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Archive for March, 2012

A Matter of Simple Justice

The president’s directive of April 21, 1971. Barbara Hackman Franklin Papers, Penn State University Archives.

Today’s guest post was written by Barbara Hackman Franklin, former White House staff member for the recruitment of women and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The story of how Franklin and other women cracked the glass ceiling is finally told in a new book that draws from “A Few Good Women,” an oral history project at the Penn State University Libraries. The National Archives will host a special program to launch A Matter of Simple Justice: The Untold Story of Barbara Hackman Franklin and A Few Good Women on March 8.

The Nixon administration is remembered for many things, but advancing women’s roles in the workforce is usually not one of them. Yet in August 1972, Newsweek wrote that “the person in Washington who has done the most for the women’s movement may be Richard Nixon.”

Here is what happened.

First, on April 21, 1971, President Nixon issued a Memorandum for Cabinet Secretaries and Agency Heads outlining the administration’s new women’s initiative. The President called on all departments and agencies to create action plans to hire, promote, and advance women. Specifically, the plans had to address appointing more women to top-level positions, increasing the number of women in mid-level positions as well as on advisory boards and commissions.

This Presidential … [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest–March 1

"At this rate it is going to take me forever to get dressed."

Apparently the sight of a scantily clad man engrossed in his knitting fired up the imaginations of our readers! We made a cup of tea and settled down to knit one, purl two our way through your many caption submissions. Leg warmers! Greek mythology! Puns! Poor fashion sense!

We became so tangled that we turned to guest judge Lynn Bassanese, the Acting Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, to decide which captions to cast off.

Congratulations to James! (Check your email for a code for 15% off in your eStore.) Lynn chose your caption as the winner. “Eleanor Roosevelt was a knitter and we have many of her knitting needles and projects in our museum collection,” said Lynn. “She would applaud this young man’s efforts!”

This photograph comes from the holdings of the FDR Library, but its World War II  context is not quite so sunny as the stoop in the picture. The original caption reads:  “Believed to be Italian nationals in a U. S. Detention camp.”

Today’s photo also features men, but they seem to be engaged in a more traditionally masculine activity! Give us your wittiest caption in the comments below!

"Your caption here!"

[ Read all ]