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Published On 1/1/2021
This guidance is intended for those Leagues who will be conducting their member meeting as a virtual event. This guide covers overall guidance for programs, setting up pre-meetings, and tips for planning a virtual meeting or event.
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Published On 11/14/2020
More and more Leagues are being contacted by third-party firms claiming that Leagues are violating image licenses and must pay so that they will not be sued. The LWVUS offers guidance on what all leagues should do.
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Newsletters

Published On 6/13/2024
June Newsletter
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Forgotten Foremothers

Published On 7/9/2024
Known as “The Shark Lady,” Eugenie Clark was a trailblazer in the field of ichthyology. She changed the world’s understanding of sharks as “mindless eating machines.”
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Published On 6/13/2024
The “trans midwife” from Mexico who served General Custer’s 7th Cavalry. Her death made international news. Her life was one a quiet one of dignity, community, and service.
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Published On 5/11/2024
Called “Helen Keller before Helen Keller,” Laura Bridgman was a blind and deaf woman educated as part of a physician’s experiment in the 1840s. She rattled the bars of her scientific cage, demonstrating a crucial (yet still debated) truth: the innate humanity of the disabled.
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Published On 4/18/2024
A profile for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month: Believed to be the first trans woman to testify before Congress, Frances Thompson asserted herself as a woman deserving of dignity and legal protection from sexual violence at a time when the country was still debating her very personhood.
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Published On 3/9/2024
During some of the most contentious and violent times of Ireland’s struggle for independence, Eva Gore-Booth remained passionately committed to pacifism—though not passivity. She rejected her aristocratic heritage to advocate for the poor and working class. Alongside her partner Esther Roper, she challenged war, voting rights, nationalism, and gender itself.
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Published On 2/10/2024
“If one minute's freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it.” A lifetime before the Emancipation Proclamation, when the finest minds of the Thirteen Colonies spoke loftily of independence and self-determination, an enslaved woman took her “master” to court to demand her freedom.
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Published On 1/13/2024
Hind Taher al-Husseini’s roots in Jerusalem ran deep. She was born there on April 25, 1916, and raised in the mansion home her maternal grandfather had built nearly three decades before. As a child of privilege and wealth, she received the finest education—and then dedicated her life to sharing that education with the most vulnerable: children orphaned by war.
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Published On 12/9/2023
On the Ponca Trail of Tears, hot weather, insects, illness, and hunger gnawed at them. Nine people died, including Standing Bear’s daughter. Their numbers had already been winnowed down in the years prior as flawed or broken treaties with the government exacerbated hostilities with other tribes now competing for the same scarce resources. Fewer than 800 Poncas remained to relocate to what they called “the hot country.”
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Published On 11/10/2023
Samira Azzam grew up in the Acre district on the coast of Mandatory Palestine in a Christian Orthodox family. She was born Sept. 13, 1927, in a land already in upheaval.
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Published On 10/14/2023
On May 20, 1957, a short article appeared below the fold on the front page of Sanduksy, Ohio’s Register Star-News, reporting from Cleveland. “Bomb Home of Policy Operator,” the headline read. This policy operator was Don King, who made money as an illegal bookie before he turned to boxing promotion years later.

“The home of a known policy operator, Donald King, 25, was bombed here today,” the Register Star-News reported, “but no one was injured. King was alone at the time.” An anonymous tipster, possibly Don King himself, had an idea of who might have been responsible, and where the suspect might be.

The address given to police led them to the door of Dollree Mapp.
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Published On 9/10/2023
In 1973, social workers in Montgomery, Ala., expressed concern to Minnie Relf, the mother of sisters Minnie Lee and Mary Alice. The sisters, both impacted by learning disabilities, were 12 and 14 at the time. Boys were “hanging around,” the social workers said, so they took mother and daughters to a hospital for the contraceptive shots they’d received before. Mother Minnie, who could not read or write, signed a consent form with an ‘X.’

Minnie was shocked when she later saw her daughters in hospital gowns, and in pain. Instead of receiving shots, Minnie Lee and Mary Alice had both been sterilized by tubal ligation.
