Thursday, March 29, 2012

Play it again, Harry!

While trying to come up with a blog post for today, I thought of a binder I glanced at when I first became Town Historian; a slim, 1 1/2" black thing entitled "Outstanding Women of Greenwich" compiled by longtime Gill Room volunteer, Jane Whitaker. In it are a number of articles from The Greenwich Journal & Salem Press about Grandma Moses.

1969 Grandma Moses stamp*
The one I found most interesting is from May 18, 1948, called "President Plays for Grandma At Her Request." Apparently Grandma Moses, who was receiving an award and having tea with Bess Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt (who was also receiving an award) and a f number of other award winning women, asked President Truman to play the piano so she could go home and boast that she had heard him play. The president obliged! I wonder what he played?

Grandma Moses, 88, received an award for outstanding achievement in art for 1948. It was awarded by the Women's National Press Club. Eleanor Roosevelt was named Woman of the Year for her work with the United Nations in regards to human rights.

Other honorees were
  • Dorothy McCullough Lee- Mayor of Portland, OR
  • Madeline Carroll- actress
  • Mary Jane Ward- author of The Snake Pit
  • Marjorie Child Husted- home economist & businesswoman
According to Grandma Moses, she began painting in 1940 because "I had neuritis in my hands. I couldn't sew, and I had to do something."

Anna Mary Robertson Moses died in 1961 and is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Hoosick Falls, NY.

The largest public collection of her painting is at the Bennington Museum in Bennington VT.

*This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day 2012

You guessed it! Today is the 101st International Women's Day.

In honor of the day, I thought I would talk about Carrie Chapman Catt. No, she never lived in Greenwich, but she did visit once.

I have been to the Gill Room and tried to find the article or two that must have accompanied her visit in the Greenwich Journal, but have been unable to locate it. You see the New York State Newspaper Project through the New York State Library, has "preserved" the Greenwich Journal on microfilm. The Greenwich Free Library has been diligently subscribing to the microfilm & keeps it in the climate controlled archive along with the reader. Unfortunately, I don't know the exact date of Mrs. Catt's visit & (if you've worked with microfilm you know) it is difficult to browse. I dislike microfilm but that is a story for another day...

The following can be found on page 13 of Our Century:An Account of Local Twentieth Century History gleaned from the pages of The Greenwich Journal and Salem Press by Tim Tefft:

A great woman spoke in Greenwich
At the 13th annual convention of the Washington County Political Equality Club held at the United Presbyterian Church, the featured speaker was Carrie Chapman Catt. During the afternoon session she conducted a "question box." In the evening she spoke on the topic, "Who are the People?"
Mrs. Catt was until 1904 president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She had succeeded former tow of Greenwich resident Susan B. Anthony in that post and would hold the presidency again from 1915 to 1947, the year of her death. Mrs. Catt was the woman who conducted the final campaign that led to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. She also organized the League of Women Voters and was active in other causes.

Carrie Chapman Catt (nee Lane) in 1914

Also, check out the "google doodle" for International Women's Day.

& for a bit of fun & history rolled together... Alice Paul meets Lady Gaga

For more information on Carrie Chapman Catt:
Van Voris, Jacqueline. Carrie Chapman Catt: A Public Life. The Feminist Press. 1996. (ISBN 9781558611399)
Fowler, Robert Booth. Carrie Catt: Feminist Politician. Noetheastern. 1988 (ISBN 9781555530051)
Levin, Nate. Carrie Chapman Catt: A Life of Leadership.

For more information on Alice Paul:
The Alice Paul Institute-
The Sewall-Belmont House & Museum-
Iron Jawed Angels starring Hilliary Swank-
Walton, Mary. A Woman's Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot. Palgrave Macmillan. 2010. (ISBN 9780230611757)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March is National Women's History Month

Stemming from the first International Woman's Day of March 8, 1911, the idea for the recognition of women on a national level has been around for one hundred years. I actually own a "Happy Woman's Day" greeting card that I purchased on a few years ago. When I locate it I will post it here. Until then I found another image from 1914 that might interest you.

1914 International Woman's Day

Also, check out the blog for the National Women's History Museum (& consider becoming a member, I am!).

Also, the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County is hosting an event next Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. It is a breakfast buffet and performance entitled Mother Jones: A Dangerous Woman.

Mary Harris was born in 1837 in Cork, Ireland and immigrated to Canada around 1851. She married union organizer George E. Jones 10 years later & set up a dressmaking business in Memphis, TN. After her husband & children died of yellow fever, she moved to Chicago & set up another dressmaking business, only to loose it in the Great Chicago Fire. By the 1880s she was linked to the labor movement, but was NOT a suffragist saying "You don't need the vote to raise hell!" Mother Jones died in 1930.*

Mother Jones 1902^

Happy National Women's History Month!

P.S. Don't forget to visit St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Hill St in the village of Greenwich this Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a "Vendor Blender" craft fair. My mom will be there with quilts (& some of my embroidery) to sell!

^ LC-USZ62-7678