Penn State University Libraries - University Libraries Home
Table of Contents
- Descriptive Summary
- Biographical Note
- Biographical/Historical note
- Collection Overview
- Collection Arrangement
- Administrative Information
- Collection Inventory
- Series 1: Oral history interviews
- Series 2: Supporting Materials
- Series 3: Photographs
- Series 4: Oral History Tapes
A Few Good Women Oral History collection, 1938-2000 (bulk 1969-2000)
|A Few Good Women Oral History collection|
|1938-2000, bulk 1969-2000|
|Franklin, Barbara Hackman|
|The Honorable Barbara Hackman Franklin graduated from Penn State University and Harvard Business School. Between 1971 and 1973, as a staff assistant to President Nixon, she led the first White House effort to recruit women for high-level government jobs.|
|The collection consists primarily of oral history interview transcripts, original tape recordings of the interviews, and photographs and related papers donated by the interviewees documenting high-ranking women working in the Nixon administration.|
|6.68 Linear Feet|
|For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library catalog.|
|Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.|
These oral history interviews and related papers are the product of the A Few Good Women: Advancing the cause for Women in Government, 1969-1974 oral history project initiated by the Honorable Barbara Hackman Franklin in 1995. Barbara Franklin's role in the Nixon White House from 1971 to 1973 is the keystone for advancing women into leadership positions in government. After graduation from Penn State in 1962, she became one of the first women to receive an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School in 1964. With path-breaking experiences in business, she accepted a position as Staff Assistant to President Richard M. Nixon in 1971 with the mission to recruit talented women into leadership positions in the federal government. After great success she was nominated and confirmed as Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the newly established Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1973. After six years of service, she returned to business, founding a consulting firm and becoming a director on a number of corporate boards, a senior fellow of the Wharton School of Business, and director of the Wharton Government and Business Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and at various times as a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy Negotiations, as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. In 1992-1993, she served as the 29th Secretary of Commerce in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. Returning to the private sector, she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, a consulting and investment firm. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, and the Distinguished Alumni award from Penn State. In 1994, Franklin donated her papers to the Penn State University Archives and agreed to the suggestion of University Archivist Lee Stout that an oral project be developed to record the reminiscences of the women who were recruited and trained for upper-level government positions during the administration of President Richard M. Nixon. This project marked the first systematic effort to open such positions to women. The initiative began with President Nixon's response to a reporter's question in a news conference about two weeks after his inauguration in February, 1969. Vera Glaser asked why there had been only three women among the first 200 appointments. Mr. Nixon was unaware of this but promised to correct the imbalance. The Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities, chaired by Virginia Allan, former president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs had been created in 1968. All of its various recommendations were ultimately adopted by the Nixon Administration, including the creation of a White House office to recruit women into executive positions in the federal government. Barbara Hackman Franklin took that position in 1971, coming from Citibank, where she was an assistant vice president and head of the governmental relations department. A critical step in this process was the requirement that cabinet secretaries and agency heads submit Action Plans to the President, describing how they intended to place, recruit, advance and train women in their departments. One year later, the number of women in posts paying $28,000 and up (GS-16 and above) increased from 36 to 105, many in positions women had never held before. Four years later, in March 1973, there had been more than 1,000 women hired or promoted to middle management positions. Women also became forest rangers, FBI agents and sky marshals. The logjam of promotions for women in the military service was also broken. The former limit of one female colonel per service branch was put aside and women were promoted for the first time to general and admiral. Barriers against women in the foreign service were lifted. Women headed the Federal Maritime Commission, the Tariff Commission, and the Atomic Energy Commission for the first time. Numbers of women appointed to the federal judiciary increased. In 1997, an Interim Advisory Board for the project was formed, chaired by Barbara Hackman Franklin, with the objective of launching a project to collect oral history interviews and related papers from women and men involved with the advancement of women in government. Individuals were identified by the Board to be interviewed and a cooperative relationship with the Penn State University Libraries was established to house the histories for use by future scholars and historians. Jean Rainey, a retired public relations executive who was active in women's issues during the era of the project, was named project administrator and served as interviewer. Funding for the project was raised from private corporations and individuals interested in supporting the project as well as specific outcomes. Tapes and transcripts of the interviews, along with copies of related papers donated by several interviewees have been donated to the Penn State University Archives, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University Libraries.
