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Feminist Chronicles - 1957


The Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first space satellite. (10/04/57)

President Eisenhower ordered troops to Little Rock, AR, to keep order during school desegregation. (09/25/57)


Althea Gibson was the first Black to win the All England title in tennis at Wimbledon. (07/06/57)


The National Manpower Council (NMC) at Columbia University published its study, Womanpower, a comprehensive look at the experience of women in the labor force, their employment needs, and the implications of both for education, training and public policy. The NMC analysis called women "essential" and "distinctive" workers and recommended that the Secretary of Labor establish a committee to review "the consequences and adequacy of existing federal and state laws which have a direct bearing on the employment of women." The committee was not established and no study was undertaken by the Labor Department. (1957)


Senator John F. Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for Profiles in Courage.(1957)

An award-winning series of articles in the New York Post documented the existence of an unwritten ban on contraceptive counseling in New York City's public hospitals sustained by the pervasive power and influence of the Catholic Church. (1957)


In the minutes of a meeting of Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell's Policy Committee, it was noted that on the ERA, "Pres. for it-but not quite." It was also noted, "Secretary will fudge." (02/04 & 04/22)

The Civil Rights Act of 1957 established the Civil Rights Commission and allowed the Justice Department to bring suit on behalf of Blacks denied their right to vote.

The Backlash

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) opened its membership to Roman Catholics, a group it formerly targeted.

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