a lack of hospital facilities and no supervision means women still suffered exploitation, mutilation and even death in back-alley abortion mills, or from self-abortions. In 1958, 18 states could still jail the woman for her part in the
"crime" , though usually the threat of jail was enough to get her to testify against whoever performed the procedure and gain immunity.

1959: The American Law Institute frames a model abortion law which would permit abortions if continuation of the pregnancy "would gravely impair the physical or mental health of the mother", or if the doctor believed "that the child would be born with grave physical or mental defects" or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

1962: C.B.S. televises a strongly prochoice episode of "The Defenders" despite numerous sponsor defections. Sherri Finkbine's inability to get a U.S. abortion after discovering that her sleeping pills (Thalidomide) cause fetal deformities gets wide attention, and sympathy for reform grows. She eventually gets an abortion in Sweden.

1965: ACLU calls for abortion legalization. In the mid-60's, only 8,000 of the estimated 1,000,000 annual abortions are performed safely and legally.

1966: Association to Repeal Abortion Laws in California begun by Patricia Maginnis, founder of Society for Humane Abortion.

1967: Colorado becomes first state to liberalize its laws to permit "therapeutic" abortion along lines of A.L.I.'s 1959 suggestions. California and North Carolina pass similar laws that same year. NOW calls for full legalization.

1968: Georgia & Maryland liberalize.

1969: Five more states (AR,KS,DE,OR,NM) ease their laws. National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws organized. 22,700 legal abortions performed this year; 15,339 of them are done in California.

1970: A true watershed year in the struggle for reproductive rights. Hawaii was the first to REPEAL, not just moderately "reform" its old law, then New York made "abortion on demand" up to 24 weeks available to ANY woman in the U.S. by refusing to impose a residency requirement. Washington's old law was overturned in a public referendum. 193,500 legal abortions in the U.S. of which 73,000 were in NY and 62,000 in CA.

1971: Maternal deaths in NY drop to half their previous levels. 485,000 legal abortions in 1971, 262,807 in NY; 116,749 in CA as approval process here streamlined to one-day procedure.

1972: 64% of Americans tell the Gallup Poll "The decision to have an abortion should be made solely by a woman and her physician." Legal abortions this year, 586,000 clearly outnumber illegal operations for the first time in a century. California Supreme Court strikes down virtually all restrictions during first 20 weeks. Massive counteroffensive launched by antiabortionists as both sides gear up for all-out battle in 1973.

1973: On January 22, the U.S. Supreme Court returns the country to "traditional (prochoice) values", and ends America's disastrous, century long experiment with "abortion prohibition". But the battle to KEEP this hard-won right from being slowly chipped away or suddenly overturned continues today.

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As we enter a new century, marriage continues to evolve toward a more equal, realistic, and inclusive definition. Feminists will continue to be a vital part of that process.

MYTH: The strength of marriage lies in its simple, universal, unchangeable definition. Any attempt to modify this age-old institution would clearly weaken, and possibly destroy it.

FACT: What keeps marriage a viable institution is its ability to evolve with changing times. Had it remained the ultra-sexist, exploitive institution of our early days, it would have been discarded long ago by a society that now strives toward equality, dignity, and respect for all people.

COLONIAL TIMES & EARLY AMERICA: Marriage meant "the two became one", and the "one" was the husband. A wife was a "femme coverte" (a woman whose rights and legal existence were "covered" by her husband.) As Blackstone said in Commentaries on the Laws of England, "By marriage the husband and wife are one person in law; that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband, under whose wing, protection and cover, she performs everything." Though single women often had some of the same rights as men, a bride underwent a "civil death" as she gave up all rights of person and property. Her clothing, household goods, dowry, inheritance, wages, and children belonged to a husband whose "right" to engage in physical abuse and spousal rape was legally sanctioned. Outside the home, wives could not testify or sue in court, make a will, sign a contract, or have businesses. Divorce was rare - impossible in some places - and was most often economically and socially devastating for the woman.

1836: Ernestine Rose began a one-woman campaign for a Married Women's Property Act by gathering five hard-won signatures on a petition to the New York legislature.