Julie Nixon Eisenhower Julie Nixon was born in 1948 in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Smith College in 1970 and received a master's degree in Elementary Education from Catholic University in 1971. She was active in both of her father's presidential campaigns and during the Nixon administration, she traveled across the country, representing the White House on behalf of children's issues, the environment, and the elderly. She married David Eisenhower on December 28, 1968. From 1973-1975, Nixon Eisenhower served as Assistant Managing Editor of the Saturday Evening Post, and helped establish a book division for Curtis Publishing Co., its parent corporation. Since that time, she has written or edited five books, including Pat Nixon: The Untold Story, a biography of her mother. She has an extensive record of community service in the Philadelphia area and is co-chair of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace Foundation. The Honorable Barbara Hackman Franklin Barbara Franklin's role in the Nixon White House from 1971 to 1973 is the keystone for advancing women into leadership positions in government and also for this oral history project. After graduation from Penn State in 1962, she became one of the first women to receive an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School in 1964. With path-breaking experiences in business, she accepted a position as Staff Assistant to President Richard M. Nixon in 1971 with the mission to recruit talented women into leadership positions in the federal government. After great success she was nominated and confirmed as Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the newly established Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1973. After six years of service, she returned to business, founding a consulting firm and becoming a director on a number of corporate boards, a senior fellow of the Wharton School of Business, and director of the Wharton Government and Business Program at the University of Pennyslvania, and at various times as a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy Negotiations, as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. In 1992-1993, she served as the 29th Secretary of Commerce in the administration of President George H. W. Bush. Returning to the private sector, she is now President and Chief Executive Officer of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, a consulting and investment firm. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, and the Distinguished Alumni award from Penn State. Vera Glaser A Washington correspondent and bureau chief since 1963, Vera Glaser has written for the North American Newspaper Alliance, Knight Ridder Newspapers, Maturity News Service, and most recently has been contributing editor for The Washingtonian magazine. She has been a free-lance writer for a variety of magazines and a commentator on radio and television. In 1970, she served as a member of President Nixon's Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities and has served as a public member of a variety of USIA and Department of State advisory panels. She has been president of the Washington Press Club, a governor of the National Press Club, and a member of the board of the International Women's Media Foundation. Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall is a Los Angeles native and attended undergraduate and law school at Stanford. She spent a year as an undergraduate at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, and later took a master's degree in tax law at New York University. She served as a law clerk to a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, before joining the Justice Department as a trial lawyer and later the Treasury Department to work on tax policy. She took up private practice in 1966. In 1972, she was offered a seat on the Tax Court in Washington, where she served until 1981. She then moved to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and in 1984 was named to the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. She has since moved to senior status on the court. Rita Hauser Rita Hauser is President of The Hauser Foundation. She is an international lawyer, senior Partner and now of counsel to the New York City law firm, Stroock, Stroock and Lavan. She is known for her public service and philanthropic work. Interested in world peace, security, and human rights, she has served as the U.S. Representative to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and on commissions affiliated with the U.S. Department of State, The Brookings Institution and the International Center for Peace in the Middle East. Dr. Hauser chairs The International Peace Academy and The Advisory Board of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy. She is a director of many organizations, including: The Rand Corporation, The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, The New York Philharmonic Society and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is on the Visiting Committee of the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University, on the Dean's Advisory Board of Harvard Law School, and chair of the Advisory Board of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. Dr. Hauser is a National Co-Chair of the Harvard University Campaign. She holds advanced degrees from the University of Strasbourg in France, Harvard and NYU Law Schools, and the University of Paris Law Faculty. Patricia Reilly Hitt A Whittier, California native, Patricia