REVIEW: Avalon Faire sends Kilgore back in time

Avalon Faire Axe Throwers

PHOTO BY SARAH REDFORD

The wonderland of the Avalon Faire in Kilgore takes a step back into the glorious days of old, and days that never were. The faire is found at 1076 FM 1252 W, Kilgore, 75662, and is open each weekend in April. Tickets may be purchased on-line or at the box office on-site.

Season passes are available for $75 which allows you to attend all five weekends and receive free water. Day passes are $12 for adults, $6 for ages 12 and under and the littles four and under may enter without charge. Tickets are not weekend specific.

This is the third year for Avalon Faire to open its gates in Kilgore. Upon entering the grounds, the clash of lances can often be heard as mounted knights on their fearless steeds’ joust to the roar of the crowds.

Sir Mordred (played by James Fortner), rides Asgard (Liberty), his destrier, to battle other knights from the Hanlon-Lee Action Theater. This is the group’s 24th year traveling the country to delight young and old alike.

The path continues through open fields lined with large shade trees that surround a small pond. Stages abound for the entertainers to work their magic upon the masses. Such crowd pleasers as Knightwings – a bird of prey exhibition, Dr. DeWitt and his Punch and Judy puppets and belly dancers from all over east Texas await the faire goers.

There are vendors scattered throughout the grounds with a plethora of wares on display. Need a new pair of fairy wings: Lydia Perlick handmakes the ethereal offerings at Faeward Inn.

Love the sound of a hammer striking metal? Stop by The Damn Yankee Blacksmith, and listen as Logan Talonsgrip tells a gripping tale accompanied by the melody of his hammer and anvil.

As you wander the grounds, be prepared to see elves or pirates. If you are lucky, you might even see a queen.

Come hungry and thirsty because treats for the palette await. The Dragon Pit offers typical faire food such as burgers and brats.

The Lusty Lemon has a lemonade that is outstanding and they offer reduced price refills.

There are bridges to cross, axes to toss, roaming performers and sights, sounds and smells aplenty.

Avalon Faire is small when compared to the Texas Renaissance Festival and Scarborough Renaissance Festival but it has some of the same feel, just on a much more intimate level.

There are not as many vendors, food stalls or entertainers but what is there is on par with a larger faire. Getting lost is not a problem as the site is not huge, but there is plenty to see and do throughout the day.

The atmosphere is exciting but laid-back and there is something to see around every corner as you wander across the fields, under the trees, across the bridges and through the woods.

Avalon Faire is worth the price of admission, especially as it offers a glimpse into a world that is not run-of-the-mill east Texas.

M.A.D.D. hosts 5K walk on campus

Photo by Sara Redford/THE FLARE
Photo by Sara Redford/THE FLARE

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hosted a fundraising 5K walk at KC, Saturday, March 31.

During the awards ceremony several teams were recognized including Top Team and Top Earner.

After the ceremony, walkers began their circuits of the campus finishing back at Miller Plaza.

Featured at the walk was a pinwheel garden where those who had lost loved ones could write a special message to them.

Several local vendors who work with victims or educate young people on the dangers of drunk driving, were in attendance.

MADD was founded in California on September 5, 1980 by Candace Lightner now based in Irving, TX.  The goal is to prevent more deaths due to drunk driving accidents like the one that killed her 13-year-old daughter, Cari on May 3, 1980.

The mission statement for MADD states: to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.

Photo by Sara Redford/THE FLARE
Photo by Sara Redford/THE FLARE

The 24 hour victim line is 877.MADD.HELP

There is at least one MADD office in each state of the US and at least one in each province in Canada.

There are currently over three million members to date. Of that number, 742 teams, with 4,781 participants have raised $1,247,743.

All money raised stays in the community to stop these 100 percent preventable crimes.

The local chapter is in Tyler. Their number is 903-534-6000.

Scholarship auditions set for Saturday, April 8

The KC Dance Department will hold an open scholarship audition for dance majors at 10 a.m. Saturday,  April  8, at the Parks Fitness Center, PE 106.

The audition is based on a class which will include ballet, modern dance, and jazz. No prepared material is necessary. Required dress for the audition is a leotard and tights (with a change of biker shorts for modern portion) with ballet shoes, jazz shoes or bare feet.
The scholarship will cover four courses in Ballet and Tap & Jazz, two courses in Modern, and one course in both Improvisation/Composition and Dance Appreciation. KC offers an intensive course of study for the beginning student, as well as those who have had more extensive training.