1843: Elizabeth Cady Stanton began lobbying for the Married Women's Property Act.

1843: Informal "common law" marriages became frequent enough in the 19th century (especially on the "frontier") that in this year Indiana enacted a law declaring that for marriage "no particular form of ceremony shall be necessary, except that the parties shall declare..... that they take each other as husband and wife." In many places, if you acted as if you were married (or cohabitated for awhile) you were married. Common-law marriages outraged Victorians, who got such laws taken off the books. Today, only 13 states recognize them.

1844: NY legislative committee said allowing wives to control their own property would lead "to infidelity in the marriage bed, a high rate of divorce,and increased female criminality."

1848: NY finally passed the first of several Married Women's Property Acts. Other states would follow in the next few decades. This one gave wives control of property brought into the marriage, or acquired afterwards, and exempted it from liability for the husband's debts. But husbands still had total control over a wife's wages, and got automatic custody of all children in divorce.

1854: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized 60 women to flood NY legislature with 6,000 petition signatures asking that husbands lose the right to seize a wife's wages, and for mothers to have custody of children after divorce.
They fail, but persist.

1859: Elizabeth Cady Stanton takes up the cause of divorce reform, and as the only prominent woman in America who openly spoke out on this issue, she was severely criticized for it.

1860: New York finally granted property rights, the right to her earnings, the right to sue, and joint guardianship of children to married women.

1862: With the women's movement inactive for the duration of the Civil War, New York revoked a wife's right to joint custody of her children, and certain widow's benefits, even as women were becoming widowed in large numbers. {Lesson: NEVER take anything for granted, and ALWAYS be vigilant}.

1883: U.S. Supreme Court upheld Alabama's ban on interracial marriages.

1887-1906: Contrary to conservative myths about ex-wives in pre-feminist days getting lavish and permanent alimony payments, only 9.3% of turn-of-the-century divorces actually provided for any long-term alimony.

1912: South Carolina still had no divorce law, and one judge bragged that "a divorce has not been granted since the Revolution."

1948: California law prohibiting interracial marriages overturned by State supreme court.

1940's & 50's: The devastation of the depression and Second World War encouraged a grasping for "emotional security." Influential sociologists like Talcott Parsons exploited this need by encouraging a "solution": Marriage in which man's "instrumental" role was to earn a living, and woman's "expressive" role was to provide full-time emotional support for husband and family. Popular magazines, radio and TV shows reinforced the message.

1951: California granted a wife the right to manage and control community property earned by her, but as "head of the household," the husband still controlled most other property.

1953: Nebraska supreme court ruled in Mc Guire vs. Mc Guire that though a husband is required to "support" his wife, simply letting her live in the house meets this definition. "The living standards of a family are a matter of concern to the household, and not for the courts to determine, even though the husband's attitude toward his wife, according to his wealth and circumstances, leaves little to be said in his behalf. As long as the home is maintained and the parties are living as husband and wife it may be said that the husband is legally supporting his wife and the purpose of the marriage relation is being carried out." { Mc Guire v. Mc Guire 157 Neb. 226, 59 N.W. 2d 336 (Neb. Sup. Ct. 1953) }

1967: Bans on interracial marriage in Virginia and 15 other states struck down by U.S. Supreme Court. Forty one states had these laws at one time. Polls showed that 72% of Americans still opposed interracial marriages, and 48% thought such unions should be a crime. (NYT 6/13/1967 p. 1 col 2; "Justices Upset All Bans on Interracial Marriage")(NYT 9/13/99 p. 18 col 4; "Miscegenation Laws")

1967: New York finally added "cruel treatment" and four other grounds for divorce to a law which since 1787 had allowed divorce only for adultery. (NYT 9/1/1967 p. 1 col 6; "New Divorce Law Becomes Effective In the State Today")

