Foundation unearths lost tales of women who changed the state - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Foundation unearths lost tales of women who changed the state

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Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2003 11:16 am | Updated: 1:33 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Even though Arizona’s last two governors have been women, it took plenty of estrogen to pave the way for females to take power positions in the state.

"Arizona has a rich women’s history, which is largely unrecorded," said Janolyn LoVecchio of the Arizona Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.

She lists significant events such as suffrage in 1912; election of the first women legislators in 1914; the first woman chief justice of a state Supreme Court (Lorna Lockwood) in 1965; and the first woman U.S. Supreme Court justice (Sandra Day O’Connor) in 1981. And, in 2000, Arizona became the first state to have women in the top five state government positions.

To make sure the accomplishments of the state’s female trailblazers don’t go forgotten, the foundation has published the third volume of "Women Who Made a Difference," a 416-page archival book that chronicles Arizona women’s history. The book will be released Saturday at a lunch at the Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale. Some of the women profiled in the book will be honored.

"History is fragile," LoVecchio said. "Unless it is recorded, it is quickly lost. Many of the biographies in this book are of women who were well known during their lifetime, but are now largely unknown."

One example is Emma Guild, a social worker and president of the Arizona Federation of Women’s Clubs who was the first woman to run for U.S. Congress in Arizona in 1922 against incumbent Carl Hayden.

Others include Helen Marston, a founder of Paradise Valley and its first town clerk and postmaster; Laura McRae, a state legislator in the 1950s who wrote a bill that established the Tempe Crippled Children’s Home; Mildred Bratzell, the first woman elected to the Scottsdale City Council in 1953; and Mitzi Zipf, founder of Mesa Historical Society and state president of Arizona Press Women.

Meet the groundbreakers

Who: The Arizona Business and Professional Women’s Foundation

What: Some of the Arizona women whose biographies are published in the third volume of "Women Who Made a Difference" will be honored and will sign copies of the book at a gala lunch. When: 11:30 a.m. Saturday Where: Chaparral Suites Resort, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale Cost: $22 Information: (520) 889-6910

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