Category Archives: ERA

Mercy Otis Warren: Herstory 9

BettyJean Downing Kling from http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0312848/mowarren.htm

Mercy Otis Warren (1728 – 1814)Who was the friend of Abigail Adams who fostered political agitation with her satirical plays and then a three-volume history of the American revolution in 1805?

Mercy Otis Warren was born in 1728 into a family of all boys, and there were many of them. She was born in Massachusetts. Mercy became a Patriot writer, and she wrote plays, poems and lots of other writings that supported independence. She used her writing to display her ideas. Her ideas and writings convinced many people in Massachusetts to become Patriots. Of all the people writing to support the patriotic cause, Mercy Otis Warren was the only woman who published plays, books, and poetry.

When she was a small girl, Mercy learned to express her feelings and ideas through reading, writing, and discussing politics. In 1743, she attended the Harvard Commencement and met James Warren. In November, 1754, she married James Warren and went to live in the Warren family estate at Eel River, Plymouth, Mass. She continued her studies with her brother James as he prepared at home for his master’s degree.

She and her husband would read the newspaper together. She had a thin, slender complexion. She had dark brown hair and her favorite color was blue. She loved wearing blue dresses and bonnets with lace edges. In 1757, they moved to Winslow house in Plymouth, Massachusetts. On October 18 that year, her son James was born. She had a son named Winslow who was born on March 24, 1759. Her son Charles was born on April 14, 1762.

In 1765, James Warren was elected to Massachusetts House of Representatives. Their son George was born a year later, in 1766. Between March 26 and April 23, 1772, selections from The Adulateur, written by Mercy Otis Warren, appeared in The Massachusetts Spy. Mercy Otis Warren wrote to her friend Abigail Adams about being treated as inferior because they were women.

Mercy Otis Warren continued to write and publish, and in 1790, her collection of Poems: Dramatic and Miscellaneous was published in Boston. In 1805, her History of the… American Revolution was published in Boston. From July through August,1807, ten letters from John Adams and six letters from Mercy were published concerning her treatment of him in the history book. This book contained sharp comments about John Adams. That’s why there was a separation of friendship with the Adamses that lasted until 1812.

Two of her plays insulted the Loyalists. She said that Britain’s laws and taxes were unfair and that families in the colonies couldn’t pay for expensive British goods. She also said that Britain was too far away to understand the colonists’ rights and needs. For this reason alone, the colonists would be better off alone with their own independence and freedom. She did not like the fact that Britain would not let women participate in politics. She strongly believed that women would have more rights if the colonies had their independence. Mercy also believed that women should have the right to vote.

  • Her plays included:
    The Adulateur, a five-act play, published in 1773
    The Defeat, excerpts from a play, published 1773
    The Group, a three-act play, published in 1775
    The Blockheads, a three-act play, published  in 1776, shortly after the British withdrew from Boston
    The Motley Assembly, a farce, published in 1779.

Mercy Otis Warren died on October 19, 1814, in Winslow house in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She strongly believed in independence, liberty, and in the power of the written word.

Read an essay about Mercy Otis Warren by Professor Nina Baym.
The Sunshine for Women site has a biography of Mercy Otis Warren.
Read more about Mercy Otis Warren at the Massachusetts Historical Website.
For a more complete list of her writings, click here.

International Women’s Day, 100th Anniversary – Herstory 8

BettyJean Downing

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
1910
n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.
1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses‘ campaign.
1913-1914
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.
1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.
1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year‘ by the United Nations. Women’s organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women’s advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.
2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
About this internationalwomensday.com website www.internationalwomensday.com  is a global hub for sharing International Women’s Day information, events, news and resources.The website was founded in 2001 as a non-profit philanthropic venture dedicated to keeping International Women’s Day (IWD) alive and growing.

Since 2007, IWD has gained considerable momentum due to greater media attention, events, social networking and corporate support. IWD is now celebrated via wide scale activity in almost every country and many world leaders support the day with official statements.
This service is proudly provided by Aurora Ventures as a non-profit venture and kindly supported by a number of companies who make it possible for this International Women’s Day website to operate. Without their support, the website could not survive. Each Supporting Partner has a firm track record in supporting women’s equality and advancement. We like to celebrate International Women’s Day, but we also want to celebrate our Supporting Partners! We urge you to acknowledge them whenever you can.

