Women Leaders and Activists
Experiences of Women Leaders and Activists as told by CGCC Students in partnership with Chandler Museum's Public History Program
Overview of 1900s
 

1900's
Written collectivley: Rebecca Anderson, Ana Verdusco, Taylor Stuart and Adrian Fierro

When we think of the 1900's, we think of a time when women have learned to reach out and get what they want. No longer do they sit at home and wait for a man. This is a time of empowerment. In the early part of the century women's suffragists took up arms against the segregation of not allowing women to have a voice. The Susan B Anthony amendment was the 19th amendment added to the constitution in 1920 allowing all women to have the simple liberty of voting. Key women in the struggle were Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Anna Shaw. These were just some of the women looked back upon as making the difference. As the years progressed, the 1930's and 1940's were a time to regain respect for women after the devastating blow of the Depression. Most women now worked outside the household and gained new levels of respect. With all the men away fighting in Europe, women found new opportunities. For example, women were allowed to have a National League of Baseball. Charlene Wright, Racine Belles, and Claire Schillace showed just how competitive they could be in a men's world and a male sport.

During the same time another fight was in full force. Segregation in the south had not yet disappeared and women like Rosa Parks were no longer allowing people to treat her like a second class citizen. Ms. Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus therefore initiating world wide coverage on this controversial treatment. More recently, Hillary Clinton's determined attitude and power to affect change have led women to be able to see the light at the end of the political tunnel. She was the first First Lady to be elected senator, and she is now one of the nation's favorites in the 2008 election for the President of the United States. Just think a woman being Commander in Chief!

Margaret Sanger
Written by: Ana Verdusco
"Against the State, against the Church, against the silence of the medical profession, against the whole machinery of dead institutions of the past, the woman of today arises."--MS

Margaret Sanger is known for making a lasting impression on women's history. She's known as the pioneer of birth control movement. Sanger was born in Corning, New York. Her mother died at the age of 49, the cost of having 11 children. This event stimulated Sanger's lifelong social activism. Margaret Sanger attended Claverack College along with her sisters and attended nursing school. She and her husband William moved to Westchester; there she found herself very lonely because her husband was a traveling businessman. In 1910 Sanger moved back to Manhattan. Margaret began working as a nurse on the lower eastside. She became active in radical politics, joining the socialist party and working with the Industrial Workers of the World in supporting several militant strikes. From that experience, she absorbed femininst ideas and came to agree with Emma Goldman that women had a right to control their sexual and reproductive lives. Her mother's death influenced her ideas as well as her work nursing the poor. Up until WWII she had only received encouragement from fellow women but fears of over population renewed political support for birth control. Planned Parenthood was founded and Margaret Sanger was known as the woman who started the birth control era.

Sally Ride
Written by: Adrian Fierro
"If girls are interested, they have the potential to go further."--SR

Women of the 1900's are redefining everything. They are now doing things that only men once did. One example is women in areospace; Sally Ride was one of the first women to be an astronaut and was really changing the world of being a woman. Sally was born on May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles, California where she graduated from Westlake High School in 1968. She then went to Stanford University and received a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1973. After continuing her education and earning her doctorate, she was selected for astronaut training in 1978. Dr. Ride made two trips to space; her first flight was in 1983 aboard the Challenger. She was also assigned to a third flight in 1985 but that was interrupted by the Challenger accident. Sally Ride achieved so much, but not just for herself but also for all women across the world. Sally Ride changed everything for women; she started a trend for women and proved that they could even be a rocket scientist. Her activism helped redefine the "normal" jobs for women.

Sandra Day O'Connor
Written by: Taylor Stewart
"Society as a whole benefits immeasurably from a climate in which all persons, regardless of race or gender, may have the opportunity to earn respect, responsibility, advancement and remuneration based on ability."--SDO

Sandra Day O'Connor was born on March 26, 1930 in El Paso, Texas. She grew up on the family's 198,000-acre cattle ranch near Duncan, Arizona. She attended Stanford University, where she received her B.A. in economics in 1950. She continued at Stanford for her law degree, graduating in two years and ranking third in her class of 102. It was while she was editor on the Stanford Law Review that she met John Jay O'Connor III, who also was attending law school at Stanford. Soon after graduation they were married and settled in Phoenix, Arizona. O'Connor served as an Arizona Assistant Attorney General from 1965 to 1969, when she was appointed to a vacancy in the Arizona Senate. In 1974, she ran successfully for trial judge, a position she held until she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1979. Eighteen months later, on July 7, 1981 President Ronald Reagan nominated her to the Supreme Court. In September 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor became the Court's 102nd justice and its first female member. Justice O'Connor was regarded as a skilled compromiser. She also made it clear that the high court's role in American society was to interpret the law, not to legislate. Her votes were generally conservative, but she frequently surprised observers with her political independence. A quietly determined woman who has blazed new frontiers for her sex, Sandra Day O'Connor has become a role model for all Americans. Associate Justice O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court on July 1, 2005, after 24 years of service on the court. Even in her retirement, Sandra Day O'Connor continues to have her voice heard by defending an independent judicial system throughout the United States.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Writen by: Rebekah Anderson
"There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard."--HRC

