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The January 1, 1956 edition of The Bulletin of the American Society of Newspaper Editors was dedicated to “Women in Journalism.” A full page was given to an article written by Thomas Collins, the feature editor of the Chicago Daily News with the headline “There are Ladies Present” and the subhead, “(Being an account of […]

Mom Dad Beach with Santa

During the last few years of my mother’s life, one of the most important set of tasks on her year-end to-do list was to be sure that the Christmas letter was dictated, formatted, and photocopied; that “the list” was as up-to-date as possible; and that festive holiday stamps were purchased for the mass mailing. In […]

Photo One

Tomorrow marks the 96th year that people around the world think about soldiers and war on November 11. In some countries, the day is known as Remembrance Day — in England, it is marked by a profusion of poppies in gardens, graveyards, and buttonholes. In the United States, it is Veterans Day. But 70 years […]

Penney Award

I got back a couple days ago from the annual conference of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender, held this year in San Francisco. It’s a “boutique” conference – 120 or so women and men gathered to talk about issues that really matter to me. I attended panels considering women and […]


When I think and write about history, I use words. My book about my father’s transformation from boy to man during his service in WWII relied on the more than 300 letters he wrote home to his family, his diary, and the writings of others in the European Theatre and historical accounts. My current project […]


I spent several days last week working through archived papers of women journalists. I’d been to the National Women and Media Collection at the University of Missouri before, but this time I was concentrating on the correspondence of the women I study, gazing at their professional and personal lives as I leafed through files of […]

detroit busing

In 1972, Michigan Judge Stephen Roth ruled in Bradley v. Millikin that the requirement to integrate the Detroit Public Schools could not be achieved within the geographical limits of the city. He ordered that the remedy should be a program of busing between inner city and suburban schools. Suburbia erupted with rage: protests, effigy hangings, […]


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