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Houston Breakthrough 1976-05
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Houston Breakthrough 1976-05 - Page 1. May 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 30, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2571/show/2555.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(May 1976). Houston Breakthrough 1976-05 - Page 1. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2571/show/2555

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1976-05 - Page 1, May 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 30, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2571/show/2555.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houston Breakthrough 1976-05
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1976
Description Vol. 1 No. 5
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 16 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 1
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_517a.jpg
Transcript Vol. 1, No. 5 MAY 1976 Silkwood's death probed KAREN SILKWOOD Last week an historic investigation was launched by theU. S. House of Representatives. It is a probe into the mysterious death of union leader Karen Silkwood and a query into the alleged inability of the government to protect the public from contamination by one of the most dangerous substances known to humans- plutonium. At 7:30 on the evening of Nov. 13,1974, a white Honda car crashed into a concrete culvert wall on an Oklahoma highway and killed Karen Silkwood, a laboratory assistant at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant near Oklahoma City. She had been gathering evidence to prove Kerr-McGee knowingly manufactured defective plutonium fuel rods. At the time of her death Silkwood was on her way to deliver documented evidence on health and safety violations to a New York Times reporter. The documents were never found. Silkwood was one of three elected officials of the 5,283- member Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW.) Her death brought to light a bizarre mystery that touched off a series of investigations led by unions, Supporters of Silkwood and the National Organization for Women. Six months ago OCAW, SOS and NOW led a coalition which petitioned the Senate for a complete and public in vestigation into the coverup following Silkwood's death. Joint congressional hearings were scheduled for April 26 and 27; however two weeks before the hearings were to start, the Senate withdrew its commitment to participate-a move which left only the House of Representatives to probe whether Silkwood may have been murdered to keep her from delivering her evidence of safety violations and whether the government is equipped to handle the impact of the increase in the use of plutonium. Plutonium is the most deadly substance known. If ingested, tiny amounts are fatal and if plutonium is released in the air, it can cause massive cases of cancer. It is combustible and deadly for 250,000 years. A major nuclear accident could result in 45,000 fatalities and contamination of an area the size of the state of Pennsylvania- According to the "Supporters of Silkwood" Sen. Lee Metcalf (D. Mont.) decided his Government Operations Sub-committee would halt its investigation and not hold hearings after he had been paid a visit by Dean McGee, the president of Kerr-McGee. Metcalf said on National Public Radio (April 6) that he made that decision basedon his belief that the OCAW was satisfied that the Silkwood death was accidental. The following day, A.F. Grospiron, president of the OCAW, refuted Metcalfs statement. "OCAW instituted under my direction the only definitive investigation into the death of Karen Silkwood and we have consistently followed through in pursuing every conceivable route in the pursuit in this matter,' he said.. "The cause of Karen Silkwood's death remains unsolved as far as the OCAW is concerned." Despite Metcalfs backing out, Congressman John Dingell (D. Mich.) went ahead with his hearings into the events surrounding Silkwood's mysterious death. The FBI and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to send key witnesses to the April 27 meeting of Dingell's committee. That hearing date was reset for April 30 and then called off again at the last minute. The FBI has been accused of quietly closing a three-pronged investigation stemming from the Silkwood death and Dingell's subcommittee investigators indicated they had tried without success to obtain many FBI records on the case. Those records dealt with the actual investigation into Silkwood's car crash, the disappearance of 400 pounds of plutonium from the Kerr- McGee plant and charges of illegal company interference in union activities. Karl Morgan a nuclear physics professor at Georgia Tech and one of the most respected scientists in his field, testified at the hearings that he totally backed Silkwood and the union. He said Silkwood was justified to be concerned with conditions at the Kerr-McGee plant. Morgan classified them as "one of the worst violations he had ever seen." Silkwood had been openly critical of the plant's health and safety procedures. In testimony before the Atomic Energy Commission in September, 1974, Silkwood complained about unsafe working conditions. In early November, she became living proof of those dangers. On two consecutive days, as Silkwood was leaving work, she was found to be contaminated by radioactivity. After Silkwood's death the AEC said its investigation indicated that of 39 OCAW union allegations,only three violated the commission's standards. Perhaps the most startling finding by the AEC was that Silkwood's contamination "probably did not result from an accident or incident within Teacher is fired OUIDA DEAN In a move reminiscent of the Scopes case in 1925, a Nacogdoches high school teacher was fired recently for allowing some of her students to take a Psychology Today questionnaire. Ouida Dean, a teacher at Timpson High School, offered the questionnaire titled "Masculinity: What Does it Mean to be a Man?"to students in her psychology class. The students took the questionnaire during a free-period. Dean was fired two weeks later. The school principal James L. Bogue told a school board meeting at one point that "she should have known from the very title of the article that it contained objectionable material." "I can't believe it," she said about her firing. "I felt the questionnaire was informative and educational. I thought the students would enjoy it. I was aware there would be some controversy about it, but it shouldn't have gone this far. " Dean's psychology class had been studying dating, mate selecting,marriage and divorce. Dean said she felt the questionnaire was relevent to her unit study on sex role identity. "I explained to the class that participation in the questionnaire was completely voluntary," Dean said. "There was no grade. I explained that they could use n.a. (not applicable) for questions which they felt didn't apply or were confidential. I explained they might use this Continued on page 14 the plant." The AEC said there were traces of plutonium on her skin though "no accidental release had allegedly occurred in the plant." In addition, the AEC report said tests showed that Silkwood had "ingested" plutonium. Furthermore, two urine samples were "proved to have been contaminated after they had been excreted . The AEC said this showed that the samples had been doctored by someone. It also said that the "evidence" suggested that Silkwood had purposely contaminated herself and had probably smuggled a small amount of plutonium home from the plant. Continued on page 3 U. S. Rep. Wins Honor BARBARA JORDAN Houston's Democratic Rep. Barbara Jordan rates as the strongest female leader in the nation, according to a survey of 1,400 opinion makers published recently by U.S. News and World Report. Jordan, a second-term representative, finished ahead of Betty Ford in the survey, with 25.2 percent of the vote to Ford's 24.5 percent. Washington Post Publisher Katherine Graham received 15.8 percent of the vote, followed by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carla A. Hills, Congresswoman Bella Abzug of New York, Connecticut Gov. Ella Grasso, and Ambassador to Great Britain Anne L. Armstrong. Jordan was selected by her colleagues in the House of Representatives as one of the five most influential members in the House. She was also the recipient of the National Council of Women of the United States' 1976 "woman of conscience" award.