“Women have always been productive and working people and this history has been hidden.” Lisa Unger Baskin, who devoted 45 years to collecting material documenting women at work. Many years ago I had the privilege of visiting Baskin’s home and viewing her extraordinary collection. It is now housed at Duke University. For an introduction, check out this link: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/bingham/lisa-unger-baskin
Took this photo of Queen Anne’s Lacy during my walk this evening. Certain flowers prompt me to think about certain people. Queen Anne’s Lace prompt memories of my mother. She would be pleased, I think, that I associate her with flowers, along with many other things.
Several years ago, Linda and I happened upon a Gold Star Mothers Memorial in Yonkers, NY, a sad and sacred landmark. I thought about it while reading Ghazala Khan’s powerful op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday. There are also Gold Star Mother Memorials in Angleton, TX; Waterbury, CT; Carmel, NY; Eastchester, NY; Manchester, NH. The top photo is Yonkers, the bottom is Eastchester.
“I hear people say that the world is in a crisis . . . . I think crisis has occurred in the world’s history many times. . . .You just can’t be afraid . . . if you’re going to accomplish anything.” Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, 1933-1945, first woman in a presidential cabinet.
On the eve Hillary Rodham Clinton’s acceptance speech, I’m thinking about and thanking all the pioneering women I’ve written about over the years. I’m also thinking about landmarks in D.C. that could inspire and sustain HRC. Here two: The Department of Labor Building named for Frances Perkins. first woman in a presidential cabinet, and the memorial to Mary McLeod Bethune, presidential advisor and director of the National Youth Administration of Negro Affairs. The several display inside the building to Perkins include a plaque that reads: This building is dedicated to the memory of Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, 1933-1945, whose legacy of social action enhances the lives of all American workers in wartime and peace. In depression and recovery she articulated the hopes and dreams of working people and worked untiringly to make those hopes and dreams a reality through the force of her moral courage, intellect, and will. She brought sweeping changes to our national laws and practices and forever improved our society. The memorial to Mary McLeod Bethune, among my favorite landmarks to women, features a statue located in Lincoln Park, East Capitol Street, S.E. Inscribed around the base are words from “My Last Will and Testament,” her classic article published in “Ebony Magazine”: I leave you love . . . I leave you hope . . . . I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another . . . I leave you respect for the uses of power . . . .”
FYI: Landmarks to the first two women candidates for President of the United States. I wrote about Victoria Woodhull in my book “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World.” Her run-in with SBA re her candidacy is on pp. 148-149. Her dramatic encounter with ECS in London is on p. 173. The marker, located in Homer, Ohio, reads: “Because of her unrelenting advocacy of woman’s suffrage, Victoria Woodhull was nominated to run for president by the “Equal Rights” party in 1872. Her life was a continual campaign to fight for woman’s suffrage, civil rights, and child labor reform laws. In 1879, Victoria married John Martin and lived her remaining years in British Society. She died in England in 1927.”
Belva Lockwood was the first woman to run an actual campaign and to receive votes. I’m writing about her in my current project. Her marker is located in Royalton, New York. It reads: “Near this spot stood the log cabin birthplace of Belva A. Bennett 1830-1912. As Belva Lockwood she became the first woman to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was also the first woman to run for the office of President of the United States in 1884 and 1888.”
FYI: Talking with my son David this morning, who is in Florida with his family and leaving for Haiti tomorrow, about the historic nomination of Hillary Clinton last night, I asked what, if anything, he had said to Quinn and Balan, his and Nickie’s almost 2 1/2 year old twins. Given that David is a history professor, I figured he would have said something. And he did: “I said that Quinn can have another image of a powerful woman other than Elsa and I told Balan that it is important to learn how to accept women in positions of authority and leadership.” The image if from several weeks ago when I brought them containers of their favorite melons.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1887: “If all the heroic deeds of women recorded in history and our daily journals . . . have not yet convinced our opponents that women are possessed of the superior fighting quarter . . . . Of one thing they may be assured, that the next generation will not argue the question of woman’s rights with the infinite patience we have had for half a century.”
I just watched the roll call at the Democratic National Convention, making Hillary Clinton the Democratic Party’s official candidate for President of the United States. The picture is of 102-year-old Jerry Emmett, an honorary member of the Arizona delegation, who announced 51 delegates for Hillary Clinton. Based on her age, you know that Jerry Emmett was born before women won the right to vote in America! She remembers seeing her mother vote for the first time. When South Dakota pushed Hillary over the top, I couldn’t help commenting to Linda: “Oh, my, South Dakota, the state, where a woman suffrage referendum was defeated five times: 1890, with Susan B. Anthony campaigning there; 1898; 1910; 1914; 1816) before passing one in 1918, two years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Oregon also defeated a woman suffrage referendum five times: 1884, 1900, 1906, 1908, 1910, before victory in 1912. None of women’s achievements, especially in politics – have been won without a struggle. Personally I am deeply grateful to Hillary Clinton for having the guts to persevere! I celebrate her unwavering commitment, her stellar accomplishments, and her inspiring keep-on-keeping-on spirit!