Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Download Folder

0 items

Daily Breakthrough, November 18, 1977
Page 5
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Daily Breakthrough, November 18, 1977 - Page 5. November 18, 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 30, 2015. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4155/show/4123.

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.

(November 18, 1977). Daily Breakthrough, November 18, 1977 - Page 5. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4155/show/4123

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.

Daily Breakthrough, November 18, 1977 - Page 5, November 18, 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 30, 2015, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4155/show/4123.

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.

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title Daily Breakthrough, November 18, 1977
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 18, 1977
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 37 page periodical
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~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 UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 5
File Name femin_201109_533ae.jpg
Transcript Return of the Minute Women "We believe that the world cannot be safe without good women. We women must mobilize all our efforts on the basis of absolute honesty and trust in our homes and our communities." -from Objectives of the Minute Women of America, Inc. Newsletter, February 1951. By Carol Bartholdi Though Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum group, the Women Who Want to Be Women (WWWW), and the Mormon, Ku Klux Klan and John Birch Society women have stolen the limelight of conservatism among women's groups in the 1970s, right wing groups did not begin with the efforts to STOP ERA. The Minute Women, one of the strongest conservative organizations in this country, had its heyday in the 1950s and still has a small membership across the country. One of the group's key national figures, Mrs. Ross Biggersof Houston, will be working with Schlafly and her anti-feminist forces during the conference. The Minute Women organization was founded in Norwalk, Conn, in 1949 by Suzanne Silvercruys Stevenson. The major goals of^the group were to fight communism and to demand the removal of socialism and communism from the U.S. government. Any woman could join, as long as she pledged to support the traditional American way of life and to vote in every election. An early advertisement for the Houston chapter of the organization stated its goals as follows: "For God and Country; Anti IWY demonstrators welcome Bella Abzug at the National Commissioners Meeting in Houston, July 1977 For a Free Press and the Truth; For Patriotic Teaching in Our Schools; Against Socialism and Communism." The ad went on, "Those who oppose the Minute Women evidently do not believe in our principles." The patriotism of the Minute Women was depicted by a large bronze membership pin showing an engraved eagle in red, white and blue with the slogan: "Guarding the Land we Love." The eagle appears as the symbol of Phyllis Schlafly's anti-feminist group. Though the membership of the Minute Women was never officially revealed, Stevenson claimed in 1952 that its national membership was 500,000. For years, a Minute Women radio program was broadcast in Virginia and chapters appeared across the country. Eighteen months after the founding of the national organization, the Houston chapter was established. It was destined to have a stormy future. Mrs. Ross Biggers, chairperson of the Houston Minute Women for several years, said the organization was run very informally. Stevenson had not written a constitution or any by-laws for her organization. All officers around the country were appointed by the central leaders. Local chairpersons and executive committees decided on meeting agendas. "We were more of an educational organization," said Biggers. "We met as study groups, to discuss issues. We were more interested as individuals, and never took action as an organization." "The Minute Women were interested in preserving the Constitutional government in the United States, as it was originally intended to be," said Biggers. She explained that one reason for the formation of the Minute Women was as a reaction to President Harry Truman and his policies. "I was a delegate for (Robert A.) Taft at the stockyards in 1952, and we thought that after Truman any Republican would have been elected." Truman aroused people and caused a great deal of reaction and indignation against his policies and arrogance, Biggers said. At one point during his presidency, Truman proposed that the government seize the steel industry and "it wasn't his fault" that he was not able to do it, she said. The Minute Women did not consider themselves a lobbying or pressure group. They did not support candidates. Topics discussed at their meetings included, "Untangling our Entangling Alliances," the danger of world government imposed by the United Nations and the almost treason ous nature of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). When recently asked why the Minute Women would never reveal its membership, Biggers replied, "Do you know how many people belong to the Houston Country Club? Do you know how many people belong to the River Oaks Country Club? I supposed we never told anyone because it was nobody's business." Though the Minute Women did not support or endorse candidates, they did endorse a book for sale to members of the M. E. Foster Elementary School Parent- Teachers Association. The book, The Turning of the Tides, showed the connection between socialist philosophy and public education in the United States. In October 1953, reporter Ralph O'Leary of the Houston Post, wrote a series of 11 articles about the Houston Minute Women. He claimed the organization had connections with other right wing groups in the Houston area and that it had pressured churches and organizations to rescind the invitations to speakers of whom they disapproved. Despite the fact, or rather because the Houston Minute Women asked each of its members to act individually, they had more power than they would have had acting as a group. In fact, what Mr. O'Leary charged was that these individuals were acting as a coordinated group, though they claimed not to be. O'Leary said that this group of "individuals" in Houston constituted "a reign of terror among patriotic clergymen, educators and school teachers here, particularly those interested in social improvements." How did a group of women, working "individually," have so much power? O'Leary claimed that the modus operandi of the Minute Women was the key to their effectiveness. When a speaker they found to be objectionable was invited to speak before some Houston organization, persons in charge of the engagement were bombarded with so many complaining phone calls or letters, that often they would cancel the planned speech. Those in favor of the speaker were rarely so organized. "Any organization that believes in the Constitution is slandered by the left wing," said Biggers. She says that the Minute Women were attacked by many of the leftist and communist media organizations in the country, including the Houston Post. Biggers has not subscribed to the Post since 1953, partially because of the series of articles written by O'Leary. iVo. MAGAZINE CONGRATULATES THE WOMEN WHO HAVE COME TO HOUSTON TO MOVE HISTORY FORWARD IN THE NOVEMBER ISSUE: COUNTDOWN TO HOUSTON: MEMO FOR THE FIRST NATIONAL WOMEN'S CONFERENCE COMING UP IN DECEMBER: SPECIAL ISSUE: THE ARTS EXPLOSION WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Ms. Magazine. A good place to find yourself. PAGE 4 NOVEMBER 18,1977 DAILY BREAKTHROUGH