Girl Scout’s 100 Most Important Women in History: Herstory 7

BettyJean Downing

Shelby Ellery, created a site www.angelfire.com/anime2/100import/ as a gold award project, the highest award that can be awarded in Girl Scouting that has to take at least  50 hours to complete.  She chose this project  believing  that women aren’t recognized enough.

“I can name so many men that I have been taught by my teachers, but I really can’t name all that many women. This site is a resource for all those people out there who are just like me, no matter what age, curious about how women also affected who people are today and who the world wouldn’t be the same without. Take a moment to choose someone you have never heard of and look through this window into their soul, who they really were or are. By all means, help yourself. And thanks again!”

Jane Addams
Susan B. Anthony
Marie Antoinette
Saint Joan of Arc
Aspasia of Miletus
Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Jane Austen
Ella Baker
Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike
Clara Barton
Florence Bascom
Simone de Beauvoir
Aphra Behn
Ruth Fulton Benedict
Shirley Temple Black
Elizabeth Blackwell
Bonnie Kathleen Blair
Rosa Bonheur
Louise Arner Boyd
Pearl S. Buck
Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo
Rachel Carson
Catherine the Great
St. Catherine
Chien-shiung Wu
Cleopatra
Juana Ines de la Cruz
Marie Curie
Agnes George de Mille
Emily Dickinson
Amelia Earhart
Marian Wright Edelman
Eleanor of Aquitane
Beatrix Jones Farrand
Edith Flanigen
Anne Frank
Rosalind Elsie Franklin
Betty Naomi Friedan
Elizabeth Gurney Fry
Margaret Fuller
Indira Gandhi
Sarah and Angelina Grimke
Caroline Lucretia Herschel
Judith E. Heumann
Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin
Ariel Hollinshead
Mary Phelps Jacob
Helen Keller
Billie Jean King
Aleksandra Mikhaylovna Kollontai
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Susette La Flesche Tibbles
Maya Lin
Juliette Gordon Low
Anne Sullivan Macy
Wilma Mankiller
Barbara McClintock
Catherine de Medici
Lise Meitner
Rigoberta Menchu Tum
Maria Montessori
Mother Theresa
Baroness Murasaki Shikibu
Florence Nightingale
Georgia O’Keeffe
Vijaya Lakshimi Pandit
Emmeline Pankhurst
Rosa Parks
Eva Peron
Christine de Pizan
Pocahontas
Queen Anne
Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Isabella
Queen Victoria
Jeannette Rankin
Sally Ride
Alexandra Romanov
Eleanor Roosevelt
Sakajawea
Margaret Sanger
Sappho
Rose Schneiderman
Gloria Steinem
Lucy Stone
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Russell Strong
Bertha von Suttner
Emma Tenayuca
Valentina Vladimirovna Nikolayeva Tereshkova
Margaret Thatcher
Alexandrine Pieternella Francoise Tinne
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Tz’u Hsi
Yoshiko Uchida
Phyllis Wheatley
Mary Wollstonecraft
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

 

Don’t forget this page: very helpful if you need some explanation of my choices, pictures, or anything common. Also includes a bonus woman and my works cited.

Notes from the Author

This page contains additional important women contributed by viewers of this webpage.

Additional Important Women

 And as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me (asukalangley13@hotmail.com)

Finished April 2001. Last updated November 7th, 2003

Susan B. Anthony: Herstory 6

By BettyJean Downing

Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906) 

Pioneering suffragist, Susan B. Anthony, fought courageously for women’s rights.  She was deeply respected, honored, and loved by the generations with whom she worked and inspired.  Yet, she was vilified and faced unrelenting criticism from those who opposed women’s rights.  Susan B. Anthony did not live to see women win the right to vote.  Yet, in her last public speech, she reminded her audience that when people of good faith work together for justice, “Failure is impossible.”

Susan B. Anthony was born February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She was brought up in a Quaker family with long activist traditions. Early in her life she developed a sense of justice and moral zeal.