Reilly Hitt graduated from the University of Southern California. She was an educator and board member of several educational organizations. She began ringing doorbells for Richard Nixon in his first political campaign in 1946. She became increasingly active in California politics, working in a number of campaigns, rising eventually to National Co-chair of the Nixon-Agnew Campaign in 1968, the first woman to hold such a post in either party. In January 1969, she was named Assistant Secretary for Community and Field Services, Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In this position, she was responsible for coordinating the work of the Department's ten regional field offices across all programs. She has received numerous awards including honorary doctorates from several colleges and served on the boards of Whittier College and Chapman College and a number of other organizations. After her term in Washington, she returned to California where she is active in community service, although she remained an appointee to the President's Commission on White House Fellows. Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm, USAF - Retired Jeanne M. Holm was the first woman in the armed forces to be promoted to the rank of Major General (1973), and this was only one of her many firsts. She served in the Army from 1942-1945 and transferred to the Air Force in 1948, when a new law integrated women in the regular armed forces. Gen. Holm served in a variety of personnel assignments, including Director of Women in the Air Force from 1965-1973. She played a significant role in eliminating restrictions on numbers of women serving in all ranks, expanding job and duty station assignments for women, opening ROTC and service academies to women, and changing the policies on the status of women in the armed forces. According to Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, "Gen. Jeanne Holm is recognized as the single driving force in achieving parity for military women and making them a viable part of the mainstream military." After her retirement, she served as a Special Assistant on Women for President Ford and as a policy consultant for the Carter administration. She is the author of Women in the Military, An Unfinished Revolution (Presidio Press, 1986, revised edition, 1992). Patricia Hutar With her political involvement beginning in the Young Republicans, Patricia Hutar became an early advocate for women's rights and initiated her interest in international affairs both in her professional and political careers. She served as co-chair of the Republican National Committee. Ms. Hutar was appointed to the Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities. Later she was appointed by the President of the United States to serve as U.S. Representative to the U.N. Commission of the Status of Women, and in that capacity was chair of the U.S. delegations to the International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City. As a result of her interest in international women's affairs, she became the Founding President of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Later Ms. Hutar was elected President of the National Federation of Republican Women. She has served as a consultant on national/international affairs. Ms. Hutar became the Director of the Office of International Medicine for the American Medical Association. She also served as a member of the Washington Roundtable of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ms. Hutar is a founding member and director of the International Foundation for Election Systems. She was elected chair of the Board of Directors of IFES in June 2001, and was also elected chair of the Board of Directors of IFES Limited, London, in July 2001. IFES is committed to serving emerging, transitional and mature democracies in the areas of elections, the rule of law, strengthening of civil society, and governance. E. Pendleton James E. Pendleton James has over thirty years experience in the executive search field. He is a 1954 graduate of the University of the Pacific and did graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Santa Clara. After several positions in personnel management and recruiting, Pen James became a member of President Nixon's White House staff (1970-1972), where he served as Deputy Special Assistant to the President with primary responsibility for recruiting leading figures to fill Presidential appointment positions. Returning to the private sector in 1981, he was president and owner of Pen James and Associates, Inc., an executive search firm headquartered in Los Angeles. In 1980, he became director of personnel for President-elect Reagan. From January 1981 to August 1982, he served in the Reagan White House as Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel, where he was responsible for Cabinet and sub-Cabinet appointments in all departments and agencies of the Federal Government, as well as appointments to regulatory agencies, boards, commissions, and ambassadorships. In April 1983, President Reagan nominated James to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Communications Satellite Corporation. He later returned to his company and, in 1996, James sold his interests in Pen James and Associates. He is also a former member of the board of the Metropolitan Life Series Fund and the White House Fellows Commission. He currently serves on the Board of the Citizens for Democracy Corps, which fosters privatization in Eastern Europe. During his career, he has been involved