How did Halloween make its way to the United States? And how did our foremothers and their families practice it? Find out in A History of Halloween, which explores the ancient origins of the holiday, as well as its origins and early practices by women at the turn of the 20th century America.
By Natalie Pace, Huffington Post
What Do Devious Maids and Family Guy Have in Common?
Seth MacFarlane and Brianna Brown use their star power to preserve history for posterity.
What do Devious Maids and Family Guy have in common? Beyond the obvious hitmaking gene, the people behind these beloved brands just threw two of the most inspiring parties of the year.
Anytime you can mix a joke or two, with a drink or two and a good cause or two, if I’m allowed in, I’m there. Thankfully, this week I was fortunate enough to be on the list for An Evening with The John Wilson Orchestra and a cocktail fundraiser for The National Women’s History Museum, thrown by Seth MacFarlane (creator of the hits Family Guy, American Dad!, Ted and more) and Brianna Brown (star of Devious Maids), respectively. These two celebrities, and the talented people in their inner circle, are creating far more than the best comedy on television. They are both reaching back into the past and resurrecting great stories and songs for us to enjoy today, which, without their efforts, might never be heard again.
John Wilson, maestro and conductor of The John Wilson Orchestra, loves old show tunes, but when he decided to put together a 100-piece orchestra to play them, he discovered that the scores were missing. Even Cole Porter’s “You’re Sensational,” originally arranged by Nelson Riddle, had to be reconstructed. Thanks to John Wilson’s arduous sifting through orchestra sheets and his astute ear, and Seth MacFarlane’s passion and support of the project, the world can now enjoy That’s Entertainment! A Celebration of the MGM Film Musical. The DVD features sing-along tracks to tunes like “I Got Rhythm,” “Singing in the Rain,” Love is Here to Stay” and much more. And yes, that is Seth MacFarlane crooning with the best of them on a number of the tracks.
Seth MacFarlane’s Evening with the John Wilson Orchestra and the Moonshine Lounge celebration was the best party I’ve ever been to. Truly!
The National Women’s History Museum is determined to exhume and display the stories that have been buried in the basement for centuries. As one example, Sacagawea was the guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition. History books acknowledge that, without her, the trek was doomed, so should her invaluable contribution earn her star billing in the name of the expedition? What about the woman who dressed up as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War? Shouldn’t we know her name? Read the rest of this entry »
NWHM’s Los Angeles Regional Committee hosted its 2nd event in LA on Thursday Oct. 24th where it honored Grammy, Oscar and Tony-Award Winning Actress Rita Moreno, Actress and Activist Fran Drescher and the United Nation’s Girl Up program which provides girls around the world with life-changing opportunities. The event was held at Mr. C Hotel. Check out some of the photos from the event below:
See the original Washington Post article.
What’s it like when the first four female Supreme Court Justices get together to sit for one oil portrait? “Semi-controlled chaos,” artist Nelson Shanks told us. The painting, unveiled Monday at the National Portrait Gallery, took not quite eight weeks to complete, and involved a very “upbeat” four-hour portrait session with the justices all talking and joking. “They’re tremendously good friends,” said museum director Kim Sajet. “They joke around a lot, and they respect each other a lot.” Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are scheduled to attend a private gathering Monday night at the gallery to celebrate the painting, which was first commissioned by art collectors Ian and Annette Cumming about two years ago. And no, it’s not a coincidence that O’Connor and Ginsburg are the ones seated on the couch, in a room based on the Supreme Court Building — Sotomayor and Kagan are the relative newbies, so they had to stand.
By: Emily McAfee, NWHM Intern
In the early 20th Century, the American working and middle classes began searching for modes of self-identification beyond their occupations, and a burgeoning mass entertainment industry set an example for how to fill this identity void. Performers—of different genders and various races—publicly enacted the identities they wanted, as opposed to the identities they had been given. This new entertainment culture was platform upon which all kinds of Americans reinvented the parameters of their self-expression and reclaimed (if only briefly) ownership of their public identities. A brilliant example of this phenomenon can be found in female blues singers. During its heyday in the 1920s, the blues were a forum in which black women could seize control of their public identity and redefine it on their own terms.
Join NWHM and GWU for our forum “Making a Business of Change: American Women in Business” on Nov. 12thOctober 23rd, 2013
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Diane J. Humetewa, a member of the Hopi tribe and former U.S. attorney in Arizona, has been nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the district of Arizona as a federal judge. If confirmed, she would be the first active member of a Native American reservation, and first Native American woman to serve as a federal judge. Not only would this bring more diversity to the federal bench, but Arizona’s prominent Native community will finally be represented in a state that is infamous for ignoring Native issues.
This is a big deal because she is a Native woman from the same Arizona that has become a police state through its insistence on criminalizing communities of color, deportations, and via renegade leaders like Sheriff Arpaio. Arizona is swiftly becoming a state known for its extreme racial profiling regarding folks who look “brown.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) lobbied for Humetewa’s nomination and has been her supportor since he nominated her for the federal bench in 2007. This strange relationship between a Republican senator and an indigenous attorney will certainly give Humetewa the advantage when the decision is in the hands of Republican senators. In Obama’s first term he nominated Arvo Mikkanen of the Kiowa Tribe, but Republicans blocked the nomination.
Humetewa’s nomination could also mean longstanding political issues Native women experience such as the Violence Against Women Act will finally get their day in court.
Native American governing bodies notwithstanding, only 23 Native Americans have served in an elected office in the history of the United States. Yet, there are 5.2 million Native Americans living in the United States. Humetewa would only be the third Native American represented on the federal bench in the history of the United States if she is confirmed.
Due to the violent history between the United States and Native communities, Native Americans continue to fight for resources such as land, water, and mineral rights that have been destroyed and removed from us. Humetewa’s nomination could mean huge strides in fair Native representation and legislation that might be able to pave the road toward full equality and justice for all Native people.
In this week’s #FoodieFriday, we look at a video highlighting the wonderful work that Women for Women International is doing to empower women and their communities. Did you know that women play a vital role in breaking the cycle of food insecurity? Find out how in this poignant video:
Don’t forget to check in with us for next week’s #FoodieFriday.
“Men Got Us Into The Shutdown, Women Got Us Out”
Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said on Wednesday afternoon that their female colleagues can take most of the credit for driving the compromise that is expected to temporarily reopen the U.S. government and raise the debt ceiling before Thursday’s deadline.
“Leadership, I must fully admit, was provided primarily from women in the Senate,” McCain said after the bipartisan deal was announced.
Pryor said that people sometimes like to joke about women in leadership, but he is a huge fan of his female colleagues after watching them negotiate. “The truth is, women in the Senate is a good thing,” he said. “We’re all just glad they allowed us to tag along so we could see how it’s done.”
Following weeks of stagnation, The New York Times reported on Monday that a bipartisan group of women senators was playing a crucial role in opening discussions between Republicans and Democrats over how to move forward and reopen the government. Out of the 14 senators on the bipartisan committee that laid the framework for the debt deal, six were women. Susan Collins (R-Maine) started the group, and Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) took part in negotiations.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate,” Collins told The New York Times. “Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way.”
Klobuchar said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday that the friendships the Senate women have developed will help them work together to craft a long-term budget without the counterproductive barbs that some politicians throw at each other when they don’t agree.
“The 20 women in the Senate have formed such strong friendships of trust, even though we come from different places, that I’m very hopeful as we go forward with Patty Murray, head of the Budget Committee, Barbara Mikulski, head of Approprations,” Klobuchar said. “Those relationships are going to make a difference as we get into what matters, which is the long-term budget.”