After teaching for fifteen years, she became active in temperance. Because she was a woman, she was not allowed to speak at temperance rallies. This experience, and her acquaintance with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led her to join the women’s rights movement in 1852.  Soon after, she dedicated her life to woman suffrage.

Ignoring opposition and abuse, Anthony traveled, lectured and canvassed across the nation for the vote. She also campaigned for the abolition of slavery, women’s right to their own property and earnings, and women’s labor organizations. In 1900, Anthony persuaded the University of Rochester to admit women.

Anthony, who never married, was aggressive and compassionate by nature. She had a keen mind and a great ability to inspire. She remained active until her death on March 13, 1906.

Thank you to the Susan B. Anthony House for this biography, http://susanbanthonyhouse.org

For more information : Winning The Vote

Joan Bradley Wages: Herstory 5

BettyJean Downing

Joan Wages is the President and CEO and guiding light of the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

After the monument of suffragists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony was dedicated in the Capitol Rotunda in 1921, and then the very next day “the all male Congress moved it downstairs into a storage closet”  As a founding board member of NWHM, she worked to raise the money and pass legislation to move the Suffrage Statue depicting founders of the U.S. suffrage movement from the U.S. Capitol Crypt upstairs into the Rotunda where it now stands. For over a decade, she has worked to identify a building site for the Museum and to lobby Congress for a permanent home. She was elected president in July 2007. Lifetime Television honored her in its Remarkable Woman series with a public service announcement highlighting her efforts on the Museum.

The project started in 1995, as a result of the treatment of a women’s suffrage statue. Joan Wages, the president and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum, explained that the monument of suffragists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony was dedicated in the Capitol Rotunda in 1921, and then the very next day “the all male Congress moved it downstairs into a storage closet.” In the years that followed, Wages said that Congress “would come up with all of these excuses why they couldn’t move this statue.” In the 1990s, after a “big campaign, once again, by a number of women’s groups to ask Congress to move the statue and they didn’t do it,” Karen Staser founded the NWHM, explained Wages, a founding board member. Its grassroots campaign raised $85,000 and generated the support to move the statue back to the Rotunda on Mother’s Day 1997, where it now stands.

Wages described that experience as a powerful metaphor for what often happens to women’s history. “It comes to the light of day and then it’s stored away,” she said, in this case below the Rotunda in the U.S. Capitol Crypt. “What needs to happen is for women’s history to be made part of our national story.”  While the NWHM has existed virtually for the past ten years at their web site—and currently offers a robust gallery of 21 online exhibits—it has been campaigning since 1998 to get an actual, physical museum, on or near the National Mall.  Although the museum will be privately funded, Congress has yet to authorize purchase of a plot, which is on federal land. Legislation to approve the sale has been met again and again with a range of cumbersome excuses and delays, much like the suffrage statue that inspired the museum’s founding.  But an impressive cadre of influential supporters—including more than 200 members of Congress on its Honorary Board as well as Meryl Streep as national spokeswoman—is determined to break the impasse. Streep recently pledged $1 million dollars to the museum from her earnings for the film The Iron Lady, in which she plays British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. During her speech at a NWHM gala in 2010, the actress spoke about “the deep, psychological, spiritual, symbolic meaning of a building,” adding that museums “are especially important in Washington, D.C., seat of our national heritage, memorialized in marble and granite, glass, stone, and steel” not only as “symbols, but as gathering places, as inspirational spaces.”

According to Wages, Streep’s interest in the museum is personal. She said Streep would relate her grandmother’s stories of going after her grandfather on election day to “wrangle him off the golf course” and tell him who to vote for on the Board of Education. “He didn’t know as much about who was running and she couldn’t vote.” Wages added that, Streep “really gets it.  She wants a better world for her daughters and her grandchildren.”

To Wages, women need an appreciation of their own history as the foundation for empowerment. “Men have had their history for thousands of years. They draw power from that. They learn from what men have done before and what works, what doesn’t work, what inspires them to move forward,” she said. Women, on the other hand, “essentially stand on what I called historical quicksand, because every generation loses this information about what women have done to build and grow our society and the world.” An historian told her, she added, “that every generation of women has to recreate the wheel,” by finding the courage within themselves to step out without knowing that a path has been broken by women successful “in business, in finance, in medicine, in mathematics, in computers, in all of these fields.”

