Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Women’s History Month – Female Firsts


Inventing the Boom Microphone: Dorothy Arzner

The longest-working and most respected female director of her time in Hollywood, Arzner directed Clara Bow in "The Wild Party" (1927), a female buddy movie that was Paramount's first talkie. On that set, she devised a boom microphone. Arzner also directed movies starring Katharine Hepburn and Joan Crawford.

Winning an Olympic Gold Medal as an African-American Female Athlete: Alice Coachman

At the 1948 Olympics, Coachman's gold in the high jump competition put her in the record books. A track and basketball star at Tuskegee Institution, Coachman participated in sports against the wishes of her father, who, she said, wanted his daughters to be "dainty, sitting on the front porch."

Organizing Latina Workers: Luisa Moreno

After she won the right of women to attend universities in her native Guatemala, Moreno came to the U.S. in 1928 and could only find work in a sweatshop. To fight the abuses there, she organized a Latina garment workers' union. Later, she did the same for cigar factory workers in Florida, food processors in the Southwest and cannery employees in California.

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