Upon graduation, KC students are prepared to enter the professional world or to continue their studies at a four-year college where courses could transfer in Fine Arts, Physical Education and Dance Education.
Scholarship awards are based on talent, ability, potential, financial need and the student’s interest in continuing professionally as a dancer, teacher or in a related area.

A scholarship student must fulfill the course requirements of a dance major and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in all college courses. Scholarship students must also be active members of the KC Dance Club. The scholarship is renewable for four semesters with amounts up to $500 per semester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast list released for production, ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’

 

Guest Director Jason Richards is a KC alum with a love for theatre.  He and the KC theatre department will present Neil Simon’s classic American comedy, “Brighton Beach Memoirs” beginning April 20 in Van Cliburn Auditorium on the Kilgore campus.

Richards has a long history in theater and said “It is why I’m on the planet.” He has previous experience as a playwright and has written several plays with the last few being TSF’s, “The Princess and the Player” and “The Spirit of the Sea.”

The play is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 20-22, with a matinee performance 2:30 p.m., Sunday April 23.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for KC students with a student ID.


Cast and Crew List:

Production
Staff:

Director- Jason Richards; Technical Director/ Set Designer- Meghan Potter; Stage Manager- Thomas Thornburg; Assistant Stage Manager- Amber Driver; Lighting Designer/ Light Board Operator- Nikki Newman; Assistant LD/ME- Hannah Garner; Sound Designer- Ian Kirkpatrick; Sound Engineer/ Board Op- Michael Rojas; Properties Master- Alissa McClain; Costume Design & Const- Sera Allen; Assistant Costume Design/ Wardrobe Head- Qualyn Stark

 

Cast:

Eugene Jerome- Hunter Ballard; Stanley Jerome- Colton Askew; Jack Jerome- Raymond Robinson; Kate Jerome- Madison Gable; Blanche Morton- Stephanie Barajas; Nora Morton- Brittany Pelaia; Laurie Morton- Isabella McAvoy

 

 

 

Food for fines: Library offers alternative to paying late book fees

 

The Randolph C. Watson Library will begin accepting food for fines on Monday, April 17. Any student who owes a fine on a library book may bring several containers of shelf stable food or personal hygiene items to the circulation desk to pay for their fine. Books that have been lost will not be able to be paid for in this manner.

As the end of the semester is fast approaching, any student who has unopened, shelf stable items in their dorms, may donate those as well.

Donations may also be brought to the Office of the Vice-President, Room 165 in the Devall Student Center.

The food pantry is open to all KC students who do not live on campus. Students will need their I.D. to see Dr. Jenkins.

The following is a list of items needed. (Please, no green beans or Ramen noodles.):

  •  Canned meals such as soup, chili, spaghetti or ravioli
  •   Tuna
  •   Dry pasta
  •   Spaghetti/pasta sauce
  •   Hamburger Helper or other “one pot” meal starters
  •   Packaged pasta or noodle side dishes such as Knorr, Uncle Ben’s, Zatarain’s
  •   Breakfast items such as Pop Tarts, instant oatmeal, cereal, pancake mix
  •   Baking mixes such as Bisquick, and those for muffins and cornbread or cakes
  •   Canned fruit
  •   Rice
  •   Instant mashed potatoes
  •   Peanut butter
  •   Personal hygiene items such as bar soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste

 

Rangers take down Paris, still one-half game behind TJC

Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE
Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE

The Rangers swept a windy double-header Wednesday against Paris Junior College to climb into sole possession of second place with a 14-4 record in Region XIV, East Division.

In the first match, Ranger pitcher Katy Worrell shut out the Dragons 3-0 in seven innings, for her 15th win. Worrell allowed three hits and struck out five through seven innings.

Brianana Davis drove in teammate Manda Wilmoth with a ground out RBI in the sixth for the final run of the game. In the fourth inning the Ranger’s defense made back-to-back catches in the outfield to shut down the Dragons.
The Rangers put themselves on the board early in this match-up, as Taylor Christopher scored in the third inning and teammate Hannah Carpenter scored in the first.

Shelby Edwards was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI on a single in the first inning and a double in the third inning.

In the second victory over Paris, the Rangers won on the nine-run mercy rule in the fifth inning, earning pitcher Renee Jones her eighth victory of this season with the 9-0 shutout.

Jones allowed four hits and struck out six of the Dragon batters.