Hillary Clinton was an activist from a young age. In high school she helped her parents with the Goldwater campaign by wearing a sash and campaigning as a "Goldwater girl," and in college she continued to use her voice by protesting the Vietnam War. While getting her law degree from Yale University she met and shortly after, married Bill Clinton. In 1992 he ran and won the election to become the 42nd President of the United States. This however did not stop her from being involved. Within weeks of the election her biggest opportunity yet was offered by President Clinton himself. His number one election issue was health care for Americans so he made Hillary head of his 12 member task force on National Health Care Reform. She staffed more than 500 people and conducted more than 50 congressional meetings. Her reform policy did win a lot of support but was not adopted due to a well organized campaign by conservatives, libertarians, and the insurance industry against it. Hillary never quite gave up on wanting Health Care reform but she moved on to women's and children's issues as well as many other great causes. When President Clinton left office, Hillary wasn't ready to exit the political scene so on November 7, 2000 she became the fist First Lady to enter a branch of congress by being elected Senator of New York. As Senator she continues to fulfill her duty to serve the public and is now one of the nation's favorites for the 2008 presidential campaign.

Sources for Margaret Sanger:
Ashby, Ruth, and Deborah Gore. "Women Who Changed the World." Herstory. New York: Viking, 1995.
This was a great source with the valuable infromation on a couple of great achievements Sanger had acomplished. For example, it talks about how she contriubuted to Women's rights movements.

Dupont, Kathryn C. American Women Activists Writtings. New York: Cooper Square P, 2002.
This is a wonderful source for personal writings of women activists. It gives you a really deep idea of where they're coming from.

Lader, Lawrence, and Milton Meltzer. Margaret Sanger: Pionner for Birth Control. New York: Dell, 1969.
This is a great source because it explains everything Sanger had to go through and how she is known for being a birth control advocate. She published articles in magazines and became a very well-known writter in the Woman Rebel. Her writtings are very emotional and very strong.

Sanger, Margaret. Margaret Sanger an Autobiography. New York: Childrens P, 1997.
If you want to know the story of her life this, is one of the best sources you can have; it's an autobiography of herself and her life. She discusses how she had been thrown in jail for her moving speeches.

Sanger, Margaret. Motherhood in Bondage. Columbus, Ohio: University P, 2000.
Sanger is a strong believer in being a mother, especially when it comes to women having the right to control how many children they have. She believes a woman has her own right to control her maternal life.

Sources for Sally Ride:
Camp, Carole A. Sally Ride: the First American Woman in Space. Enslow, Incorporated, 1997.
This source gives me some general information about Sally Ride, like personal data, education, and experience.

Raum, Elizabeth. Sally Ride. Heinemann, 2005.
This book is a biography of the California astrophysicist who became, the first American woman and the youngest American astronaut to orbit earth.

Ride, Sally, and Susan Okie. To Space and Back. HarperCollins, 1986.
In this book, Sally Ride shares her personal experiences living and working in Earth's orbit.

"Sally Ride Biography Page." NASA. 21 Nov. 2006 www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/ride-sk.html.
This web page gives me a bit more info on the Sally's flight and what went wrong.

Sources for Hillary Rodham Clinton:
Biography of Hillary Clinton page. 10 October 2006. White House Home Page.
The White House home page is a web site that has a multitude of information. It outlines presidents, positions, history, and a vast array of other highly useful information. Among all this however is where I found the history of prior first ladies. This article was primarily about her personal life but it gave some great insight on her relationship with her husband.

Hillary Clinton Biography page. 15 October 2006. Hillary Rodham Clinton home page.
http://clinton.senate.gov/about /biography/index/.cfm
While looking over Hillary Clinton's home page I discovered her biography. This helped to outline political timeline as well as aspirations and focuses. This source was a great way to understand exactly where she was presently because they update this web site frequently do to her ongoing campaign in the New York state senate.

Clinton, Hillary. "Talking it over." 28 October 1998. 31 October 2006.
This article was written by Mrs. Clinton during her husband's second term in as president. She wrote a weekly column named "Talking It Over." This particular article is right before the election of November 3rd, 1998. Mrs. Clinton is stressing the importance of voting on the general public. The article helped me to understand that although health-care was a main agenda for her, it was not her only one.

"Clinton health care plan." Wikipedia, 31 October 2006.
http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_health_care_plan
This source is actually a free online encyclopedia I found using Yahoo. It outlined issues around Mrs. Clinton's health care reform plan during her husband's first term. It also had additional links to other sources relating to health care articles and online references. This source helped me to define what parties supported the plan and who was opposed to it.

Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn. "Clinton, Hillary Rodham" Encyclopedia of Women's History.
2nd ed. 2000. New York: Facts on File Inc., 2000.
This is a great encyclopedia about all of the amazing women that up until recently have not received that recognition that they deserve. It was published in 2000 and has all of the women in alphabetical order. It was very easy to use and helpful as it explained Mrs. Clinton's more political issues and influences rather than focusing on her personal life.

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Margaret Sanger

Hillary Clinton