Monday, November 19, 2012

Union, Religious, Civil Rights and Sports Activist- celebrate birthdays

Rose Pesotta addresses the floor at the 1965 I...
Rose Pesotta addresses the floor at the 1965 ILGWU convention, December 15, 1965. (Photo credit: Kheel Center, Cornell University)

Three very different women celebrate(d) birthdays on Nov. 20.-- Rose Pesotta, Rev. Dr. Anna Murray, and Billie Jean King. Learn about them.

Nov. 20 is the birthday of Rose Pesotta (1896-1965), a feminist labor organizer and vice president within the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. In 1913, at the age of 17, she emigrated to New York City and found employment in a shirtwaist factory, quickly joining the ILGWU, a union representing the mostly Jewish and Latina female garment workers. Working hard to educate her fellow workers, Pesotta was elected to the all male executive board of ILGWU Local 25 in 1920. In 1944 Pesotta resigned from the executive board of the union in protest of the fact that, despite 85% of the union's membership were women, she was the sole female executive member.

The Reverend Dr. Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray was born on Nov. 20, 1910. She was an American civil rights activist, women's rights activist, lawyer, and writer. She was also the first black woman ordained as an Episcopalian priest and the first black person to earn a doctorate at Yale Law School. She died in 1965.

Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Happy birthday to Billie Jean King, born Nov. 20, 1943. A professional tennis player, King won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles through out her career. An advocate for sexual equality, she won the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match against Bobby Riggs in 1973, was the founder of the Women's Tennis Association, World Team Tennis and the Women's Sports Foundation. One of the 20th century's most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social change and equality. In 2009 King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, the first female athlete so honored.

Submitted by Donna Seymour

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