1969: California Governor Reagan signs the first "no fault" divorce bill. It replaced the old "adversary" system in which one party had to prove the other guilty of a specific type of misconduct with a system in which one partner could unilaterally divorce the other by claiming "irreconcilable differences". While this facilitated a mutually desired divorce, the fact that mutual consent was not required deprived an economically vulnerable spouse of any "bargaining power" in regard to a settlement. (LAT 9/6/1969
p. 1 col 3; "Divorce Reform Bill Signed by Reagan")

1970: Jack Baker & Mike Mc Connell begin drive for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. (NYT 8/7/1996 p. 17 col 2; "Jack and Bob, Going to the Chapel")

1975: California wives gain equal control over ALL community property, thus recognizing marriage as a true partnership - precisely the opposite of its "traditional" definition.

1978: Though upheld by the Louisiana supreme court, a law designating the husband "head and master" of the household was finally repealed by the state legislature.

1980: 47 states barred a woman from charging her husband with rape.

1985: 23 states considered marital rape a crime.

1986: Congress revised federal rape laws, and ended the marital exemption.

1993: Spousal rape illegal in all 50 states.

May 5, 1993: Hawaii supreme court said ban on same-sex marriage violated the "equal protection" guarantee of the state constitution, and put the burden of proof on the state to "justify" this practice when they sent the case to a lower court for argument. Realizing that absolutely no truly rational basis for such bias existed, conservatives launched a "pre-emptive strike" by campaigning to have all states pass laws refusing to recognize gay or lesbian marriages authorized in other states. As of February, 2000, 30 states had passed such laws. (NYT 5/7/1993; 14 col. 5; "In Hawaii, Step Toward Legalized Gay Marriage")

Sep 10, 1996: Congress passed the misnamed "Defense of Marriage Act." It did nothing to make marriage stronger, more equal, or harder to enter into or get out of. It just defined it in heterosexist terms, and purported to give states the right to ignore the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution by letting them refuse to recognize gay or lesbian marriages performed in other states. (NYT 9/11/96 p. 1 col 6; "Senators Reject Both Job-Bias Ban and Gay Marriage")

Dec 3, 1996: Hawaii Circuit Judge Kevin Chang rules against state's ban on same-sex marriages. (LAT 12/4/1996, p. 1 col. 5; "Hawaii Ruling Lifts Ban on Marriage of Same-Sex Couples"). Hawaii's supreme court was widely expected to uphold this decision, but a referendum amending Hawaii's constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages passed, thus forcing the court to declare in 1999 that only heterosexual unions are valid.

Jun 9, 1998: Southern Baptists declared that a husband had the responsibility to "lead" his family, and that a wife should "submit graciously" to the leadership of her husband, and serve as his "helper." Though this doctrine would have been considered a "mainstream view" when the women's movement began in 1848, it was almost universally criticized and widely ridiculed 150 years later, so our work has had results. (NYT, June 10, 1998, p 1, col 1; "Southern Baptists Declare Wife Should 'Submit' to Her Husband")

Jan 16, 1999: 95 United Methodist ministers defy their church by uniting Jeanne Barnett and EllieCharlton in a Holy Union in Sacramento (CA). (LAT 1/17/99 page 11 col 1; "95 Ministers Risk Jobs, Bless 'Holy Union' of Lesbian Couple") On February 11, 2000 the Methodist Church declined to prosecute. (LAT 2/12/2000 p. 15 col 1; "Methodist Panel Dismisses Complaint on Rite for Gays")

Dec 20, 1999: Vermont supreme court ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. Legislature must either recognize gay and lesbian marriages or create a parallel "domestic partner" system. (LAT 12/21/1999, p. 1 col 6; "Vt. Court Backs Equal Rights for Gay Couples")

Jan 10, 2000: Support for gay marriage reached 15% and lesbian marriage 16% (up from 10% in 1996) with a quarter having no strong feelings on the issue, and 57% opposed to gay, and 55% to lesbian marriage. So, presently there is less opposition to same-sex marriage than there was to interracial marriage in the 60's. (Reuters, 2/8/2000; "Most in U.S. Favor Laws Barring Gay Discrimination")

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As "head of the house," a man had a presumed right to use "moderate" violence to "chastise" his wife and children for behaviors or attitudes that violated the ideals of a conservative, patriarchal society. The definition of "moderate" was obviously subjective, and great leeway was given to husbands and fathers, but "unjustified" beatings or senseless violence were considered
an "abuse of authority" and could result in community censure.