As the winds reached 15 mph, the Rangers batters grew stronger. Edwards smashed in five runs for KC, hitting two home runs, a single driven to left field area in the first inning and a grand slam to center field in the second inning.

Carpenter, Wilmoth, Amber Williams and Jo Rivera are the reason for the Rangers four other RBIs.

Kaitlyn Stebelton was 3 for 3 at the plate scoring a total of three runs, with Carpenter scoring two runs, and Williams scoring one run.

The Rangers will play another double header at 1 & 3 p.m. Saturday, April 8, in Corsicana, against Navarro Junior College.

 

Hearing the Herrings: Brothers make their mark on Dodson Auditorium

Photo by Hailey Pennington
Photo by Hailey Pennington


Q
uestion: How did you get started in this business/industry? 

Ethan: We started as student workers. A friend of mine who was in theatre told me they were looking for a hand and made a lateral move and pushed me into that position. I had an interview and got the job.

 

Q: What is the process for working on Revels? Is it a lot of pressure and how do you deal with it? 

All: It’s a lot of long nights. We have put 522 hours into working on it. Different ideas and concepts come in early and we get asked for our input. There are a lot of logistics to being backstage and it tapers down to figuring out what is possible and what isn’t.  It is not just us, though. It has taken an army to get everything to come together. Communication plays a big part; anticipating needs and listening when people talk. Knowing that they will ask you a question and having an answer ready or a solution.

 

Q: What appeals to you the most about working backstage?

All: It keeps us busy. There’s a lot of critical thinking and problem solving involved and we enjoy it.

 

Q: Has anything ever gone wrong that led you to improvise or act quickly?  

E: A lot of things can go wrong. There was one incident where we had dimming lights completely shut down and we had to rent an electric iron lung.

Jesse: Another time the curtains got hung up and we had about 30 seconds to straighten it out. We try our best to keep any mistakes hidden. You don’t want it to be noticeable to the audience. It is also my job to help if one of the girls gets injured. They know I used to be a paramedic so I help them enough to get through the night and back on stage.

 

Q: What’s the hardest part of working on the production/show? 

E: Sleep deprivation. We all have our vices to get through it; coffee, Red Bull etc.

 

Q: Would you ever expand into a family business outside of Kilgore? 

J: We have a business already; Stage Left.  We decided on that name because we started out there. [stage left or house right is the right side of a stage facing the audience.]

E: I have toured part of Texas and played different events [on stage performances]. It just depends on what is needed. I prefer to be backstage. 

 

Q: What is it like working with your siblings? Do you work well together? 

E: We were all home-schooled. We’ve been working together for a long time and we usually know what the other is thinking or how they’re going to do something.

J: Ethan and I worked together in a candle shop. It was my first job. He was 18 and I was 15. If he tells me he needs something done, then he knows it will get done and doesn’t have to worry about it.

Sam: We trust one another and hold each other to high standards.

 

Q: Do you have any other interests? 

E: We all play music. We grew up in a very musical family. It is how I find my solace. We have talked about incorporating live music into shows.

S: I like syncopated and complex music that I can analyze and dissect or study; music theory.

 

Q: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? 

All: Our parents always taught us to leave a place better than we found it and we want to leave our mark on Dodson Auditorium. Dodson is an old building and we’ve removed a lot of its quirks. We built the stage and added the sound booth. Everything was spread out before and we decided it was better to be together in one area.

 

 

Finding love; a guide to loving yourself

The 21st century has turned women more savage and men into more sensitive human beings, but what has caused this switch up of roles and the desperate need for a superficial relationship with someone just to say that you two are together?

Social media has put the spotlight on a number of popular couples such as Beyoncé and Jay Z, Will and Jada Smith, Dewayne Wade and Gabrielle Union-Wade while touting these couples as “relationship goals.” In reality we don’t see or hear about the problems these couples may face or the sad times unless TMZ strikes again and spreads news about a possible divorce or other problems within their relationships that they wanted to keep private. The only “goal” in these relationships that people envy are the dinner dates, gifts the male gives to the woman and publicly sharing smiling photos or videos of the couple together. Is that it? That’s what the dating pool of the 21st century as of 2017 wants out of a relationship? Just to have the opportunity to showcase on social media a happy photo of you two together? Drake said it best referring to the many “relationship goals” couples, “We look like we’re in love, but only on camera.”
However, society never knows if that couple is honestly happy together; they just go off of pictures.
I have a simple solution for blind-eyed individuals and people set out to have a relationship just like the ones they see on their social media timelines. Get a clue people, learn to be yourself and have your own identity and love your partner your own way. Before we can love someone else we must first learn to love ourselves.