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Published On 8/12/2023
For 68 years, the United States Navy’s Mark V diving suit was the elite standard of the deep seas. Its spun-copper helmet and attached breastplate housed four small portholes of caged glass, allowing the diver forward, upward, and peripherals views. This piece alone weighed over 55 pounds, but divers also wore canvas boots with lead soles that weighed 17.5 pounds each. This was paired with thick wool clothes, sturdy gloves, and a rubberized canvas suit that weighed 30 pounds by itself. Fully suited up, a Mark V Navy diver would be in a 200-pound behemoth of a suit.

The innovative Mark V allowed for divers to safely salvage wreckage at previously unseen ocean depths—and for 59 of its 68 years, it was worn only by men.
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Published On 7/14/2023
Eliza was born Dec. 11, 1876. She appeared healthy until about a month after birth. Seeing her baby in pain, Malinda discovered the little girl had a broken bone. No sooner had that bone healed than another would break. Eliza had osteogenesis imperfecta, more widely known as brittle bone disease. “And thus my bones would break, one after another, for six long years. Whenever I was moved, it caused me great suffering ... I knew nothing of the pleasures of childhood. I could not play as other children, but had to sit still in the house and look out at the other children; and part of the time was not even able to sit up.”
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Published On 6/9/2023
“Yes, a Crow woman fought with Three-stars on the Rosebud,” author and medicine woman Pretty Shield told an interpreter in 1932. “[T]wo of them did, for that matter; but one of them was neither a man nor a woman. She looked like a man, and yet she wore woman’s clothing; and she had the heart of a woman. Besides, she did a woman’s work. Her name was Finds-them-and-kills-them. She was not a man, and yet not a woman.”
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Published On 5/13/2023
During WWII, "After being forced to live for six months in a horse stall at the Santa Anita racetrack, Yuri, her mother, and oldest brother were tagged, numbered, and loaded onto cattle trains. No one knew where they were going. The Nakaharas ended up in a concentration camp in Jerome, Arkansas.” Arkansas was chosen to isolate Japanese Americans from the West Coast.
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Published On 4/15/2023
In 1916, Congress formed the Board of Medals and tasked them with reviewing—and then purging—the existing list of 2,625 Medal of Honor recipients. This act stripped over 900 individuals of their medals, including the first woman to ever receive one.
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Published On 3/10/2023
A 1928 illness, a knee injury, and progressive Type II Diabetes gradually eroded Maggie’s ability to walk. By the end of the decade, she used a wheelchair, one specially designed for her needs with a footrest and a writing desk. She called it her “rolling-chair.” According to the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, “Determined to maintain her countless leadership positions, Mrs. Walker continued to write letters, sign checks, and draft speeches from the comfort of her portable office. At a time when physical disabilities had the public stigma of ‘weakness,’ Mrs. Walker commissioned several photographs capturing her at work in her rolling-chair.”
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Published On 2/11/2023
“In 1872 Charlotte E. Ray became the first Black woman lawyer in the United States and the first woman lawyer in the District of Columbia,.”
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Published On 1/13/2023
In the summer of 1906, Adelaide Knight, along with fellow working-class activists Annie Kenney and Jane Sbarborough, traveled to the House of Commons and demanded audience with Asquith. The women were promptly arrested for disturbing the peace and given a choice: Six weeks in jail, or they could go free...provided they suspend all suffrage and activism work for an entire year.
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Published On 12/15/2022
For decades, Hawaii had been a land in turmoil as its indigenous inhabitants fought to forge its future while foreign interests attempted to complicate, entangle, and control. When King Kalakaua died in California on July 9, 1890, the last monarch of Hawaii claimed the throne: His sister, Liliʻuokalani.
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Published On 11/12/2022
Blackfeet oral tradition tells of the death of the last bison in Montana. It was felled by a gunshot as it stood alone by a gully in the autumn of 1883. The winter that followed was harsh. Heavy winds and deep snows drove the remaining game animals south. For nearly eight solid months, deep freezes swept across the western part of the state. The Blackfeet called it the “Starvation Winter.”
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Published On 10/14/2022
"The biggest resistance that we could have done to the Germans was to survive."
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Published On 9/10/2022
Dolores and other children like her were expected to labor for the hacienda and do little else. No schooling was provided; they were not taught to read or write; and they spoke their native language of Quechua while most of the landowners and ruling class spoke Spanish.
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Published On 8/12/2022
Female fighters, onna-musha, were not unheard of in medieval Japan. With husbands away at war, wives and mothers were often trained to protect their homes and defend their families. Tomoe, however, was one of a few women who fought offensively on the battlefields beside the men.
