Archive for '- Women’s Rights'
Today marks 100 years since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire—a blaze that lasted 18 minutes and left 146 workers dead.
Among the many in New York City who witnessed the tragedy was Frances Perkins, who would later become FDR’s Secretary of Labor, making her the first woman to serve in a Presidential cabinet.
As Secretary of Labor, Perkins was instrumental in creating and implementing the Social Security Act—but she was also intensely interested in the safety and rights of workers. “I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen,” she said.
Perkins had a degree from Mount Holyoke College, where her coursework included touring factories. She later earned a master’s degree in in social economics from Columbia University. She had been working as factory inspector in New York at the time of the fire.
The fire started in a wastebasket on the eighth floor, and the flames jumped up onto the paper patterns that were hanging from the ceiling.
In an oral history, blouse operator Mary Domsky-Adams recalled that “My own machine was located near the locked front doors, and I often looked with fear at the darkness that loomed through the half-glassed door, which made me feel as if some secret force were peering out from there. And it was before this door that the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on March 25, 2011, under - Great Depression, - Women's Rights, News and Events, Rare Photos.
Tags: 146 dead, Committee on Safety, FDR, fire, Frances Perkins, labor relations, Secretary of Labor, Social Security Act, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
Forty-seven years ago this past Saturday, Martin Luther King, Jr., touched a nation with his inspiring words. Just six months later in February of 1964, one small but powerful word was added to the House version of the divisive Civil Rights Act.
Representative Howard Smith of Virginia sponsored an amendment to the bill—he added the word “sex” to the list of categories such as race and religion that the employers couldn’t consider when hiring someone. He thought the addition was so ludicrous it would kill the bill on the floor.
Smith’s track record on civil rights was clear: he protested Brown v. Board of Education, and in 1957 when another civil rights bill (this one on voting) had come before his rules committee, he had said, “The Southern people have never accepted the colored race as a race of people who had equal intelligence . . . as the white people of the South.”
But in 1964—whatever his intent for including the word, whether to torpedo a bill he opposed or even to try to gain some benefit from a bill he knew would pass—the word “sex” stuck around in this civil rights bill.
The bill cleared the House and Senate and later, when a conference committee suggested removing the word, committee members Representative Martha Griffiths and Senator Margaret Chase Smith insisted it remain.
With or without “sex,” the bill was hugely contested. One out … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on August 30, 2010, under - Civil Rights, - The 1960s, - Women's Rights.
Tags: american history, Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act, Jr., Martin Luther King, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, Representative Howard Smith, Representative Martha Griffiths, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, weird US history
While the Constitution does not say who is eligible to vote, it does say who is eligible to run for Congress.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
That means ladies could run, too. And one did, four years before the Constitution recognized her right to vote.
Jeanette Rankin was sworn into Congress in April 1917, as a representative from Montana. She had helped secure women the right to vote in Montana in 1914, and now had her eye on the rest of the nation.
But the calling of the 65th Congress in April 1917 was not a normal Congressional session. Congress had been convened because Germany had declared unrestricted submarine warfare on all Atlantic shipping. Woodrow Wilson had requested Congress declare war against Germany.
There was still heavy division on whether the United States should enter the conflict. Wary of foreign entanglements, but aware that Germany and its allies had all but declared war on the United States and its interests, the United States had prolonged its entrance into the fray. But with the declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare and the discovery of the Zimmerman telegraph, … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on August 18, 2010, under - Women's Rights, - World War I, - World War II, Photo Caption Contest.
Tags: 19th amendment, american history, declaration of war, feminism, first world war, germany, japan, jeannette rankin, montana, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, odd history, pacifism, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, second world war, suffrage, weird US history, women in congress, women vote
If Kagan’s nomination is accepted, she will be the fourth woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. Her nomination was made possible by the trail blazed—with tremendous determination—by Lockwood.
Lockwood was the daughter of farmers, a widowed mother, and a wife who financially supported her ailing husband. She attended college after the death of her first husband, and eventually ended up in Washington, DC, where she received her law degree, taking it from the hands of President Ulysses S. Grant.
Lockwood had a long career in law in the capitol, running her own practice and trying criminal cases and handling divorces, but she also ran twice as the presidential candidate for the Equal Rights Party (Hillary Clinton owes Belva Lockwood too). Although Lockwood could not vote, she reasoned there was nothing to stop men from voting for her.