Wow!! Fabulous cover by Abigail Gray Swartz on “The New Yorker” for week of Feb. 6th. An inspiring, powerful update of J. Howard Miller’s iconic “We Can Do It” poster in honor of the Women’s March on Washington – I love it!!!
Linda and I went to the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017, with oldest grandchild Sophie and her parents Jonathan and Katrin. On the way to the March we met this family who were happy to pose for a picture.
Two young boys from Ohio with their signs, studying the Metro map with their mother. Exclamations of joy and enthusiasm echoed in the Metro as waves of marchers ascended on the escalator at the Capitol South station.
Two students from Bowdoin College in Maine, asked if they could talk with us. “Of course,” we said, figuring that they were trying to fulfill a professor’s assignment. “We can talk while you walk,” they said. So we did. We gasped at our first sight of the countless number of marchers on Independence Ave – astonishing, mind-boggling, thrilling – and that was just a fraction of the number of marchers- YIPPEE!!!
Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s great, great granddaughter, Coline Jenkins, who wrote a wonderful blurb for my book, just emailed me this photo from Washington, D.C. Linda and I managed to knit 4 “pussy hats,” as per instructions on the “Pussyhat Project” website, enough for the granddaughters who will be marching with us . . .
My longtime friend Molly Murphy MacGregor, Executive Director and Cofounder of the National Women’s History Project (the group that spearheaded the establishment of National Women’s History Month) just sent me a jpeg of their wonderful new publication. I bought several copies. p.s. Linda and I just revived our very dormant knitting skills to knit hats to wear for the march. www.nwhp.org
Today – January 11th – in 1885 Alice Paul was born. A key leader in women’s fierce fight for the vote, Alice Paul was arrested, jailed, and force fed, all for the right to vote, a sacred right. One of the ways I get to “know” historic women is to read what their contemporaries said about them. In 1914 while working in the winning campaign for the vote in Nevada, Mabel Vernon told Sara Bard that Alice Paul was “The most extraordinary woman. She’s no bigger than a wisp of hay, but she has the most deep and beautiful violet-blue eyes, and when they look at you and ask you to do something you could no more refuse.” One of my favorite Alice Paul’s quotes is: “The movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in a little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end.”
Tomorrow – January 10 – in 1917, a band of bold suffragists, led by Alice Paul, launched a new tactic in the ceaseless fight for the vote – picketing the White House, (occupied by President Woodrow Wilson). At 10 a.m., twelve suffragists marched across Lafayette Square and took their position in front of the White House – six at the West gate and six at the East gate. At each gate, four women held high the purple, white and gold banners of the National Woman’s Party. Between them stood two women, each one holding a large banner. One read: MR. PRESIDENT WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR WOMAN SUFFRAGE? The other read: HOW LONG MUST WOMEN WAIT FOR LIBERTY? Every day, except Sunday, for a year and a half, more than a thousand women – young and old, rich and poor – peacefully picketed the White House. Suffragists stood in silence, holding their banners regardless of the weather – hot days, cold days, rain, sleet, snow, hail. In June the police started arresting the picketing suffragists. The poster with 89 names reads: “SUFFRAGISTS WHO WERE JAILED at either THE OCCOQUAN WORKHOUSE in LORTON, VA. or in WASHINGTON, DC in 1917. ” Even more suffragists would be arrested for picketing in 1918, the year of the “Night of Terror” and of the force feeding of hunger-striking suffragists.
If you watched my segment on the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum” (1/2017), here is more information about my position on the issue of the model for the “We Can Do It”. (The poster was renamed “Rosie the Riveter” in the 1970s by the National Archives, as a marketing strategy.) In the Spring of 2016, Peter Hegarty, a reporter for The Mercury News, San Jose, CA, requested an interview with me via email about the Naomi Parker Farley story. We set a time to talk by phone. In the interim, I discussed the issue of the quest to claim credit as the model for the “We Can Do It” poster with my 12-year-old granddaughter, whose perspective ended up in the article. Here’s a link to the article, “Who was the inspiration for ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Poster” that appeared online on April 15, 2016. http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/04/05/who-was-inspiration-for-rosie-the-riveter-poster-2/ If you would like additional information about the emergence of the phrase “Rosie the Riveter”, the “We Can Do It” and the Norman Rockwell “Rosie” poster, there are several posts and comments on my blog. Also in my book Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II, including in the Acknowledgments, p.116.
FYI: Faith Spotted Eagle, a member of the Yankton Sioux tribe, head of the Brave Heart Society, and a leader in victories against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline. – is the first indigenous leader to receive a vote for president in the US electoral college. The vote was cast by Robert Satiacum Jr, a member of the Puyallup tribe and a Washington State delegate to the Electoral College. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/21/native-american-faith-spotted-eagle-president