A rare exception to a husband's right of "moderate chastisement" was the Puritan "Body of Liberties". It provided that "Everie married woeman shall be free from bodilie correction or stripes by her husband unlesse it be in his own defence upon her assault."

Puritans considered violence - even within the home - a threat to the stability and image of the ommunity, and feared that such "wicked carriage" invited Divine retribution upon all. However, Puritans always placed the preservation of the (patriarchal) family ahead of protection of the victims, so cruelty, by itself, was NOT sufficient grounds for divorce.

Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England" became popular among Colonial judges and lawmakers, as did his belief that "crime was an act that produced mischief in civil society, while private vices were not the legitimate subject of law." Since wifebeating generally occurs within the home, legislators and officers of the court now felt they had even more justification for being reluctant to intervene against such "private vices."

Pennsylvania's new divorce law allowed cruelty to be used as a ground for gaining a legal separation.


Vermont made "intolerable severity" a ground for divorce, and in 1791, New Hampshire outlawed "extreme cruelty."

As America became more secular, urban, and spread out, traditional restraints on use of alcohol weakened. The country went on a "binge" from about 1790 to 1830, which many associated with increased domestic violence. With divorce mostly taboo, and no feminist movement as yet, many women eagerly joined Temperance societies, hoping to lessen spousal abuse by attacking alcohol, which they saw as causing the "embrutement" of men. By 1840, the image of the virtuous wife and helpless children being beaten by the drunkard was a centerpiece of Temperance campaigns.

A much-cited case affirming a man's "right" to "moderate" spousal abuse is Calvin Bradley vs.The State, (156 Mississippi 1824). ".....let the husband be permitted to exercise the right of moderate chastisement......without being subjected to vexatious prosecutions...." Still, Bradley's actions were too much for even the judges, so he was found guilty of assault and

Abused wives in Baltimore, MD were going to Justices of the Peace with complaints of assault. The J.P. could make a violent husband post a hefty "surety" bond to be forfeited if the beating was repeated, then the case went to City Court, where judges were surprisingly willing to jail abusive husbands. Even when the case didn't go all the way to a judge, J.P.'s were known to often bend the law by jailing husbands during the "investigation" phase, thus assuring that at least a few days (or weeks) would be served. So, in some places, wives had a degree of protection under "common law" interpretations of local officials who were more flexible and humane than faraway, impersonal legislators and high courts.

Delaware's Appellate Court rejects a husband's right of chastisement in the case of State v. Buckley (2 Del. 69, 1838) when they affirm a lower court ruling finding him guilty of abuse.

Early 1850s
Tennessee passed a law that specifically outlawed wifebeating. Nineteen of the thirty one states permitted divorce for "cruelty", but most judges insisted the wife prove she was "submissive, pure, and protective of the children throughout the marriage".

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whose home had served as a refuge for neighborhood battered women, spoke openly in favor of the right of abused wives to obtain a divorce. Ameila Bloomer made the first public speech denouncing marital rape.

A North Carolina court declared that the law permits the husband ' use towards his wife such a degree of force as in necessary to control an unruly temper and make her behave herself..." (State v. Jesse Black, 1 Winston 266).

Martha White Mc Whirter and other abused women formed a self-reliant community which was the ancestor of the "women's shelter". By 1880, the fifty women living there owned and operated three farms, a steam laundry, a hotel, and several rooming houses. Her original home still stands in Belmont, Texas, with a bullet hole in the door as proof that they had to defend themselves from irate husbands on occasion.

Only 13% of the few divorces granted were for "cruelty".


A time of major progress in regard to domestic violence. In the years after the Civil War, a more liberalized attitude toward the role of government allowed the passage of laws which restricted a man's "right" to abuse family members. A resurgent feminist movement made effective and direct attacks on wifebeating, and powerful "social purity" crusaders played a part as well by denouncing marital rape as they strove to convert men's "brutal and lustful" sexual behavior to the "higher and purer" standard of women.