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Published On 7/9/2022
On April 7, 1977, protestors in wheelchairs, those who were blind, deaf, living with mental or physical illness, blocked the doors of Health, Education, and Welfare building in San Francisco and in nearly a dozen other cities across the nation. (more)
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Published On 6/11/2022
This Zuni tribe of the Pueblo people had been mostly unchanged for hundreds of years, having survived the conflicts between Mexico and Spain. They endured, practicing their religion and rituals with freedom, though in profound poverty. But in 1849, the year We’wha was born, change would be forced upon the Zuni by invaders more powerful than the others they’d faced: white U.S. Americans colonizing the Southwest. We’wha grew up within this tension, as well as the continual threats from neighboring Navajo and Apache tribes.
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Published On 5/14/2022
When asked by Slate in 2018 what advice she has for the new—old—fight for reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, Pat didn’t really have an answer, except not silence. Never silence. “Keep talking about the issue,” she said. “Sure, not everyone is a brilliant speaker, but I think people have to keep talking about it. Don’t you?”
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Published On 4/9/2022
Estelle Hall Young and daughter Dr. Louise Young
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Published On 3/11/2022
Hansen’s disease, known more commonly as leprosy, can cause skin lesions, as well as painful ulcers and lumps. In its most serious cases, sufferers can experience paralysis, blindness, and nerve damage.

It cannot be transmitted through casual contact, and yet, from biblical times onward, the history of the disease is accompanied always by social fear and rejection.

During World War II, one woman turned this prejudice and ignorance into a secret weapon.
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Published On 2/14/2022
In the 1920s and 1930s, the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan blossomed into a mecca of Black art, music, writing, and culture. Its streets and stages held the music of Josephine Baker and Louis Armstrong, the poetry of Langston Hughes, the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, and the performances of Paul Robeson. This blossoming came from seeds planted by Black writers, musicians, artists, and poets whose names have not become so widely known.
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Published On 1/14/2022
"My first vote? Oh, yes, I thought long over that. I studied; I read about all your men who wished to be president. I learned about the new laws. I wanted to know what was right, not to act blindly.”
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Published On 12/10/2021
Nina was deeply involved in the fight for civil rights, serving as vice-president of the Jewish League for Women’s Suffrage. She advocated for women to be able to vote in synagogue elections and for girls to receive full Hebrew educations
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Published On 11/12/2021
On June 25, 1876, the Battle of the Little Bighorn began in Montana. A gathered village of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors faced the federal forces commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Archaeologists then and now have attempted to retrace the battle, its movements, and its casualties, based on the terrain and eyewitness accounts.
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Published On 10/8/2021
Separate but inequal had been the routine on Montgomery buses. Even when most seats were vacant, Black riders were forced to stand, and that was after they’d been forced to enter through a rear door to leave the front door available for white riders. Buses made fewer stops in Black neighborhoods, often adding long walks after these uncomfortable bus rides.
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Published On 9/10/2021
Tragedy whispers between the facts of Mary A. McCardy’s life. We have the events, the dates, but few details of the cause, or more importantly, the emotional impact; the true shape and shade of a person lost to time.
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Published On 8/13/2021
In 1944, Nancy Wake parachuted into France in the dark of night.
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Published On 7/13/2021
In 1947, 22-year-old Maria Tallchief became the first prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet and the first United States dancer to perform with the Paris Opera Ballet. A French newspaper declared boldly, “The daughter of the great Indian chief dances at the Opera.”
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Published On 6/11/2021
When, as a 49-year-old woman, Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin began her studies at Washington College of Law, she knew well the tight rope she walked as an Indigenous woman in a white-dominant culture.
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Published On 5/14/2021
In the 1992 film A League of Their Own, a brief scene depicts our heroes, the Rockford Peaches, an all-woman baseball team, trying to reclaim a ball that has gone out of bounds. A Black woman picks it up. She’s a spectator, standing with other Black women and men watching from outside the fences because they were not permitted in the stands.
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Published On 4/10/2021
“Here in America, it is very difficult to obtain the kind of job I have just been offered and accepted,” she wrote. “Before they offer to a person of color, such as Filipino, Japanese or Chinese, the jobs are first offered to whites. So, I am indebted to Dean Johnson, that though I am a person of color, he offered me the job ahead of everyone else.”