A dramatically huge number of people are either no longer in relationships, haven’t been in a relationship in years; have never been in a relationship to begin with or are simply the “side chick” and don’t know it. Since my last relationship, which feels like a century ago, I decided to pick up the pieces and learn to live and love myself, for myself. Knowing how to love yourself no matter who you are or not with, is the key to being able to teach someone how to love you in return. If you are still on the fence about accepting your flaws and the hurtful things of your past, then how can your partner make you overcome them? It will continue to be a constant battle until you learn for yourself how to let the hurtful things of the past go and embrace your flaws because your flaws are what makes you, you. My advice to the young and beautiful women and men of the 21st century trying to find a way to love themselves: set a day once a week and make it  “your day.” Take yourself out to eat or to a movie, buy yourself a gift that will make you happy, or simply just enjoy the world around you. We all know the saying “If you don’t know how to love yourself first, how can you love someone else?” Therefore, in reality no one loves you more than you. In order for someone to put their all into loving you, you must be able to guide them in the right direction in order to succeed at the task at hand.

Which brings us back to the topic of relationship goals in the 21st century: Get your own! The only goal I would want in a relationship, after I have learned the key points in loving myself and                    sharing that love, is a caring person who loves me for me, someone who supports my ambitions and ideas, and most importantly, good for me not just someone to have on my arm. The main goal in life is to be happy and to share that happiness with someone you have chosen to be with. A small word of advice for my single people loving themselves first. There is still hope; in the meantime, love yourself to the utmost high. The right person will come along when the time is right. I’m wondering myself when that will be for me. Until then I will continue to love myself like no other.

 

 

 

iProtocol: Phone Etiquette

Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE
Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE

Cell phones are everywhere and it seems that everyone has one. From those as young as six to octogenarians, a cell phone seems to be permanently attached to their hands. With this popularity comes a new set of problems; when and where it is appropriate to use them? A cell phone can be used to make calls, but it can also be used for entertainment, gathering and sharing information, banking and music; the list goes on.
Look around any gathering; heads are bent as people look down at their phones. Connecting to this technology doesn’t mean we should disconnect from each other.

If we become more wary of how we conduct ourselves, then we can help facilitate the dying art of personal and intimate conversation without alienating it with modern technology. Here are some tips:

Remember to speak softly; microphones on today’s phones are very sensitive. Be courteous when on a group outing; silence the phone to avoid interrupting conversation or activities; voicemail is there for a reason.       Foul language is always inappropriate when it can be overhead and avoid airing dirty laundry. When with others and expecting a call, ask if it is alright to answer and then step away when the call comes in and be brief. When in places of worship, theatres, libraries or restaurants, always turn the phone off. Even on vibrate, it can still disturb others. If the phone must be kept on, use “silent” mode instead and move away from others to take the call.
Do not text during class or at a meeting-it is unprofessional and disrespectful to the instructor or speaker. Once a text or photo is sent, there is no way to get it back, so be careful about the information shared. Never drive and use the phone at the same time. Common courtesy and common sense equals being in charge of the phone, not the phone being in charge of your world.

 

KC Fire Academy celebrates 100th graduation

 

FireacademyGrad_byGrantWorley
Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE

KC Fire Academy graduated 18 students during its 100th graduation celebrated Wednesday, March 29. The ceremony was preceded by a reception hosted for all former KC Fire Academy students, instructors and members of the previous 100 classes. About 60 people attended, including a firefighter musical ensemble.

The former students, many who now hold jobs as firefighters and their instructors, enjoyed reminiscing about how the Academy has progressed since its beginnings in the late ‘80s. The KC Fire Academy was first started in August 1989 by Dennis Cage (retired Kilgore Fire Chief), Leon Glass (former chief of Longview Fire Department) the late Ronnie Moore, and the late David Buress. The Academy had 22 students in its first class. Around 1995, it expanded and began accepting students from Canada.

Of this class’ graduates, seven were from Canada. One of the students, Andrew Pike, from Yukon, Canada, talked about how expensive attending a fire academy up north, although he hopes to return home and find a fire-fighting job there.