One of the last cases to recognize a "right" to wife abuse. The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that only "permanent injury" would justify legal punishment, but even as they handed down their ruling, they recognized that they were out of step with the rest of the country when they affirmed Mr. Rhodes' acquittal. {State vs. Rhodes, 64 N.C. 453, 1868}

Changing attitudes had made wifebeating illegal in most of the nation, enforced by 8 state laws, 5 state court decisions, and policies in other states and communities which allowed abusive spouses to be arrested under common assault laws. (Of course, enforcement varied considerably, and a successful conviction by an all-male justice system usually required a victim whose reputation as a wife and mother was spotless.) In other places, community pressures and even informal vigilante groups could exert influence on small-town and rural wifebeaters.

Early 1870s
Landmark decisions in Massachusetts (Commonwealth vs. McAfee, 102 Mass. 458, 1871) and Alabama (Fulghum v. State, 46 Ala. 143, 1874) deny a husband's right to even "moderately" abuse his wife. In the case of Mr. Fulghum, the court vehemently rejected traditional ideas: "A rod which may be drawn through the wedding ring is not now deemed necessary to teach the wife her duty and subjection to the husband. The husband is therefore not justified or allowed by law to use such a weapon, or any other, for her moderate correction. The wife is not to be considered as the husband's slave. And the privilege, ancient though it be, to beat her with a stick, to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor, or to inflict upon her like indignities, is not now acknowledged by our law." They summed up their surprisingly modern views by saying that "The rule of love has superseded the rule of force."

Though no 19th Century wife ever had the right to sue her batterer, the first two of twenty states granted wives the right to sue a saloonkeeper if she was assaulted by an intoxicated husband. (She had to notify the bartender in advance not to serve her husband due to his violent tendencies, however).

The North Carolina court ruled that as long as no "permanent injury" has been inflicted by a husband, " is better to draw the curtain, shut out the public gaze, and leave the parties to forget and forgive." (State vs. Richard Oliver; 70 N.C. 44). However, Mr. Oliver's conviction was still upheld.

Lucy Stone's newspaper (The Woman's Journal), began publishing a shockingly explicit catalog of crimes against women to jolt middle class women into action.

Lucy Stone lobbied for a bill to give battered wives the right to apply for legal separation, child support and custody, but the Massachusetts legislature defeated it three times.

The first of three states (Maryland, Delaware and Oregon) passed laws which made wifebeating an offense punishable at the whipping post. The laws were mostly symbolic, however, and rarely enforced.

The Protective Agency for Women and Children was formed in Chicago to aid battered women and rape survivors. It continued its work until 1912. In the same city, the Woman's Club operated a shelter, where women stayed for up to four weeks.

Progress against domestic violence halts for the next eight decades. Winning the vote became the central focus of feminists, so other issues were "temporarily" shed, to fought for later, and won, with the power of the ballot. Also, as society became more "liberated" in regard to sexual behavior and gender roles, old stereotypes about "delicate and virtuous women" abused by
"brutal and lustful men" seemed dated, and even the Temperance advocates now focused on the health consequences of alcohol rather than any connection with violence.

The new "Progressive" era saw spouse and child abuse cases shifted into special courts where they were seen as problems to be solved within an intact family with the help of social workers and psychologists, rather than a crime to be punished. While "Progressives" were quite outspoken about ending abuses of women and children in the workplace, a "curtain" was once
again being drawn over the home as the 20th Century began.

President Theodore Roosevelt criticized wifebeating in his annual message to Congress.No other President had ever done that before, and none would again until Ronald Reagan.


Helene Deutsch, a student of Freud, dealt a setback to battered women that would last for decades by declaring that the three essential female traits are masochism, passivity, and narcissism. Soon, popular culture would absorb and reinforce the idea that a certain degree of male/female violence was natural, and even "sought" by the women themselves.