in a number of civic and philanthropic organizations. Virginia Knauer Virginia Knauer grew up in Philadelphia, where her father was a professor of accounting at Temple University, and she graduated from both the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania. She became interested in politics in the 1950s and began organizing Republican women's groups in support of President Eisenhower. She was later elected to consecutive terms on the Philadelphia City Council, and became Governor Raymond Shafer's principal advisor on consumer affairs, a new post. She was lured to Washington and took a similar post in the Nixon White House, which she later held under Presidents Ford and Reagan as well. Because of her expertise, she also served on the Cost of Living Council and a number of other White House domestic policy committees. At other times, she formed her own consulting service on consumer affairs, was chair of the non-partisan Council for the Advancement of Consumer Policy, and served on a number of other organizational and corporate boards. Knauer has also been active in Republican politics, historic preservation activities, and has received numerous awards for her public service and work on behalf of the consumer movement. Esther Christian Lawton Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1910, Esther Lawton's family realized from an early age that she had academic talent and supported her education through college at a time when relatively few women could take that route. She graduated from the University of Rochester in 1932 and, with her husband, took the Civil Service examination for a government position. She was called to Washington in June 1936, and began working in the Treasury Department, first in public relations, and then coordinating foreign intelligence reporting before the creation of the Office of Strategic Services. In 1942, she began work as a position classifier, the field where she would make extraordinary contributions over the next 38 years. She rose gradually, becoming Assistant Director in 1961 and Deputy Director of Personnel for the Treasury Department in 1972, then the highest ranking woman in the department. Esther Lawton was an extraordinary teacher and organizational leader. In 1961, she was the first woman elected president of the American Society for Public Administration. She founded the Training Officers' Conference, the Classification and Compensation Society, and the International Association for Personnel Women, as well as a number of women's organizations. During these years, Lawton also served as a consultant for the Ford Foundation in Lebanon and Jordan, advising those governments on personnel management, occupational classification, and salary scale determination. During the 1970s, Lawton was instrumental in developing lists of women qualified for supergrade positions and she worked closely with Barbara Franklin. Widely known as probably the best classification analyst in the federal government, Lawton received numerous awards including the 1969 Federal Woman's Award and was twice named Professional Woman of the Year by Washington's Business and Professional Women's Clubs. She retired from the federal government in 1980 and opened her own management consulting firm as well as teaching at George Washington University's School of Government and Business Administration. Ether Lawton died in Washington, D.C., on February 14, 1998. Fred Malek Fred Malek grew up near Chicago and won an appointment to West Point. Following a tour as an airborne ranger officer with the Special Forces in Vietnam, he spent two years in business before coming to Washington as Deputy Under Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1970 he became Special Assistant to President Nixon, where he was responsible for recruiting for cabinet-level positions, commissions and boards. He later served as Deputy Director of the Office and Management and Budget and then Member of the White House Domestic Council, before leaving government service in 1975 to join the Marriott Corporation. There he rose to become President of Marriott Hotels and Resorts when he moved on to become President and Co-CEO, and later Chairman, of Northwest Airlines. During the 1990s, he founded Thayer Capital Partners, a finance and investment firm, and serves as a director of several corporations. Malek remained active in Republican political circles and served in advisory roles in both the Reagan and Bush administrations. His book, Washington's Hidden Tragedy, the Failure to Make Government Work, stemmed from his leadership of an effort to improve government management. Paula Adams Tennant Paula Adams Tennant followed a singular path to a law career. Graduating from high school during the Depression, she could not afford college. She served in the Navy during the war, and afterward went to law school on the GI Bill. Passing the California bar exam, she began her practice of law. She served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Territory of Alaska in Fairbanks and as a district attorney in California, and was twice appointed by Gov. Ronald Reagan to the California Youth Authority Board, the state's parole body for juveniles. