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Archive for the ‘Women in History’ Category

I have loved Jackie Speier since that terrible day in November 1978 when she accompanied Congressman Leo Ryan to Jonestown, Guyana to investigate Jim Jones and his People’s Temple. Directly subsequent to their visit, Jones ordered his congregation to drink the Kool-Aid,  literally, and it is from that event that the expression derives.  It was reportedly grape-flavored and contained cyanide along with valium and other ingredients. 918 people died including children and infants. Death from cyanide poisoning is said to be excruciating.

Congressman Ryan and his delegation, including Jackie and news staff, were attacked on the tarmac at Port Kaituma while attempting to leave for home after their investigation. At that time, they were unaware of Jones’s suicide order.   You can read a full account here >>>>.

Because Jackie’s name came up in this article that has been circulating,  I thought it might be a good idea to expand a little on this courageous public servant.

She was elected to Ryan’s seat in the House in 2008.

Her given name is not Jackie. She took Jacqueline as her Confirmation name in honor of Jackie Kennedy and goes by that name. Her first husband died in an auto accident when she was pregnant in 1987.

When she lay bullet-ridden at Port Kaituma, she thought she would never live to marry and have children.

You can read an excellent interview with her on the Jonestown events and her life here >>>>

Excerpt:

Congresswoman remembers day of horror

JONESTOWN AND THE CITY HALL ASSASSINATIONS Jackie Speier remembers day of massacre and mass suicide in Guyana

Published 4:00 am, Monday, November 17, 2008

“I’m 28 years old, and I am about to die.”

I was curled up behind the wheel of an airplane on a jungle airstrip in Guyana, South America. This isn’t what I expected when I signed on to work for a United States congressman. Our fact-finding trip to investigate the Peoples Temple in Jonestown had gone horribly wrong. I lay as still as I could, pretending to be dead, as an unknown gunman pumped five bullets into me at close range. Pop-pop. Pop. Pop-pop.

When the shooting stopped, I looked around and saw bodies, including that of my boss and mentor, Congressman Leo Ryan. Wasto investigate  he, too, pretending to be dead? I called his name, but he didn’t respond. Looking down, I saw what appeared to be a bone. It was my own, and it was sticking out of my shattered right arm.

The thought raced through my mind: “I’m 28 years old, and I am about to die. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. I will never turn 80, never marry, never have children.”

Read more >>>>

Jackie has never backed down from a righteous battle. She accompanied Congressman Ryan on a Greenpeace mission in March 1978 to investigate the slaughter of baby harp seals in Newfoundland. Not much can be worse than witnessing babies bludgeoned before their mothers’ eyes and being unable to do anything to stop it. But Jackie has been through worse. She thought she would die and never have children. When she knew she would live, she was told she might lose limbs. Her arm and leg were shot up.

But a fighter is a fighter, and don’t tell Jackie she cannot bare arms!

Congresswoman Jackie Speier Says She and Colleagues Felt “Free” on Sleeveless Friday

Women of the House got serious about modernizing a strict dress code on Capitol Hill’s newest holiday.
July 14, 2017 4:08 pm

The Democratic women of the House have instituted a brand-new holiday in Washington: sleeveless Friday. Sparked by California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, several House Democrats arrived to Congress on July 14 wearing sleeveless dresses as part of a campaign to modernize the House dress code.

Female lawmakers began these efforts after a reporter was banned from entering the Speaker’s Lobby last week for wearing a sleeveless dress. The rules, which are enforced only on the House side of the Capitol, are not new—but after the incident last week, Speaker Paul Ryan released an announcement reiterating the dress code, per CBS:

“Members should periodically rededicate themselves to the core principles of proper parliamentary practice that are so essential to maintaining order and deliberacy here in the House.”

Speier and her colleagues took to the Capitol—and to Twitter—to make their opinions heard. On Thursday, Speier released a flyer via Twitter urging other female lawmakers to wear sleeveless dresses this Friday, and to take a photo in their sleeveless finery together Friday afternoon.

Read more >>>>

Yes! Shot up arm and all, Jackie went for “Sleeveless Friday” on the Hill and took her colleagues along with her! Go Jackie! Lead on! you are a hero! We’re so glad you got to be a mom and a leader in Congress!