California's Supreme Court affirms that a husband cannot be sued by his wife for spousal abuse, but severely criticizes the law in the case of Self vs. Self (376 P.2nd 65, 1962).

A study of battered women ("The Wife-Beater's Wife: A Study of Family Interaction" by John E. Snell, Richard J. Rosenwald, and Ames Robey) appears in a professional journal on psychiatry. It finds that battered women are "castrating," "aggressive," "masculine," "frigid," "indecisive," "passive," and - of course - "masochistic." This study reinforced the already prevalent "blame the victim" mentality of professionals and public alike.

The feminist movement finally began to revive the issue of spousal abuse as Nancy Kirk-Gormley starts the first local N.O.W.
Task Force on battered women in Pennsylvania.

The first U.S. newspaper article on spousal abuse appears in the New York Times. "Women's Advocates" of St. Paul, Minnesota, opened what may have been the first feminist shelter specifically designed for battered women. "Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear," by Erin Pizzey becomes the first book on domestic violence. Two female law students at the
University of Michigan document police attitudes, such as the "stitch rule": An abusive husband was arrested only if the injury required a certain number of stitches.

N.O.W. Task Force on Battered Wives created. Ann Arbor (MI) N.O.W. coined the phrase "domestic violence."

There were now 20 shelters in the U.S. "Ms." magazine does a special issue on spouse abuse.

A domestic violence bill was introduced in Congress by Lindy Boggs, but failed. The New York Times ran forty four articles on
domestic violence. Oregon became the first state to mandate arrests in domestic violence cases when it adopted the Family
Abuse Prevention Act. This legislation was a model which other states would follow.

The Senate, House, and U.S. Civil Rights Commission hold hearings on spousal abuse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Women's Self-Defense Law Project were founded.

President Carter established the Office of Domestic Violence.

Forty four states provided services for domestic violence survivors, as well as programs for modernizing police procedures.
Domestic violence legislation was once again introduced in Congress, but defeated by "pro-family" groups who called it an attack on "motherhood, the family, and Christian values."

There were now 300 shelters in the U.S.

The U.S. Attorney General established a Task Force on Family Violence.

The Charlotte Fedders divorce proceedings showed spousal abuse occurred among the rich and powerful. Tracy Thurman sued the city of Torrington, Connecticut and 24 police officers for failure to protect her, and the suit spurred other police departments to take a more active role in regard to arrest policies.

National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women established.

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops say the Bible does NOT require women to submit to abusive husbands.

The Violence Against Women Act, first introduced in Congress in 1990, passed. A section of it ("Safe Homes for Women Act of 1994") provided numerous services for abused women, such as grants to police departments to improve their services to battered women, a national domestic violence hotline, youth education, community programs, and programs to combat domestic violence cases that cross state lines. A sudden surge of media attention on the issue of battered women caused by the Simpson case triggers a "backlash" challenging all statistics, and trying to re-focus attention on "battered husbands." There were 1,200
shelters in the U.S.

President Clinton opened the Violence Against Women Office at the Department of Justice. The I.N.S. announced that domestic abuse, rape, and other forms of violence against women are valid grounds for asking asylum in the U.S.


Attacks on women by intimate partners dropped 21% since 1993 from 1.1 million to 876,340. More shelters, mandatory arrest
policies, and grants to train police and prosecutors were credited with helping bring the numbers down.

Judges in New York became able to issue same-day orders of protection and impound a spouse's firearms as part of that order.
Californians fleeing domestic violence were eligible for a free post office box and mail forwarding by the Secretary of State.

With reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act already stalled in Congress, the Supreme Court also dealt it a setback by declaring that the portion of the Act which gave rape survivors the right to sue their attackers in Federal Court was unconstitutional. This new and more regressive attitude by Congress and the Court in regard to combatting violence against women was a "wake up call" to remind everyone that NOTHING can ever be taken for granted, and that though a lot of
progress has been made, a lot more hard work and constant vigilance still lies ahead

NOTE: A fully footnoted version is available too.