During the reception, current lead instructor, Mike Fennell was presented with an award from Harleton Fire Department honoring him for the contributions he has made to the KC Fire Academy. Fennell said it was important to remember where the Academy came from since its humble beginnings in 1989, and to remember where they were and where they are going.

“Kilgore College Fire Academy has a rich, deep-seated tradition in the fire service. And we want to carry that on,” he said.

The academy is recognized as one of the top fire academies in the country and they have had students from all over the world come to the academy, he added.

“We’ve had students come from Canada, Guam, South America, the Bahamas, Europe, the Middle East,”  Fennell said.

Ricky Lasky, an emergency services consultant, motivational speaker and former chief of the Lewisville Fire Department gave a speech at the graduation ceremony. Lasky talked about the reputation of the Academy being one of the best in the nation.

“They teach with passion here,” he said. “It’s all about being a public servant; it’s all about the higher cause, the higher purpose.” Lasky said. His speech embraced the intensity and quality of training KC academy provides. Lasky said so many community colleges and fire departments offer fire training programs but KC fire academy was outstanding.

The KC Fire Academy is recognized by the state as an impeccable program and it is accredited by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and the State Firefighters and Fire Marshals Association. KC fire academy offers three or four classes per year. They have a limit of 25 students per class. The classes last about 12 weeks.

 

The Flare takes on TIPA

 

KC student Tina Marie Reed brought home Photographer of the Year among Div. 2 schools at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association meeting held March 30-April 1 in Dallas. In their respective divisions, the Ranger Yearbook took third in Overall Excellence and The Flare Newspaper received honorable mention in Overall Excellence against two-year colleges and four-year universities across the state.

In on-site competition, Reed, Longview sophomore, placed third in news photography. Reed, along with Tiffany Johnson, Longview sophomore, received an honorable mention in 2-person photo essay. The Flare newspaper received honorable mention in Best of Show. In all, 442 students, representing 45 schools competed head-to-head in 25 events during on-site contests. Students also had the opportunity to choose from more than 50 workshops presented by professional journalists and instructors over a two-day period.

In previously published work, KC students won 10 awards for the Ranger yearbook, including three firsts for photography. The Flare newspaper staff received 17 awards, including first place finishes in feature photo, photo illustration and opinion page design. The Flare Magazine finished in competition with a second place in photo illustration. KC is the only junior college in its yearbook and newspaper division, competing against medium-sized universities such as Rice, Southern Methodist, Stephen F. Austin, Sul Ross, Tarleton and Midwestern, among others.

 

Individual awards are:

• Elijah Banks: 2nd-Newspaper Sports News Story, HM Sports Page Design

• Tiffani Branch: 2nd-Newspaper Picture Story

• Devin Brooks: HM-Yearbook Information Graphic

• Rain Cohn: 3rd-Newspaper News Photo

• Victoria Gilchrist: 1st-Yearbook Photo Story, 1st -Yearbook Academic Photo; 1st-Newspaper Photo Illustration, 2nd-Newspaper Picture Story

• Tiffany Johnson: 1st-Yearbook Photo Story, 2nd-Yearbook Opening Spread, 3rd-Yearbook Information Graphic; HM Newspaper Sports Action Photo

• Lauren LaBoyteaux: 1st-Yearbook Photo Story

• Paulin Libebele: 1st-Yearbook Photo Story

• Meaghan Morton: 1st-Newspaper Opinion Page Design; 2nd– Newspaper Feature Page Design, 2nd-General Magazine Illustration; 3rd– Newspaper Editorial, 3rd– Newspaper Sports Column; HM-Newspaper General Column

• Richard Nguyen: 1st-Yearbook Photo Story, 2nd– Yearbook Sports Action Photo; 2nd-Newspaper Picture Story

• Tina Marie Reed: 1st-Yearbook Photo Story, 1st-Yearbook Feature Photo; 1st-Newspaper Feature Photo, 2nd-Newspaper Ad Design, 2nd-Newspaper Picture Story

• Sam Rodriguez: 1st-Newspaper Photo Illustration

• James Shrewsbury: HM Newspaper News Feature Story

• Da’Jah Thompson: 2nd-Newspaper Sports Feature

• Staff- 3rd-Yearbook Student Life Package, Yearbook Title Page; 3rd-Newspaper Special Edition

 

Tiffany Johnson was the editor of the 2016 Ranger Yearbook. Kathryn Agee was the editor of The Flare during Spring 2016. Meaghan Morton was the editor of The Flare during Fall 2016.