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Happy 101st Birthday to Dame Olivia de Havilland!

Happy Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!

Last surviving ‘Gone With the Wind’ cast member is turning 101

Olivia de Havilland turns 101

Archive Photos/Moviepix/Getty Images; Reed Saxon/AP

Olivia de Havilland was also named a Dame Commander in Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honors list earlier this month.

Although Melanie Hamilton Wilkes died at the end of “Gone With the Wind,” the actress who played her — Olivia de Havilland — lives on. The only surviving cast member from that beloved 1939 film — and one of the last remaining icons from Hollywood’s golden age — turns 101 on Saturday, July 1.

Now living in Paris, de Havilland was named a Dame Commander in Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honors list earlier this month, for her services to drama. The two-time Oscar winner is the oldest-ever recipient of the distinction.

“To receive this honor as my 101st birthday approaches is the most gratifying of birthday presents,”

Read more >>>>

She’s one of the last surviving legends of Hollywood’s golden age.

Her beauty and enigmatic smile saw Olivia de Havilland play alongside the biggest names of the silver screen – Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

Off screen she was romanced by the likes of Jimmy Stewart, John Huston and Howard Hughes – and reportedly turned down the advances of John F Kennedy. She won two best actress Oscars in a career spanning six decades and 49 feature films – many of them considered to be classics.

Classic beauty: Olivia de Havilland as Melanie in Gone With The Wind

But it is only now – two weeks before her 101st birthday – that the Gone With The Wind actress has been given a damehood for services to drama. It makes her the oldest woman ever to receive the honour. In a statement, she called it ‘the most gratifying of birthday presents’.

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This is a must see! Happy Women’s History Month! Happy (belated) birthday wishes to Dame Vera Lynn! Thank you for your service. She’s 100!

She brought the troops through the worst times in a war almost none of us remember except through song, movies, history books. She served. She opted for her grandmother’s Irish name because she thought it sounded better than the Welsh name.

Sir Paul chimes in several times.  I think he remembers her as I do: as an institution and national treasure. I guess we both remember her songs when we were kids. I was only four when my parents had to turn off the radio when “Faraway Places” came on. I cried. I still do, and I may never know why. The war was over years before and I was a little kid.  But I cried.

Her song grabbed my heart. I should explain. My uncle was in the Merchant Marine. He docked in Brooklyn and Bremerhaven and passed through London. He brought back great cheese, toys from the German docks, and music.

 

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The morning after the inauguration of the least popular incoming president in modern history, millions boarded all manner of transportation to head to their nearest (or dearest) Women’s March. Many flew or took trains or buses to Washington, DC for the march there. Others went to cities near them.

The numbers are not in yet but there are estimates – almost all of which exceeded expectations.  Washington, DC expected 200,000. Estimates are that a half a million showed up. In New York City, the crowd was so large that for hours the march could not move appreciably for lack of space. The same thing happened in Chicago where organizers transformed the march into a rally – no space for people to march! Reports are that the same thing occurred in Los Angeles.

Portland ME police estimated this to be the largest demonstration they had ever encountered. Boston organizers think 150,000 attended there. People tweeted pictures of crowds in Denver, Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, Sioux City, Phoenix, of a human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge. Across the nation they marched – in the rain in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and in the snow in Boise and Anchorage.

There were marches and demonstrations in all 50 states and on every continent, including Antarctica. Look at this map!
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Here are a few of my favorite images from the day starting with a sea of pink pussyhats in the nation’s capital.

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Paris put its message in lights.

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The Brits displayed their characteristic reserve. They had the best signs.

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My favorite Brit marched in New York and declared herself a New Yorker.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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Helen Mirren posted “this is amazing!” (Instagram / @helenmirren

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A human traffic jam in Los Angeles.

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A human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge.

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In blinding snow in Anchorage.

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In Boise.

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Antarctica!

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Some awesome folks!

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They weren’t all Democrats!  Ana Navarro posted this selfie!womens_march-01-21-17-15

A note from a flight attendant who had to work to a passenger who was attending.

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The human traffic jam on NY’s 5th Avenue that lasted for hours.

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In Detroit.

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New York City.womens_march-01-21-17-19

This woman tweeted that she wasn’t ovary-acting.