In the latest action, legislation has passed out of committee in the House to approve the building site. However, Wages said, the committee chairman “ended up attaching another bill to ours and the other bill is very costly.” NWHM is now working with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who has been their House bill sponsor, to “evaluate the best next step.” In the meanwhile, the NWHM has launched a “Right Here, Right Now” campaign at their website where supporters can contact their senators and urge them to champion The National Women’s History Museum Act. In her speech, Streep lamented that a bill “sponsored by the bipartisan women in Congress” has year after year been “pushed aside, neglected. Not deemed important enough.” It is maddening to her “that we still must kneel and beg our brothers in Congress to please let us build a museum that honors the achievements of their own mothers and grandmothers.”

Wages says her highest hope is that this museum “will help change the culture in a way that there’s greater value for what women provide to our society.” Streep said she is confident “that the whole family will feel, in that hall, the gratitude of neglected generations. And they will feel the awe that comes from breathing the cool air of respect for the aspirations and accomplishments of fully one half of humanity.”

For more information or to support the National Women’s History Museum, visit www.nwhm.org.

Ms. Wages has served as president of Cash, Smith & Wages, a consulting firm with offices in Alexandria, Virginia. The firm specializes in government affairs, developing strategy and communications for getting federal legislation passed. Ms. Wages is a registered lobbyist with a wide range of political experience including state and federal legislation, national grassroots lobbying campaigns, lobbying federal agencies to influence the regulatory process, and political campaigns. She writes frequently for national publications.

Ms. Wages has focused on women’s issues on Capitol Hill and has worked with legislators, women’s organizations and related political activities. Her legislative accomplishments include passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the smoking ban on aircraft, numerous aviation security measures and Delaware legislation preventing the take-over of corporations by corporate raiders. As a political action committees (PAC) director, she has frequent contact with members of Congress. Ms. Wages has been politically active and participated in numerous professional and political organizations. She also served on the Board of the Virginia Alliance for Health Care Freedom.

Ms. Wages has worked in public relations giving radio and television interviews. She frequently speaks to groups ranging from 30 to 500 people and is a published author. She has a B.A. in Mathematics from Auburn University and a MBA degree in Philosophy from Columbia Pacific.

Bette Davis: Herstory 4

By BettyJean Downing

Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis (April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989) was an American actress of film, television and theatre.

  • Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen,
  • First female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice,
  • The first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting,
  • The first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

Her career went through several periods of eclipse, and she admitted that her success had often been at the expense of her personal relationships.

Married four times, she was once widowed and thrice divorced, and raised her children as a single parent. Her final years were marred by a long period of ill health, but she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer, with more than 100 films, television and theatre roles to her credit. In 1999, Davis was placed second, after Katharine Hepburn, on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest female stars of all time.

“I went back to work because someone had to pay for the groceries.” ~ Bette Davis

Mini Biography
Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother, Ruthie. Bette demanded attention from birth, which led to her pursuing a career in acting. After graduation from Cushing Academy she was refused admittance to Eva Le Gallienne’s Manhattan Civic Repertory because she was considered insincere and frivolous. She enrolled in John Murray Anderson’s Dramatic School and was the star pupil. She was in the off-Broadway play “The Earth Between” (1923), and her Broadway debut in 1929 was in “Broken Dishes”. She also appeared in “Solid South”. Late in 1930, she was hired by Universal. When she arrived in Hollywood, the studio representative who went to meet her train left without her because he could find no one who looked like a movie star. An official at Universal complained she had “as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville” and her performance in The Bad Sister (1931) didn’t impress. In 1932 she signed a seven-year deal with Warner Brothers Pictures. She became a star after her appearance in The Man Who Played God (1932). Warners loaned her to RKO in 1934 for Of Human Bondage (1934), in which she was a smash. She had a significant number of write-in votes for the Best Actress Oscar, but didn’t win. She finally DID win for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938)). She constantly fought with Warners and tried to get out of her contract because she felt she wasn’t receiving the top roles an Oscar-winning actress deserved, and eventually sued the studio. Returning after losing her lawsuit, her roles improved dramatically. The only role she didn’t get that she wanted was Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939). Warners wouldn’t loan her to David O. Selznick unless he hired Errol Flynn to play Rhett Butler, which both Selznick and Davis thought was a terrible choice. It was rumored she had numerous affairs, among them George Brent and William Wyler, and she was married four times, three of which ended in divorce. She admitted her career always came first. She made many successful films in the 1940s, but each picture was weaker than the last and by the time her Warner Brothers contract had ended in 1949, she had been reduced to appearing in such films as the unintentionally hilarious Beyond the Forest (1949). She made a huge comeback in 1950 when she replaced an ill Claudette Colbert in, and received an Oscar nomination for, All About Eve (1950). She worked in films through the 1950s, but her career eventually came to a standstill, and in 1961 she placed a now famous Job Wanted ad in the trade papers.