TIPA is the largest and oldest state collegiate press association in the nation. It was established in 1909 to recognize excellence in Texas collegiate journalism.

 

The Sky’s the Limit: Revels 2017 Gallery

Review: Revels 2017 ‘The Sky’s the Limit’

Rev17_TiffanyJohnsonONLINE

Photo by Tiffany Johnson

The ’Rettes dazzle Dodson Auditorium with the production of Revels, “The Sky’s the Limit” while paying tribute to the late Deana Bolton-Covin, the second instructor of the Rangerettes, who died during the summer of 2016.

When you jump on the ‘Rette Jet 767, buckle up and brace yourself for airport glitz and glam. The show opened with a nostalgic tone, of a time when stewardesses were all young, beautiful women, with a video advertising the theme of Revels, “The Sky’s the Limit.” The show features all of the places the ‘Rettes have traveled this year, including, New York City, Hawaii and Washington D.C.

Early on, we meet our MC, Meghan Robertson, a Rangerette Forever who now resides in New York. Her quirky antics and multiple voices draw the crowd in to get to know a fully developed character. She has her highs, when she performs a Spanish number, and her lows, when casting directors in New York shoot her down after a wonderfully performed musical medley. This will be one of your favorite parts of the show if you are into any kind of musical theatre. The mashup she sings consists of songs from the musicals Rent, Les Miserables, Hairspray and so many more. It’s so perfectly put together; you can’t help but squeal in your seat.

The actual takeoff was intense with an early, polished hip-hop number, with all of the women garbed in a flashy red color. At this point in the show I wondered how many sequins were used in the making of the costumes. Each costume was amazingly bright, blingy and caught my eye, but was never too overwhelming.

When the Rangerettes finally touch down in New York, they were greeted with an urban jungle. Sky scrapers surround the performers. Each destination also came with its own video showing photos and videos from the trip. The Rangerettes were in uniform on surf boards, dancing among tall buildings and mingled at the Black tie and Boot event held in Washington D.C.

During the show, the organization honors Paula Jamerson, retired Coordinator of Alumni Relations. The women also dedicated the second-to-last dance number to remember Deana Bolton-Covin and all of the work she did to “bring the Rangerettes to a new, polished perfection.”

Of course, the managers had their time on the stage, but I want to save the surprise of the actual performance for you. Let’s just say it involves grass skirts and flowers.

The entire performance was an entertainment extravaganza, and I’m sure the Rangerettes would love to have you back on the ‘Rette Jet 767.

 

 

Women succeed in journalism over time despite lack of diversity

The first newspaper was printed in 1690 in Boston, Massachusetts. Printer Benjamin Harris published “Publick Occurrences” without the special leave and license needed and the paper was confiscated and destroyed.

•Less than 100 years later, on January 4, 1739, Elizabeth Timothy became the first female in the American colonies to become the sole publisher of a newspaper. Upon the death of her husband, Timothy took over her husband’s duties at the “South Carolina Gazette.” She would remain in this position for the next seven years before handing the reigns over to her son.

•Anne Newport Royall is usually considered to be the first American newspaper woman. She began her newspaper career in 1831 when she wrote and printed “Paul Pry” from her home. She was 62.

In her pit bull, confrontational style, she wrote against government corruption in Washington. She is credited with being the first woman to interview a president and in fact, interviewed all of them from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln at some point during or after their careers.

In 1837, Sarah Joseph Hale became the literary editor of “Godey’s Lady Book” at the age of 40. Hale lobbied to make Thanksgiving a national holiday and also spoke out against universities for not offering advanced degrees to women.

•The “New York Herald Tribune” offered Margaret Fuller a position in 1846. When she accepted, she became not only the first female staff member for a major daily newspaper, but also the first American female book reviewer. She said “The especial genius of women I believe to be electrical in movement, intuitive in function, spiritual in tendency.”

•Jennie June was the pseudonym used by Jane Cunningham Croly. In 1854 she began writing a column for the “New York Sunday Times” titled “Parlor and Side-Walk Gossip.” This column earned her the distinction of becoming the first syndicated woman columnist.

•Nellie Bly was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran in 1864. Her journalism career began when she wrote a letter to the editor of the “Pittsburgh Dispatch” in response to an article. He liked her style and offered her a job. Bly is best known for her trip around the world and for a 10 day, voluntary stay in an insane asylum. Her world trip was in competition with Jules Verne’s book, “Around the World in 80 Days.” She only took 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.Arthur Brisbane, just days after her death in 1922, said she was “the best reporter in America.”