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 How bad is it?
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One guy we know brought his best friend along for his first day as a private citizen.

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His predecessor tweeted her support.

Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values . Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always Stronger Together.

‘Hope Not Fear’ Indeed. And what a beautiful piece by Louisa Cannell. 👊👊🏻👊🏼👊🏽✨

I stand w/ Nora Harren, a 17-year from Boise, ID, & every person marching for our values today. Onward! ✊✊🏾✊🏽✨

There are many more wonderful images of the day here and here.

Here is a report on estimated numbers and the size and scope. These numbers are expected to be revised upwards.

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On the sidelines, this day, Donald Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast and visited CIA HQ in Langley, VA to tell them what a yuge inauguration he had (it looked like a million – a million-and-a-half people to the guy who saw imaginary thousands in Jersey City celebrating the fall of the towers)  and how spectacular the weather had been (it rained – George W. Bush struggled with a plastic poncho).  Later his Press Sec stormed into the White House press room to scold the media for telling the truth about the paltry attendance yesterday. He said this was the largest inauguration ever. Period. He took no questions and left in a huff.

The rest of the country and the free world was busy having a lovely Saturday all together.  No incidents, no arrests, and according to actress Ally Sheedy, a patrol officer told her how wonderful everyone looked.  Everyone was included – babies in strollers and seniors in wheelchairs. It was a great day in history!

Oh! And THIS!

Crossposted at Still 4 Hill.

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Ironic that late Friday night I was watching Richard Lester’s “Cuba” with Sean Connery on MGM HD when the news of Castro’s death came through. Right after that, on the same channel, I watched Oliver Stone’s “Salvador” – partly about the Carter-Reagan transition and including the murders of the nuns and Archbishop Romero. Today, this article.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

License to Kill

The Nun Murders and the Presidential Transition Team

During the transition from Carter to Reagan, the Salvadoran death squads started targeting Americans. A cautionary tale about signals sent and messages received.
Christopher Dickey

Christopher Dickey

11.27.16

PARIS — A new president had just been elected in the United States — a hard line president, who, it was said, had no patience with the vacillating, moralizing policies of his predecessor. Around the world thugs who would spit when they heard the phrase “human rights” suddenly took heart. With such a man in the White House, they thought, they had a license to kill. 

This was November 1980, when the confused transition from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan opened the door to a bloodbath in the little Central American country of El Salvador; when, suddenly, anyone the military suspected of aiding the subversivos was liable to be tortured to death, and even Americans—even American nuns—were fair game.

Now 36 years later, we will soon mark the anniversary of the death of four American churchwomen kidnapped, raped and murdered in El Salvador on the night of December 2, 1980. 

Read more >>>>

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This story is evolving. Women are coming forth with their stories of encounters with Donald in which they were the objects of unsolicited and unwanted sexual aggression, and he was the agent.

Donald Trump has been a deeply flawed candidate from the beginning.  He is a power-mad, thin-skinned bully at every level of interaction in society.  Stories that have come to the fore in the wake of the videotape Friday night assert that his “locker room talk” was more than talk.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released this statement not long ago.

HFA Response to Tonight’s Troubling Revelations about Donald Trump

HFA Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri offered the following statement in response to the new allegations about Donald Trump’s actions:

“This disturbing story sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women. These reports suggest that he lied on the debate  stage and that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape are more than just words.”

Perhaps this is Donald Trump’s actual contribution to society.  If enough decent men turn against the tawdry, dissolute, perverted “model” he represents for young men in this country, maybe he will have performed a service – his first ever – for the nation and society at large.

He should never be president.  His behavior disqualifies him.  His cavalier attitude toward violating women’s privacy and personal boundaries fall far below the bar.  He is, on so many levels, a horrendous choice for the position and the job.  He lies. He invents fiction about his opponent (which his supporters believe even though none of it is true or validated).  His business practices are predatory and dishonest. He knows nothing and does not seek to learn. He holds dangerous positions regarding foreign policy.  I could go on.  I will not. his attitude toward women is sufficient.

Vote.  I will not tell you how to vote, but you should know on which side your bread is buttered.

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Harriet Mills, Scholar Held in ‘Brainwashing Prison’ in China, Dies at 95

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