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Published On 3/12/2021
In March 1954, Roberta Cowell appeared on the cover of the British magazine Picture Post and received £8,000 (the equivalent of £220,000 in 2019) to tell her story. Namely, her life story as a transwoman and the first person in the UK to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
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Published On 2/13/2021
She was a highly intelligent and educated Black woman at a time when womanhood offered only closed doors and Blackness added locks to all of them.
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Published On 1/8/2021
“They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone,” said Oprah Winfrey during a Golden Globes speech in 2018, just days after Recy’s death. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared speak their truth to the power of those men... And I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth...goes marching on.”
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Published On 12/11/2020
In 1836, Mary Jones entered a courtroom charged with grand larceny. The audience mocked and laughed at her, even pulling her wig from her head. In her testimony, we hear the words of the first Black transwoman in recorded New York history.
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Published On 11/22/2020
“I ask for our girls the open door to the treasury of knowledge,” said Mabel Ping-Hua Lee in a 1916 speech at Women’s Political Union’s Suffrage Women's Shop, “the same opportunities for physical development as boys and the same rights of participation in all human activities of which they are individually capable.” She was 19 when she wrote and spoke these words. She was 21 when the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting women in the United States the right to vote. But not women like her.
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Published On 10/22/2020
“Well-behaved women seldom make history,” wrote Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a Pulitzer prize winning historian. The quote quickly transformed from her intended meaning, namely—not that all women should be more rebellious—but that history should concern itself with the actions and thoughts of well-behaved women.
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Published On 9/17/2020
In 1884, Quaker missionaries visited the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When they left, they took several children with them to White Indiana Manual Labor Institute in Wabash, Ind. Among them was an 8-year-old then called Gertrude Simmons, the daughter of a Sioux Dakota woman and a white man. Her father had left the family years before and she left despite her mother’s objections. She wanted to go to the “Red Apple Country” promised by the missionaries.
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Published On 6/28/2020
Profile of a gay rights activist and the confrontation at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village
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Published On 4/20/2020
During the 1918 influenza epidemic, Lillian Wald was a general in charge of an army. As chairperson of the Nurses’ Emergency Council in New York City, she organized supplies and led her fellow nurses and volunteers, all women, in caring for the city’s ailing population.
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Published On 2/14/2020
Mary Fields was born enslaved in Hickman County, Tenn., in 1832, though both the year and the location are best estimates; neither the birthdates nor names of enslaved children were noted in any records. The beginning of Mary’s life would have been marked with only a number upon a property log. Her death was mourned by an entire town.
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Published On 1/10/2020
Al Jolson’s performance in the 1927 film The Jazz Singer recorded for posterity what had been a popular stage gimmick since the 1800s: white actors with their faces darkened by makeup portraying African-Americans, often as stupid, lazy buffoons. On the rare occasion that theaters did employ black actors, they were relegated to the chorus and background.
It was in this era that Aida Overton Walker became a star, taking to the stage with beauty, poise, talent, and dignity.
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Published On 1/1/2020
In 1904, suffragettes from around the globe gathered in Berlin, Germany, for the International Congress of Women. Mary Church Terrell was the only black woman in attendance and certainly the only one invited to speak. The audience met her with wild applause as she delivered her address first in German, then in French, and finally in English.
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Published On 11/25/2019
In 1962, Rosalind Franklin’s uncredited research into the DNA double helix helped earn James Watson and Francis Crick the Nobel Prize. The lack of recognition Franklin received has been attributed to “The Matilda Effect,” which describes the gender bias that often leads to the devaluing or even theft of the achievements of women scientists. Science historian Margaret W. Rossiter coined the term in 1993 and the woman she named it after was Matilda Joslyn Gage.
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Published On 11/1/2019
A woman freed from slavery by the 13th Amendment authored works on the arduous internal struggles of life, including forgiving oppressors, while she actively worked to improve the lives of women of color in the post-war era.
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Published On 9/23/2019
In 1962 – August 31 to be precise – Fannie Lou Hamer, at the age of 45, traveled with other activists to Indianola, Miss., determined to register to vote. Upon arriving, Hamer and the other black women and men were quizzed on the facts of de facto law. “I knowed as much about a facto law as a horse knows about Christmas Day,” Hamer said. When they couldn’t answer the questions, the would-be voters were turned away.