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon appointed Tennant to the U.S. Board of Parole, where she played a significant role over a number of years in reforming the federal parole process. In 1983, President Reagan appointed her to the U.S. Parole Commission. Since her retirement, she has continued to write and publish poetry, has been a volunteer for the SETI Institute, and is involved in a variety of community projects near her home in northern California. Margita E. White Margita White emigrated from Sweden with her family in 1948 when she was ten years old. She grew up in Southern California and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Redlands in 1959. She developed a strong interest in politics, volunteering and working in several legislative offices. In 1960, she received her M.A. in political science from Rutgers where she was a Woodrow Wilson National Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She worked in both the 1960 Nixon and 1964 Goldwater presidential campaigns while pursuing a career in public policy. After working on the 1968 Nixon campaign, she joined the White House staff as an assistant to Communications Director Herbert G. Klein. In 1973, she was named Assistant Director for Public Information at the U.S. Information Agency and in 1975 returned to the White House as, first, Assistant Press Secretary and, then, Director of the restored Office of Communications for President Ford. In 1976, she was appointed to a two-year term on the Federal Communications Commission. After the expiration of her term, she served as a director and then vice chair of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc., and on a number of other corporate boards. Between 1988 and her retirement in 2001, she was president of the Association for Maximum Service Television, Inc., an industry group working on technology policy issues and the primary advocates for high definition initiatives in broadcast television. In April 2001, the National Association of Broadcasters honored her with the acclaimed "Spirit of Broadcasting" award. Margita White died on November 20, 2002.
The collection consists primarily of oral history interview transcripts, original tape recordings of the interviews, and photographs and related papers donated by the interviewees. These materials may range from just a resume or curriculum vitae, to copies of newspaper clippings, articles, speeches and other writings to collected reports and other documents from the era. Interviewees include Virginia Allan, Anne L. Armstrong, Catherine May Bedell, Helen Delich Bentley, Charles L. Clapp, Evelyn Cunningham, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Barbara Hackman Franklin, Vera Glaser, Cynthia Holcomb Hall, Rita Hauser, Patricia Reilly Hitt, Jeanne M. Holm, Patricia Hutar, E. Pendleton James, Virginia Knauer, Esther Christian Lawton, Fred Malek, Paula Adams Tennant [published as "Adams"], and Margita E. White. The Esther Lawton Papers are described in a separate inventory. Biographical Sketches of the Interviewees Virginia Allan Virginia Allan was a native of Michigan and was an educator and businesswoman, whose interest in women's issues developed through her work as President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, where she initiated the idea of a national network of state commissions on the status of women, based on her experience on Michigan's commission. In 1969, she was named chair of President Nixon's Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities. From that group came the report "A Matter of Simple Justice" and from its recommendations grew the Women's Equality Act of 1971. In 1972, she was named Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, where she served in a variety of roles and was the liaison with non-governmental organizations for the International Women's Year conference in Mexico City in 1975. She also attended world conferences in Copenhagen in 1980 and Nairobi in 1985. In 1983, she helped to inaugurate the United States Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, a non-profit organization created to support projects to promote the political, economic, and social empowerment of women around the world. She also served as Director of the Graduate School of Women's Studies at George Washington University. In 1993, she retired and moved to Florida. She died in Sarasota, August 8, 1999. The Honorable Anne L. Armstrong Anne Legendre Armstrong was born in New Orleans and graduated from Vassar College. After work as a journalist, she married Tobin Armstrong, a Texas cattle rancher. In 1966, she became involved in the Texas Republican Party and was elected Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1971. She was the first woman to deliver a keynote address at the Republican National Convention in 1972 and became a Counselor to the President in 1972. There she served on the president's Domestic Council, the Council on Wage and Price Stability, and the Commission on the Organization of Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy. In 1976 President Ford appointed her U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. She served as chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 1981 to 1990, and the Secretary of State's Advisory Panel on Overseas Security. She is currently chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., as well as a member of the Texas A and M University Board of Regents. