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Margaret Sanger was an American sex educator, nurse, and birth control activist. Sanger coined the term birth control, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established Planned Parenthood. Sanger's efforts contributed to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case which legalized contraception in the United States.
Katherine Dexter McCormick provided both the social justification and the money to develop “the pill,” in her quest to find a more reliable source of birth control than diaphragms offered. She allied with Margaret Sanger and helped support birth control projects intermittently for thirty years before sponsoring Gregory Pincus’ development of “the pill.” McCormick also funded the building of female dormitories at MIT in an effort to boost female enrollment.
A major figure in the history of American radicalism and feminism, Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was an influential anarchist of her day and an early advocate of free speech, birth control, women’s equality, and union organization. Deported in 1919, she participated in the social and political movements of her age, including the Russian Revolution and the Spanish Civil War.
Dr. Bessie Moses (1893-1965) Committed to women’s health care from an early age, she became the first female obstetrical intern at Johns Hopkins. In 1927, she and a few other doctors from Hopkins founded Maryland’s first birth control clinic, the Bureau for Contraceptive Advice (in the 1940s it became Planned Parenthood of Maryland). She was the clinic’s medical director, a post she held until 1956.
Shidzue Katō (加藤 シヅエ Katō Shizue), March 2, 1897 – December 22, 2001) was a 20th Century Japanese feminist and one of the first women elected to the Diet of Japan. Katō was best known as a pioneer in the birth control movement and a strong supporter of labour reform.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a determined and fiery organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, Wobblies), a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and an activist for women’s rights, birth control, and women’s suffrage. She died in 1964. She was Joe Hill's "Rebel Girl."
When a woman mourned for her husband in the 1860’s, she spent a year in mourning. Little or no social activities: no parties, no outings, no visitors, and a wardrobe that consisted of nothing but black. The following year, she is allowed to wear a shorter veil and adorn her gown with black trimmings. During the final 6 months of her mourning period, which can extend to 5 years, she may wear lavender or gray. It was not unusual for a widow to dress in mourning attire for the rest of her life.