•Foreign affairs became the fodder for writer Dorothy Thompson. She was the first journalist to be expelled from Nazi Germany in 1934. She began writing for the “New York Herald Tribune” in 1936. In 1939, she was covered by “Time” magazine and was called “one of the two most influential women in America, second only to First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.” She was given the title “First Lady of Journalism” for her tireless reporting of the realities of Nazism.

•The first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism was Anne O’Hare McCormick in 1937.

These brave women fought for and won their place in the male-dominated world of journalism. Their hard work, dedication and sacrifice is still honored today. With only about 37 percent of journalists being women, the fight continues.

 

March recognizes women throughout history

 

March is Women’s History Month, a month to celebrate women in our society who have contributed to the advancement of the world.

Established in 1978 by the Education Task Force of Sonoma County Commission in California, the “Women’s History Week” celebration takes place around the week of March 8, International Women’s Day. When other communities learned of the success of the Sonoma celebration, similar celebrations quickly spread around the nation. In a presidential message in 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated March 2 to 8 National Women’s History Week.

“From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation.” Carter said. “Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

In 1986, there was a state-by-state action to change the week to a month; in March of 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month.

Here is a list of first ladies, inventors, and leaders of the Women’s Rights Movement.  This list is small in comparison to all of the women who have made contributions. These women can inspire future generations to keep reaching for their dreams and to keep improving rights for all women. These women who came before us made great sacrifices to get us where we are today.

 

First ladies –

 

•Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962) Women’s and Civil Rights, Diplomat, Author, Columnist, and U.S. First Lady. Active in politics, she changed the role of the first lady. She was one of the first public officials to publicize issues through mass media, and also married to 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt.“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face …You must do the thing you think you cannot do,” Roosevelt said.

 

•Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929 – 1994) Journalist, publisher, and U.S. First Lady. Known as “Jackie” she is noted for bringing style and elegance to the White House. In her earlier years, she was a columnist for the Washington Times – Herald.  Married to 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy, she transformed the White House into a museum of American history to inspire public service and patriotism.  After the assassination of her husband President Kennedy, grief-stricken, she showed incredible strength by standing beside Johnson as he was sworn in to office while still wearing her pink blood-stained dress. She became senior editor at Doubleday Publishing after the death of her second husband Aristotle Onassis.

 

•Pat Nixon (1912-1993) Children’s Activist, U.S. First Lady. Took up the cause of volunteerism. Married to 37th U.S. President Richard Nixon. As First Lady, she opened the White House to be more accessible.

 

•Hillary Clinton (1947 -) Women’s Rights Activist, Government Official, Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and U.S. First Lady. She worked several decades for children and women’s rights in America, and also ran as a presidential candidate in 2016. She is married to 42nd President Bill Clinton.“Yes, there are still ceilings to break for women and men – for all of us. But don’t let anyone tell you that great things can’t happen in America. Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win. Our history has moved in that direction. Thanks to generations of Americans who refuse to give up or back down,” she said.

 

Women’s Rights – 

 

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) Women’s Rights Activist, Civil Rights Activist, Teacher, Journalist, Editor and Publisher. Anthony worked for the abolitionist movement to end slavery. After the Civil War, Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton focused on women’s rights and created the National American Woman Suffrage Association.  “It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizens, nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed this Union,” Anthony said.

 

•Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was a women’s rights activist who worked toward the legalization of birth control and educated women about sex. “No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother,” Sanger said.

 

Inventors –

 

•Margaret Knight (1838-1914) Came up with a safety device for textile looms after seeing a faulty piece of equipment injured a fellow worker. She gaind her first patent in 1871, a machine that cut and glued the bottom paper in shopping bags. Before the invention, workers would have to do it by hand. In her lifetime, she received 27 patents.

•Melitta Bentz (1873-1950) Created the coffee filter system, Bentz, which received a patent in 1908. The business is still running today.

•Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979) was a scientist, inventor and the first woman to receive a Ph. D in physics at Cambridge University. She was the first woman to be hired by General Electric. She contributed to military needs for gas masks, smoke screens and a new technique to de-ice airplane wings. She also came up with the glass that is used for lenses in cameras and movie projectors. It is also essential for eyeglasses, car windshields and computer screens.