She received an Oscar nomination for her role as a demented former child star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), which brought her a new degree of stardom in both movies and television through the 1960s and 1970s. In 1977 she received the AFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1979 she won a Best Actress Emmy for Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (1979) (TV). In 1977-78 she moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles and filmed a pilot for the series “Hotel” (1983), which she called Brothel. She refused to do the TV series and suffered a stroke during this time. Her daughter Barbara Merrill wrote a 1985 “Mommie Dearest”-type book, “My Mother’s Keeper”. She worked in the later 1980s in films and TV, even though a stroke had impaired her appearance and mobility. She wrote a book “This ‘N That” during her recovery from the stroke. Her last book was “Bette Davis, The Lonely Life”, issued in paperback in 1990. It included an update from 1962 to 1989. She wrote the last chapter in San Sebastian, Spain. When she passed away of cancer on October 6, 1989, in France, many of her fans refused to believe she was gone.

IMDb Mini Biography By: Meredy

Mini Biography
Her parents divorced when she was young. In her first year of high school, she gave up dance for acting. After a little time in John Murray Anderson’s acting school, she was in the off-Broadway play “The Earth Between” (1923). Her Broadway debut in 1929 was in “Broken Dishes”. Late in 1930, on a six-month Universal contract, she arrived in Hollywood. The studio representative who went to meet her train left without her because he could find no one who looked like a movie star. In 1932 she signed a seven-year deal with Warners. She won Oscars for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938) and fought unsuccessfully to break her contract between awards. She received eight additional Oscar nominations, including one for the role of Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950), the role with which she remains most identified. A genuine box-office star in the 1930s and 1940s, all her films from 1953 to 1962 lost money; then What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) brought a new phase of stardom. In 1979 she won a Best Actress Emmy for Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (1979) (TV), and in 1982 she moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles to be in the 1982-3 TV series “Hotel” (1983) (illness led to her replacement by Anne Baxter–shades of All About Eve (1950)!). She had three children, one of whom was severely retarded. Her daughter B.D. Hyman (AKA Barbara Merrill) wrote a 1985 torrid biography, “My Mother’s Keeper”. In 1977 the American Film Institute gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award.

IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan

Mini Biography
Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on April 5, 1908. Her parents divorced when she was 10. Her early interests were in dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but then she discovered the stage. She gave up dancing for acting. To her, it presented much more of a challenge. She studied drama in New York City and made her debut on Broadway in 1929. In 1930, she moved to Hollywood where she hoped things would get better for her in the world of acting. They did indeed. She would become known as the actress that could play a variety of very strong and complex roles. She was first under contract to Universal Studios, where she made her first film, called Way Back Home (1931). After the unsuccessful film The Bad Sister (1931), made the same year, she was fired, which was wildly unpopular. She then moved on to Warner Brothers. Her first film with them was Seed (1931). More fairly successful movies followed, but it was the role of Mildred Rogers in Of Human Bondage (1934) that would give Bette major acclaim from the film critics. Warner Bros. felt their seven-year deal with Bette was more than justified. They had a genuine star on their hands. With this success under her belt, she began pushing for stronger and more meaningful roles. In 1935, she received her first Oscar for her role in Dangerous (1935) as Joyce Heath. In 1936, she was suspended without pay for turning down a role that she deemed unworthy of her talent. She went to England, where she had planned to make movies, but was stopped by Warner Bros. because she was still under contract to them. They did not want her to work anywhere. Although she sued to get out of her contract, she lost. Still, they began to take her more seriously after that. In 1938, Bette received a second Academy Award nomination for her work in Jezebel (1938) opposite the soon-to-be-legendary Henry Fonda. Bette would receive six more nominations, including one for her role as Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950). While she was a genuine star in the ’30s and ’40s, the ’50s and early ’60s saw her in the midst of films that all lost money. Then came What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) in which she played a deranged former child star and a rather spooky one at that. This brought about a new round of super-stardom for generations of fans who were not familiar with her work. Two years later she starred in Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). Bette was married four times. Her last marriage, to actor Gary Merrill, lasted ten years, longer than any of the previous three. In 1985, her daughter Barbara Davis (“B.D.”) Hyman published a scandalous book about Bette called “My Mother’s Keeper.” Sadly, Bette Davis died on October 6, 1989, of metastasized breast cancer.

