In the Community and Beyond
For your Calendar! October 19, 2016
Congratulations to Lottie Wilson Jackson and the Mary Free Bed Guild on their inductions into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame!
Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame
Awards Dinner & Induction Ceremony
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Link here to RSVP
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
219 S. Harrison Road
East Lansing MI 48823
Reception – 5:00 p.m. * * * * Dinner – 6:00 p.m. * * * * Ceremony – 7:00 p.m.
Mary Free Bed Guild has roots dating to 1891 when a group of Grand Rapids women sought to help people who could not afford health care. They passed a small black purse asking anyone named Mary – or anyone who knew someone named Mary – to donate ten cents. The group quickly raised enough money to fund a local hospital bed called the “Mary free bed.”
The Mary Free Bed mission: Restore hope and freedom through rehabilitation.
What they do: Ensure a medically sound and fiscally solid rehabilitation operation.
How they do it: See with their hearts to understand what is important.
Guild-sponsored rehabilitation initially focused on children. The first pediatric orthopedic clinic was opened in 1920. In 1923, the Guild worked with the Grand Rapids Public Schools to establish accessible classrooms for children with disabilities. The Guild’s Children’s Convalescent Home opened in 1930, received designation as the orthopedic center for western Michigan by the Michigan Crippled Children’s Commission in 1934 and was renamed the Mary Free Bed Guild Convalescent Home and Orthopedic Center. More about Mary Free Bed at this link.
Lottie Wilson Jackson
As the lone African-American delegate at the 1899 national suffrage meeting in Grand Rapids , Lottie Wilson Jackson represented the National Colored Woman Suffrage Association. She was a popular interview subject for the local press and reported that her organization's efforts were "all for the uplifting of our colored sisters. If white women need the ballot, the colored need it no less." Her resolution that "colored women ought not be compelled to ride in smoking cars, and that suitable accommodations should be provided" them when travelling, caused the biggest stir at the convention and illustrates the decades-long tensions between reform movements. After stirring debate the resolution was finally tabled as a cause "outside the province of the convention." Michigan native Jackson studied art in Chicago , then lived in suffrage-stronghold Bay City, reportedly devoting the proceeds from her miniature portraits on ivory and porcelain to the cause of equal suffrage.
Women’s Equality Day, 2016
On August 26, 1920, women in the United States won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Women’s Equality Day is celebrated each year on August 26 to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment and to call attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. (photo and text: National Women’s History Project website).
More on Women's Equality Day at this link (scroll down the page).
WACs, WASPs, SPARs, and Marines:
Nicknames, Recruiting, and the Wartime Experience of
Servicewomen from Grand Rapids
by Will Miner,
Grand Rapids Public Library History and Special Collections
Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7:00pm
Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library
The Second World War saw the first large-scale employment of women in the armed forces of the United States. Initially unwelcomed by the services, women were first accepted by the Army, later the Navy and Coast Guard, and finally the Marine Corps. This struggle for acceptance is reflected in how they were portrayed in the media, how they were recruited and trained, and even in the nicknames they were given. This presentation will include record of the struggle in Grand Rapids and examine how, though being the most resistant of all the forces, the Marine Corps ultimately became the most progressive branch of the armed services in its acceptance of women.
Co-sponsored by the Grand Rapids Historical Society & Grand Rapids Public Library