The Honorable Barbara H. Franklin addresses 'A Few Good Women'

March 13, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- The public is invited to a presentation, "A Few Good Women...: a Watershed for Women's History," by the Honorable Barbara H. Franklin, 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, in Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library, University Park campus.

An exhibit, "A Few Good Women...: Advancing the Cause of Women in Government, 1969-74," is on display March 6 through April 17 in the main exhibit hall of Pattee Library.

At an early Nixon press conference, Vera Glaser, a journalist covering the White House, rose and asked, "Mr. President, since you've been inaugurated, you have made approximately 200 presidential appointments, and only three of them have gone to women. Can we expect some more equitable recognition of women's abilities, or are we going to remain the lost sex?"

The President seemed surprised and said, "We'll have to do something about that." As a result, in April of 1971, the Honorable Barbara Hackman Franklin, Penn State '62 and Distinguished Alumnae, was named staff assistant to President Nixon to recruit women for high-level positions in the federal government.

The efforts and results achieved by a few good women (and men) in advancing the cause of women in government, 1969-74, had ripple effects in business, education and the professions. In 1996, a small group decided this pioneering effort must not be forgotten and created an oral history project with the help of the Penn State University Archives. To date, more than 50 histories and other materials have been collected, and the project continues under the direction of the Penn State University Archives, at

Free and open to the public, the Libraries' event is being held in conjunction with First Thursday State College. For more information, call (814) 863-4240. Exhibition hours are standard. For Pattee and Paterno Libraries hours of operation, call (814) 865-3063.

  • The Honorable Barbara H. Franklin

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated January 09, 2015