Full-length oral histories discuss the gender revolution of the 1970s

In 1969, President Richard Nixon created the Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities that marked the beginning of a successful initiative to recruit and train women for upper-level governmental positions. Unfortunately, few of the women who joined the government as a result of this initiative left collections of papers for historians to review.

The public is invited to join the Honorable Barbara Hackman Franklin and archivist and historian Lee Stout, for a discussion about this time in women's history, at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library on Penn State's University Park campus. The presentation, "A Matter of Simple Justice," is also the title of the newly published book that describes Franklin’s efforts to bring more women into the executive ranks of the Nixon administration.


In an effort to capture this moment in history, an advisory board chaired by Barbara Hackman Franklin initiated a project to gather oral histories from key participants. The board initially identified 12 individuals to be interviewed. As the project continued, this list expanded to nearly 50 interviews that are now housed in Penn State's Special Collections Library.


Ten of those interviews are available in full text online at www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/digital/afgw/bios.html

They include interviews with: Virginia Allen, Hon. Anne L. Armstrong, Hon. Helen Delich Bentley, Elizabeth Dole, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Hon. Barbara Hackman Franklin, Vera Glaser, Major General Jeanne M. Holm, Virginia Knauer, Esther Christian Lawton, and Brereton Sturtevant. Additional audio segments are available for selected biographies. Transcripts and tapes of interviews are available at the Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802-1808.


For more information, contact University Archivist Jackie Esposito at 814-865-7931.


Last Updated April 17, 2012