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Published On 8/1/2019
Walker ensured that African-American women were trained in the “Walker System” of hair care and encouraged to become sales agents. Her saleswomen earned a considerable commission and she employed women at all levels of management.
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Published On 5/29/2019
“Rochester has been proud of the citizenship of Frederick Douglass, it has honored Booker T. Washington, and now it is to have an opportunity of responding to a claim on its interest and consideration from a woman of the same race of these men,” declared the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, New York on Nov. 28, 1902. Coralie Franklin Cook was to speak at the Unitarian Church for their Political Equality Club. She was an active and notable member of the National American Women Suffrage Association, alongside Susan B. Anthony and other leaders of the day.
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Published On 5/1/2019
“If you want a thorough posting upon political affairs in South Carolina, you must call on the Rollins.”
Northern reporters from The Sun and The New York Herald brought all their assumptions into the parlor of the Columbia home of the Rollin sisters of South Carolina.
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Published On 3/25/2019
At age 14, Rose Pengelly led her fellow workers at the Backs Asbestos Pipe Factory in a strike. Her red hair at the head of the procession, she blazed the trail all the way to the Women’s Hall. Conditions at the factory were unacceptable. Men and women were expected to haul equally heavy loads, though women were paid a third of the wage the men received. In addition, women were expected to perform domestic duties for the boss, tasks that were never assigned to the men despite their greater pay.
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Published On 2/15/2019
Millie Riley lived a short, brutal life. Only months after giving birth to her daughter in 1914, she was raped, murdered, and her body disposed of in a millpond by three white men. At eight years old, her daughter Daisy Lee Gatson learned what had happened to her mother. She also learned that the men had faced no punishment. At eight years old, she learned that local law enforcement didn’t consider her mother’s murder worth investigating.
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Published On 1/19/2019
“I remember hearing startling stories of her running battles with the police,” said a veteran suffragette of Rosa May Billinghurst. “Her crutches were lodged on each side of her self-propelling invalid chair, and when a meeting was broken up or an arrest being made, she would charge the aggressors at a rate of knots that carried all before her.”
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Published On 12/1/2018
“...keep your eyes open,” Melvina Walker said to her fellow poor and working-class women. “...Organize yourselves, don’t be led away by people with ‘superior brains,’ we have something more than that; we have practical experience.”
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Published On 11/1/2018
“Who’s that young girl?” a man in the audience is quoted as saying. “Why don’t she sit down? She’s always talking. She’s just an upstart.” Burroughs had a ready answer for him. “I might be an upstart, but I am just starting up.”
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Published On 10/30/2018
In August of 1855, Celia, an enslaved woman of 18, stood before a jury of 12 white men accused of the murder of Robert Newsom. Newsom was a successful Missouri farmer who had purchased Celia four years earlier. Facts not in dispute were that Newsom had sexual relations with Celia frequently since purchasing her at the age of 14 (fathering two children by the teenager) and that Celia had bludgeoned Newsom to death. The question before the jury was whether Celia actions were murder or self- defense.
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Published On 9/1/2018
As a little girl in the 1830s, Rebecca sat on the floor of her aunt’s home, watching as the old, the sick, and the suffering came to the door for help. Rebecca was born free to her parents in Delaware, but was raised by her aunt in Pennsylvania, and this aunt was a caregiver, an unofficial doctor to those in need. In watching these interactions, with her keen mind and strong will, Rebecca found her passion in life. “I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others,” she wrote in A Book of Medical Discourses.
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Published On 8/1/2018
Suffragettes showed their solidarity by singing these words aloud outside Holloway Prison in London on March 1, 1912. Inside her
cell, 54-year-old Ethel Smyth stuck her head out the window and conducted the impromptu choir with a toothbrush in hand.
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Published On 7/1/2018
Fanny Jackson Coppin would live a life dedicated to education, but her first day of teaching was a tenuous one. “The faculty did not forbid a woman to take the gentlemen’s course, but they did not advice it,” Coppin said of her years studying at Oberlin College in Ohio in the 1860s.
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Published On 6/6/2018
At the eleventh annual National Women’s Rights Convention on May 10, 1866, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper took the stage. She stood before a gathering of the suffrage movement’s dynamic leaders and gave the night’s most memorable speech.
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