Keri Wormald President of The Women's Mercury . The V.P. Bridget Gethins has been writing this blog since 2oo6.


To challenge women in the local, national and international communities to find their voices, share their stories, and pass them to the next generation of women through participation in the performing arts.

Bridget will continue to share more historic stories about women here in support of our mission and for your enjoyment.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

August 19th

 "Fashion is made to become unfashionable."
Coco Chanel

Born this day in 1883 in France, Coco Chanel, the legendary fashion designer. Coco created the "little black dress", the perfume "Chanel No. 5", the symbol of the interlocking CC found on all her handbags, even today.

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was Coco's birth name. Her father, a peddler who sold work cloths and undergarments, and her mother was a laundrywoman for a charity house. From these humble beginnings, came the woman who changed women's fashion forever- Coco Chanel.

Chanel torn the corset away from the female body setting us (women) free, to breath at long last and to move in a natural way. Coco Chanel redefined women's fashion forever. Casual chic, yes and even today a Chanel tweet suit is the mark of high fashion. Coco Chanel created the one of the first clothing boutique, from the fashionable address 31 rue Cambon  in Paris.  Coco's fashion is found through out the world. She truly created another language when it came to women's fashion. From how the woman moved to her scent to what she carried her money in ; Chanel knew how to dress a woman.  Coco Chanel may have died  in 1971, but her clothing is being worn today in the 21st century.

August 18th

On this day in 1920,the congressman from Tennessee said "Yes" and US Congress had enough votes to ratify  the 19th Amendment which gave women of the United States the right to VOTE!

On a personal note, I did not understand the full history of women's suffrage until I worked on the film, "Iron Jawed Angels". Wow. My impression to this point was Susan B. Anthony wrote many letters, gave a ton of speeches ( for about 50 years) and then women could vote. No, no , no. Sadly, Anthony had been dead for 13 years and never got to vote, legally. 
Like any Human Rights issue, there were protests,violence, murder, jail time, rape, hunger strikes and millions of people standing up for what is good for all.  The film "Iron Jawed Angels"  is worth a watch. Produced in 2003 it was the only film about women's suffrage. And the only film to include anything about Suffrage before "IJA" ... "Mary Poppins".  Mrs. Banks was involved in "the Cause. And don't speak about the Cause in front of Father, you know how it upsets him, dear." And they maids, and Mrs. Banks march around the house singing a song.
The film centers around Alice Paul and Lucy Burn, who really pushed the issue of suffrage to another level. Great story!

Monday, March 03, 2014

March is Women's Month

On this day March 3, 1913,  Washington DC hosted the first parade in support of  Woman's Suffrage Movement. 8,000 women and men and children marched that day. Sadly, mobs were formed to harm and stop the parade with the use of violence and very rude commentary. And even though Alice Paul (leader of the suffrage movement)  had a legal permit and supposed protection from  the police force. The police did nothing to stop the violence. 200 were injured and Army troops were brought in to stop the mobs. The outcry from the public was in support of the Women's Suffrage Movement  and against the police for allowing such violence. The chief of police fired. And DC set up a committee to investigate who was behind the mobs.
 The subject of women's suffrage was back in the public's mind and  with their support.  This parade was the symbol of a new beginning in the Women's Suffrage Movement in the United States.
 There are two suffrage ideals the suffragettes and the suffragist.  suffragette: uses a more demanding, and  aggressive actions for right to vote. suffragist: a person who follows the protocol to bring attention to a woman's right to vote.
Reminder: March 8th is the 100 year anniversary of International Woman's Day.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nov 25th


The color orange is the symbol and over the next 16 days "SAY NO- UNITE! to end violence against women" and color the world orange. Nov 25th to Dec. 10th.  The United Nations has marked this day, November 25th  and the 25th of each month as " International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" or Orange Day.  This is a worldwide issue.  If you witness or find yourself a victim- please speak out. Learn how you can:    This fact ,"  70% of women and girls experience violence in their lifetime is reason enough to click on the website.  Let's end the women and girls violence now. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

September 1

On this day in 1730 Miss Deborah Read and her husband Benjamin Franklin's marriage became a "common law" marriage. YES! Miss Deborah's mother did not approve of Franklin because he was traveling to England! So,in 1723 Deborah was married off to her mother's choice while Franklin was in England and this guy turned out to be the scoundrel. Disappeared with Deborah's dowry and never was heard of again. And who knew Franklin was the romantic and he stood by her, his true love. Read was unable to marry Franklin because of the marriage to the first guy. And so they agreed to a common law marriage. And they lived happily ever after..... Well, when they were in the same country.  Franklin traveled a great deal for the development of our new country. And sadly, Deborah died while he was in England.  Electricity in a bottle whilst in each other's company!
"Deborah Read Franklin's fear of ocean voyages had prevented her from traveling with Ben, so she spent many years alone ... Three months later, Benjamin Franklin returned to America. He wrote to a friend about his wife of many years: "I have lately lost my old and faithful Companion; and I every day become more sensible of the greatness of that Loss; which cannot now be repaired."

Born this day in 1815, Emma Stebbins, American scupltor. Stebbins family was very supportive her artistic career. Studied under Henry Inman. In 1857 Stebbins made the move to Rome, Italy the mecca of the art of sculpture. It is here Stebbins met actress, Charlotte Cushman who became Stebbins life partner. Stebbins best known works are Angel of the Waters, 1862 which located in Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York. The Angel has appeared in books, plays, films and TV. Yes, she is the Angel in America. Stebbins other sculptures include: The monument of Christopher Columbus, located in Brooklyn Civic Center and Treaty of Henry Hudson with Indians. Stebbins and Cushman moved back to the United States in 1870. Stebbins was unable spent much in her studio because of the ill health of Cushman, who Stebbins lovingly cared for until her death in 1876. Stebbins died in 1882.

On this day in 1878, the first female telephone operator, Emma Nutt, began her job in Boston.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 31st

On this day in 1142, Hiawatha and Deganawidah, The Great Peace Maker, the Iroquois tribes created the Confederation of the Haudenosaunee("They made the House")  which include the following nations, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Tuscarora, Wyendot, Delaware, and Tutela.  The Haudenosaunee system of government is still active today under the" federally-recognized Band Council enacted by the Canadian federal government." To learn more about the Confederation of the Haudenosaunee

On this day in 1972, Olga Korbut of the USSR won the Olympic gold medal in gymnastics!  Korbut's extraordinary and joyful energy reached out to the world who fell in love with her talent and her bright smile.