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Reagan in 1987. The Honorable Catherine May Bedell Catherine Dean May was born in Yakima, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington in 1936 with a degree in education. She later studied speech at the University of Southern California and taught English before becoming involved in broadcasting. She was a writer and assistant commentator with the National Broadcasting Co., New York City 1944-1946, and women's editor at station KIT, Yakima, Washington, 1948-1957. She served as a member of the Washington State Legislature from 1952 to 1958; and was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican, serving six terms (1959-1971) before losing a bid for reelection in 1970. She married Donald W. Bedell in November 1970. She was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the United States International Trade Commission, and served 1971-1981, and also was appointed Special Consultant to the President on the 50 States Project, 1982. She has been president of her own firm, Bedell Associates and is a resident of Palm Desert, Calif. The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley Former U.S. Representative from Maryland (1985-1995), Helen Delich Bentley entered government service in the Nixon administration as Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. Helen Bentley grew up in the Nevada mining town of Ruth and attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Graduating in 1944, she took a position with the United Press, eventually landing in Baltimore as Maritime Editor for the Baltimore Sun. In this position she covered all forms of transportation and its labor relations activities. During this time she also produced local television news programs in Baltimore and Philadelphia dealing with trade and the two ports. In these she did profiles on more than 800 companies in the trade and shipping businesses. After writing some pieces for the Nixon Campaign she was recruited to be Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. She left office in 1975 to become a business consultant and, in 1984 was elected to Congress representing Baltimore and Harford counties, Maryland. She was re-elected four more times and, after 1995, returned to her international trade and business consulting practice. Charles L. Clapp Charles Clapp received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. As the winner of one of five American Political Science Awards given nationally to spend nine months in Washington working for members of Congress, Charles Clapp had the experience of working for Peter Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) in the House and John F. Kennedy (D-MA) in the Senate. He then served as a special assistant on the Special Senate Committee to Investigate Political Activities, Lobbying and Campaign Contributions, and later on the staff of Representative Charles Chamberlain (R-MI). He then went to the Brookings Institution where, in 1966, he published the study "The Congressman: His Work as He Sees It." From there he joined the staff of Senator Leverett Saltonstall (R-MA) where he served for five years until the Senator retired. His next position was as Special Assistant to the Secretary (Head) of the Smithsonian Institution. With the election of Richard M. Nixon in 1968, Arthur Burns, counsel to the President at the time, invited him to come on his staff as Special Assistant to the President, where he was responsible for the 17 Presidential task forces developed in the domestic area to provide recommendations for programs. As a member of the Domestic Council staff, he was named co-chair of the first White House Conference on Corrections. After President Nixon's re-election, he was nominated and confirmed by the Senate as a Commissioner of the Interstate Commerce Commission, where he served for eight years. He later became Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary for the Postal Rate Commission for 11 years. Evelyn Cunningham Evelyn Cunningham studied journalism at Long Island University and graduated in 1943. She secured a position with the Pittsburgh Courier, then one of America's leading newspapers serving the African-American community across the nation. In her roles as New York City editor, she interviewed Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and many other prominent leaders, and she covered all of the major civil rights events of the1950s and 1960s. She also produced and hosted for five years a popular radio program on WLIB in New York called "At Home with Evelyn Cunningham," which featured interviews with significant figures in the African-American community in New York. Cunningham had campaigned for Nelson Rockefeller and, in 1968, he offered her a position on his staff and she accepted. After two years, as administrative assistant to Jackie Robinson, she moved to the Women's Unit of state government. There, she was responsible for liaison with women's organizations and mounted the first major conference in New York government on women's issues. She was invited to become a member of the Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities in 1969 and later served in several other positions in the White House. She is the founder of The Coalition of 100 Black Women, and is an active supporter and participant in a number of organizations dedicated to the arts in the African-American community.
The collection is arranged into four series: Oral history interviews; Supporting papers; Photographs; and Oral history tapes.
Collection is open for research. Restrictions, where applicable, are noted at the series, subseries, or file levels.
Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
[Identification of item], A Few Good Women Oral History Collection (1), Penn State University Archives, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.
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