Dorothy M. Jurney: Herstory 3

By: BettyJean Downing

From “drivel” to substance : transforming the women’s pages of the American newspaper ~Rodger Streitmatter

Dorothy Misener Jurney has been called the godmother of the transformation of the women’s pages in the nation’s newspapers. Jean Gaddy Wilson, a scholar of journalism, has said that Dorothy Jurney “single-handedly changed American newspapers” by changing the women’s pages. Dorothy was born in Michigan City, Indiana, in 1909 and her father, a newspaper man, had a deep influence on her career in journalism.

When Dorothy and I met for her oral history she had recently moved to a retirement community in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Just prior to my visit Dorothy had had a serious fall but, she managed to show me around the beautiful grounds of The Quadrangle and her warm and newly-decorated apartment. We settled into work in the library of the Manor House, a large, wood-panelled room with comfortable and attractive furnishings, a fireplace, and expansive views of the winter scenery.

Under her father’s tutelage Dorothy learned nearly every aspect of journalism, from subscriptions to layout to press type and machinery as well as what made a good story and how to edit it. Dorothy worked on her father’s paper, the Michigan City News, and then through her long career was an editor on the Gary Post-Tribune, the Miami News, the Washington News, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As women’s page editor Dorothy influenced an entire generation of women journalists by demonstrating that women’s pages could be more than a compilation of club notices, recipes, and bridal announcements. (See other oral histories in this series.) Dorothy worked to see that her reporters covered such cutting-edge, substantive news stories as pay discrimination against women, homosexuality in the schools, news in the black community, women workers in the auto industry, and women in politics. Her biographer, Sharon Nelton, has noted that the stories Dorothy published beginning in the 1950′s have become front page stories today.

Dorothy’s oral history also reveals that her career as a journalist was deeply undercut by discrimination. Hers is a classic tale of the strong forces which prohibited the advancement of talented women in journalism precisely because they were women. Catherine East has said that Dorothy was born too soon, and Jean Wilson told me that Dorothy would have been a major editor if she had been a man. When the men went to war Dorothy was promoted. But, when they came back, she had to leave. As a result she lost many of the opportunities she richly deserved and it took its toll on her own self esteem and sense of entitlement.

Dorothy was always interested in what made a good story from the standpoint of what people in the community needed to know. As women’s page editor, city editor, or managing editor Dorothy was convinced of the service newspapers owed their readership. Dorothy remains deeply interested in the grand sweep of American journalism, particularly the role of newspapers in educating the public and advancing democratic principles. Dorothy was a founder of New Directions for News, a center of innovative research in journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She was the first woman board member of the Associated Press Managing Editors organization. And, in 1988 Dorothy was awarded the University of Missouri Distinguished Service to Journalism Award.

Anne S. Kasper
1990

I ask that it be noted that this interview was conducted less than three weeks after I had sustained a concussion in a fall on the ice here at the Quadrangle on Dec. 31, 1989. I wanted to do the interview on the January dates, fearing I might be completely incapacitated later. I offer this explanation for the poor quality of my responses and beg the reader’s indulgence.

Dorothy M. Jurney
June 20, 1990