Happy 83rd Birthday, Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

We hope the Notorious RBG is celebrating in style.

Marina Fang Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is turning 83 on March 15. To commemorate the big day, why not revisit some of her best quotes and words of wisdom?

Fans of the Notorious RBG will soon be able to read a wide range of her influential work — last week, Simon & Schuster announced that it is publishing a collection of Ginsburg’s writings and speeches, titled My Own Words.

The book, due for release in January, will cover her entire tenure on the high court, including her fight for gender equality, abortion access and voting rights.

We hope the Notorious RBG is celebrating her birthday in style!

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I Believe Anita Hill Party


A brief history of the Annual Anita Hill Wake-Up Call Anniversary Celebration

In 1991, University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill enthralled the nation by testifying against United States Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. In mid-October, millions of Americans were riveted to their TVs late into the night to see Anita Hill and others give live testimony before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Women were outraged and men were bemused as a very poised Professor Hill described a pattern of sexual harassment by Thomas, who was at the time, her boss and head of the Office of Civil Rights in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The outrage that women felt started with the experience that Anita Hill described, and continued with the disparaging treatment she received from Senate Judiciary Committee members on live TV, and with the reaction of men, both on the Judiciary Committee and across the nation, to Professor Hill’s testimony. Men tended to disbelieve her story, or alternatively, believe that she had condoned Thomas’ behavior when she neither filed any formal complaint nor quit working for him. Women, on the other hand, got it! Many, if not most women had either experienced sexual harassment first hand, or had known someone who had experienced such treatment. These women understood the dilemma of responding to sexual harassment, taking into consideration the effect on both personal life and career.

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Olivia de Havilland was the most charming ingenue, as they were called in the 1930s.  She debuted as Hermia in Max Reinhardt’s film A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  It was 1935, the heydey of the film studios, and  the beginning of a long, and prolific career at Warner Brothers Studios.

Hattie McDaniel arrived in Hollywood in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929 and was never considered an ingenue.  The daughter of former slaves, most often she played a maid, but she was a talented performer and composer.

The paths of these two women crossed when both were cast in coveted roles in Gone With The Wind.

OK, well actually Olivia’s role, Melanie, was not that coveted – being in the movie was – but most white actresses of note at the time wanted to play Scarlett (including Olivia’s sister, Joan Fontaine).  Everyone who was anyone auditioned.  Olivia never wanted to play anyone but Melanie, a sympathetic yet colorless character compared to Scarlett.

The role Hattie netted, that of Mammy, was coveted enough for none other than Eleanor Roosevelt to have sent a letter of recommendation to producer David. O. Selznick for a friend, but Hattie got the part.  Mammy, beside Scarlett’s wild impulsive nature was the voice of reason.

Olivia’s skills transformed Melanie into a fierce mainstay for Scarlett in the movie despite Scarlett’s ambivalence at the surface. Scarlett’s other anchor was Mammy, her nurse from birth and her never silent conscience. Together they served as Scarlett’s support system.

Both received Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for their performances in the film.  Hattie McDaniel won.  She was the first Black actor to win an Academy Award.

Olivia made her own history later when she battled the studio system to throw off he shackles of studio contract restraints.  California Labor Code Section 2855, is still known today as the De Havilland Law.  She went on to win two Best Actress Oscars.

Hattie McDaniel died of breast cancer on October 26, 1952.  Olivia de Havilland resides in Paris and will be 100 years old on July 1, 2016.

Olivia de Havilland receiving the National Medal of Arts from President Bush, 2008

Helen Mirren, who should require no introduction, has said that women’s roles in movies will follow women’s roles in society. Hattie McDaniel has been the target of some undeserved criticism in the past for the roles she accepted to play.  She was an actor trying to make a living and accepted the best that was there at the time.

Both of these women made big marks on the film industry which  reflects and influences real life. Let’s honor them both for their contributions.

Oh, man! Oh woman!  I have been so busy with Hillary’s campaign that I have been neglecting Women’s History Month!  Sorry!  It’s been a long day, a late night, and I needed a movie.  Gorillas in the Mist popped up!  Surely Dian Fossey was a hero of women’s history, a friend of peaceful species, and worthy of our notice this month.  You can be whatever you want to be.  Even a friend of a wild gorilla. I think Fay Wray would have liked her.

Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey
Dian Fossey Biography
Zoologist (1932–1985)

Dian Fossey


Birth Date
January 16, 1932

Death Date
December 26, 1985

Darwin College, University of Cambridge, Lowell High School, San Jose State University

Place of Birth
San Francisco, California

Place of Death
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Early Life
‘Gorillas in the Mist’

Death and Legacy

Dian Fossey was a zoologist best known for researching the endangered gorillas of the Rwandan mountain forest from the 1960s to the ’80s, and for her mysterious murder.“It was their individuality combined with the shyness of their behavior that remained the most captivating impression of this first encounter with the greatest of the great apes.”—Dian Fossey


Dian Fossey was born on January 16, 1932, in San Francisco, California. While working as an occupational therapist, Fossey became interested in primates during a trip to Africa in 1963. She studied the endangered gorillas of the Rwandan mountain forest for two decades before her unsolved murder occurred in 1985, at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Fossey told her story in the book Gorillas in the Mist (1983), which was later adapted for a film starring Sigourney Weaver.

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Dian was one of three, known as the “trimates,” chosen by Dr. Louis Leakey, to study the habits and cultures of primates on two continents.  Jane Goodall was selected to study chimpanzees. Birutė Galdikas was assigned the orangutans.  Sadly Dian did not survive. She was murdered by poachers, but her work carries on via her foundation.  Jane and Birutė carry on their important work via their foundations.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International >>>>

The Jane Goodall Institute >>>>

International Birutė Galdikas ecology charity and support foundation >>>>

You can also find Birutė on Facebook >>>>




Hillary Clinton Statement on International Women’s Day

Hillary Clinton released the following statement on International Women’s Day:

“On International Women’s Day, we celebrate women around the world, in all stations of life — mothers, daughters, grandmothers, teachers, doctors, soldiers, artists, workers, employers, leaders of all kinds.  We celebrate their achievements and their humanity.  We celebrate the progress we’ve made to advance the full participation of women in economies and societies.  And most importantly, we recommit to finishing the unfinished work that remains, and ensuring that women and girls are treated as the full and equal human beings they are.

“Advancing the status of women is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.  When women and girls participate fully, economies grow and nations are more secure.  When their rights are denied, the opposite happens. No country can get ahead if half its people are left behind.

“I’ve spent my…

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In honor of International Women’s Day, we will be hosting a call tomorrow at 4pm EST to celebrate the achievements of women around the world. We have two very special guests joining us to spotlight Hillary’s record of breaking down barriers for women and girls. Please register for the call here.
Melanne Verveer

Ambassador Verveer is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. She most recently served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and  activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and rights are fully integrated into U.S. foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and…

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Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, First Lady Michelle Obama & Retired Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught, U.S. Air Force

Each March, we come together to celebrate Women’s History Month — a time to lift up the legacy of every woman who has stepped forward to expand and defend freedom throughout our history.

In honor of this occasion, it was my privilege this week to be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to pay tribute to the heroic women who support and defend the American people: America’s women veterans.

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Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for this tweet!

Jeannette Pickering Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973) became the first woman to hold a high government office in the United States when, in 1916, she was elected to the United States Congress from the state of Montana. After winning her House seat in 1916, she said, “I may be the first woman member of Congress but I won’t be the last.” She also was elected in 1940.

Rankin’s two terms in Congress coincided with U.S. entry into both World Wars. A lifelong pacifist, she was one of 56 members of Congress (including 50 in the House) who voted against entry into World War I in 1917, and the only member of Congress to vote against declaring war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.


In February 1911, Rankin became the first woman to speak before the Montana legislature, making her case for women’s suffrage. In November 1914, Montana passed a similar amendment granting women unrestricted voting rights. Rankin later compared her work in the women’s suffrage movement to the pacifist foreign policy that defined her congressional career. She believed, with many suffragists of the period, that the corruption and dysfunction of the United States government was a result of a lack of feminine participation. As she said at a disarmament conference in the interwar period, “The peace problem is a woman’s problem.”

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