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Bumptious Bella Abzug, Running
In New York City, Manages To
Win Over Some Skeptics
By Carol H. Falk

NEW YORK - Bella Abzug, candidate for Congress, strides down Broadway, clasping hands and booming out greetings, shouting at her staff and handing out "Bella buttons." Then a man confronts her and announces he's against women's liberation.

She halts her rapid-fire routine ("Hi, how are you? I'm Bella!") and eyes her challenger shrewdly. Doesn't he agree, she asks briskly, that working women, most of whom work out of financial necessity, deserve equal pay for equal work? Doesn't he agree that such women deserve day-care centers for their children? The man's opposition seems to wilt. "You mean," he asks, "your thinking isn't to pull women out of the home and put children in day-care centers just to put them there?"

Peppery, exuberant Mrs. Abzug may not have won the man's vote (he doesn't like her antiwar stand either), but she did make progress. "She tempered my feelings on 'women's lib'," the man admitted as the Abzug entourage swept on.

A Wild Mix

And that, asserts Mrs. Abzug, is something she's doing quite often these days - successfully translating the somewhat baffling, threatening idea of women's lib into specific, practical programs. It's only one phase of an aggressive campaign whose slogan declares: "This women's place is in the House."

Mrs. Abzug - peace activist, lawyer and a 49-year-old mother of two - upset seven-term incumbent Leonard Farbstein in the Democratic primary. Now her opponent is Barry Farber, a local personality because of his radio interview show, who is running on the Republican and Liberal tickets. Their battleground: The 19th Congressional District, which curves like a reversed "J" from Manhattan's Lower East Side to the Upper West Side, embracing a wild mix of ethnic groups and political philosophies along the way.

The energetic New Yorker is one of 10 women candidates trying to join the 10 women already in the House. (Republican Lenore Romney, running in Michigan, would like to join Margaret Chase Smith, Republican of Maine, in the Senate.) None of the other nine new candidates for the House is known for her stand on women's causes, but all are running at a time when women voters seem increasingly aware of issues affecting them. Mrs. Abzug does discuss the women's issue, and her campaign may well provide some clues to the potential impact of the women's liberation movement.

A Call From Sen. Goodell

Mrs. Abzug's style, honed by 23 years as a civil rights and labor lawyer, combines the qualities of a Jewish mother and prizefighter. She's not a typical representative of the newer arrivals on the women's lib scene, who maintain that society should allow women to make gains without their having to resort to an abrasive and domineering approach. Yet her emphasis on translating the movement into legislative programs fits right in with the current political strategy of the most legislatively oriented of the women's lib groups, the National Organization for Women (NOW).

NOW hopes to organize women to help elect or defeat candidates for national office on the basis of their stands on specific issues affecting women. As a first step, the organization has solicited the views of various candidates in an eight-page questionnaire. "This election we'll have some information but not much time to work with it," says Brenda Feigen Fasteau, NOW's legislative and political vice president. But "by 1972 this will be a very powerful tool," she adds.

Already, there's little doubt that politicians are increasingly aware of the political power of women voters, not to mention women campaign workers. One indication is the ease with which the proposed equal rights amendment for women sailed through the House, after languishing in Congress for 47 years. Another is the rush by many candidates to polish up their positions on women's issues. (Mrs. Fasteau reports calls for advice from Sen. Charles Goodell, the embattled New York Republican , among others.)

"I think women need more representation," Mrs.Abzug declares. "And I think the issues women's lib presents and not only necessary to free women to participate fully in society, but to do many other things, like helping free us from military domination." Women already in Congress seem to agree.

Women voters are going to be increasingly active in issues affecting them, predicts Rep. Martha Griffiths (D., Mich.), a leading sponsor of the equal rights amendment. "If we could get issues women understand and get women voting for or against candidates on the basis of them," she says, "we could rapidly change the face of America."

Rep. Edith Green (D., Ore.) says the mere presence of women on Congressional committees can make a difference. "Women have their antennae up" for subtle bias in legislation that might slip by men, she explains.

However, Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D., N.Y.), the first black women to be elected to the House, maintains it's not enough for women just to get into Congress; how they get there is equally important. "There's a difference between a woman fighting every obstacle in her way to show she has the skills, talent, and intelligence for the job and the woman who's 'behaved herself beautifully' so many years that the 'gentlemen' feel it's time to give her a chance," Mrs.Chisholm says. "We don't want women coming to Congress who are going to 'behave,' because they won't help us."

Talking to Longshoremen

Mrs. Chisholm, who has said she has encountered more discrimination in politics as a woman than as a black, is rooting for Mrs. Abzug. "Bella is going to be like me" she says. "She'll rock the boat."

Mrs. Abzug's campaign gives every indication that Rep. Chisholm is right.

Mrs. Abzug comes on strong. Solidly built and hearty-voiced, she now spends much of her time patrolling the sidewalks of Manhattan neighborhoods, shaking hands and shouting up to people at the windows of high-rise apartments. Her staff seems forever trying to catch up, and she's not the least bit patient with delays. "This isn't a wedding procession," she yells at them at one point. But her largely youthful staff reciprocates with the same blend of irreverence and enthusiasm.

Mrs. Abzug is not a single-issue candidate; she campaigns against the war and for such things as sweeping welfare reform and strong U.S. support of Israel. After a gathering of longshoremen cheered one of her speeches, she could report with obvious relish: "They like my style. They like my fight and straightforwardness and openness.....These guys are real toughies and they don't even discuss the women thing with me."

Yet Mrs. Abzug returns to women's issues again and again, tailoring her approach to the audience. Before a traditionalist group of Lower East Side Jewish immigrants, women's lib is translated into Social Security benefits for housewives. Before a younger, well-educated audience on the Upper West Side, Mrs. Abzug talks in terms of day-care centers and abortions as part of a national health care program. And in the western part of Greenwich Village, where she lives, she dramatizes her day-care stand by opening a cooperative facility at campaign headquarters.

But the style and content of the Abzug campaign cuts both ways. Mrs. Abzug's loud voice, fiery declarations and aggressive manner alienate some voters even as they win others over. One 80-year-old woman voter, for example, relates how years ago she successfully established a career in a men-only field, then adds: "I had to fight my way up the hard way, but I did it with a soft touch. When I think of that voice and that delivery in Congress, I am embarrassed as a woman."

Mr. Farber and the Ladies

Mrs. Abzug's opponent, Mr. Farber, is well aware that many voters in the district are simply uninterested in women's issues and that there may even be a backlash that will benefit him. Meanwhile, he's picked up the Liberal Party endorsement and support from old-line Democrats, and is conducting an effective campaign of his own.

Mr. Farber's ability to speak no less than 14 languages serves him well in the polyglot district - enabling him to address Chinatown crowds in Chinese (in either Mandarin or Cantonese dialect), West Side Puerto Ricans in Spanish and Lower East Side Jews in Yiddish. Mr. Farber largely ignores the women's issue. When a militant feminist interrupts one of his speeches by shouting, "Talk about women!" he replies: "I've got a lot to say about women, sweetheart - give me a few days of your time."

Later he says in his slightly breathless interviewer's voice, "I understand their frustration. It must be maddening to be a revolutionary in a society that doesn't need a revolution." But, he asks, "What can the law do that it hasn't already done to satisfy the aspirations of the women's liberation movement? Let every woman choose her own life style and if there are legal changes needed, let's have them."

"The only reason I'm not up front in the women's lib movement is because there are so many other issues more pressing," he adds. "When I see how far we've come, frankly, I get out of breath."

Nevertheless, Mr. Farber has a female following of his own. One pretty, blonde campaign worker suggests that the appeal of the tall, 40-year-old broadcaster with his wavy medium-long brown hair may outweigh the feminine loyalty to Mrs.Abzug. His winsome Swedish-born wife and their two blonde little girls enhance his voter appeal. The fans of his early evening and late night radio programs are largely women, and as he walks among the park benches on a sunny Saturday they squeal, "Oh, it's Barry Farber! I hear you on the radio."

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