Daily Update: Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

07-19 - Seneca Falls Convention

We have no Saints to honor, but on this date in 1848 the two day Women’s Rights Convention opened in Seneca Falls, New York. 

In 1840, at the urging of abolitionist and journalist William Lloyd Garrison and abolitionist Wendell Phillips, Lucretia Coffin Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled with their husbands and a dozen other American male and female abolitionists to London for the first World’s Anti-Slavery Convention, with the expectation that a motion put forward by Phillips to include women’s participation in the convention would be controversial but would eventually be agreed to. In London, the proposal was rebuffed after a full day of debate; the women were allowed to listen from the gallery but not allowed to speak or vote. Mott and Stanton became friends in London and on the return voyage together planned to organize their own convention to further the cause of women’s rights, separate from abolition concerns. Mott was a Philadelphia Quaker famous for her speaking ability, a skill rarely cultivated by American women at the time, and Stanton, living in Seneca Falls, was a skeptical non-Quaker who followed logic more than religion. The local women, primarily members of a radical Quaker group, organized the 1848 Convention in Seneca Falls; the meeting spanned two days and six sessions, and included a lecture on law, a humorous presentation, and multiple discussions about the role of women in society. (Despite reports that women’s trousers, later dubbed “bloomers”, made their debut at the Convention, bloomers did not in fact appear until the next year.) Stanton and the Quaker women presented two prepared documents, the Declaration of Sentiments and an accompanying list of resolutions, to be debated and modified before being put forward for signatures. A vigorous discussion sprang up regarding women’s right to vote, with many including Mott urging the removal of this concept, but Frederick Douglass argued eloquently for its inclusion, and the suffrage resolution was retained. Exactly one hundred of the approximately three hundred attendees signed the document, mostly women. During and after the Convention, newspaper coverage was mixed between admiration and scorn; and while no ministers of local congregations spoke out while at the Convention, even after being invited to speak, many who had attended, and more who had not, attacked the Convention, the Declaration of Sentiments, and the resolutions from their pulpits on the next Sunday, July 23rd. Women in the congregations reported these developments to Stanton, who saw the actions of the ministers as cowardly; in their congregations, no one would be allowed to reply. The convention was seen by some of its contemporaries, including featured speaker Mott, as but a single step in the continuing effort by women to gain for themselves a greater proportion of social, civil and moral rights, but it was viewed by others as a revolutionary beginning to the struggle by women for complete equality with men. By 1851, when another convention was organized, called the National Women’s Rights Convention, in Worcester, Massachusetts, the issue of women’s right to vote had become a central tenet of the United States women’s rights movement. These conventions became annual events until the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. Stanton published the History of Woman Suffrage between 1881 and 1922 which identified the Seneca Falls Convention as the start of the push for women’s suffrage in the United States. Of the sixty-eight women who signed the Declaration of Sentiments, only Charlotte Woodward was still alive in 1920 when the Nineteenth Amendment passed, giving women the right to vote; she was ill on Election Day, 1920, and died the next year at the age of ninety-one, never having voted.

Richard left for Baton Rouge at about 8:15 am, and I woke up at about 9:15 am, after having not slept very well with my head cold. I started and finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance, Richard called to see how I was doing, and I did my Book Devotional Reading and my Internat Devotional Reading. I then started the Weekly Virus Scan, started my laundry, and read the morning paper. I then turned on the TV and watched MST3K Episode 313 Earth vs. the Spider (Some of the cave interiors were filmed using stills from Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico), with the short film Speech: Using Your Voice. I then watched MST3K Episode 314 Mighty Jack (Maiti Jakku) (a movie cobbled together from the first and last episodes of a Japanese TV show, about a world-protecting organization and their flying submarine – both called “Mighty Jack” – fighting the terrorist organization “Q”), and MST3K Episode 315 Teenage Cave Man (in a prehistoric world, a teenager rails against arbitrary rules, and explores the forbidden world outside his tribe’s boundaries; at the age of 26, Robert Vaughn was a bit old to be playing a teenager) with the short films Aquatic Wizards (about water skiing) and Catching Trouble ((1936, featuring trapper Ross Allen demonstrating his prowess at catching animals in the Florida Everglades for the pet trade and zoos; his taking of two bear cubs upsets both Joel and the bots). Our mail brought me my new boxes of contact lenses. I then watched Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm. The Weekly Virus Scan had finished. Richard called at 5:15 pm to say he was on his way home, and he arrived home at 6:15 pm, while I was working on Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr (died c. 79), the Optional Memorial of Saint Margaret of Antioch, Virgin and Martyr (died 304), and the anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. It is also the birthday of Matthew (married to Sheila, known as Chi-Chi), one of the Assembled (at one point we had three Matthews, including my own son, hanging out in the back part of the garage) (1983). I will finish my laundry and iron my casino pants, apron, and shirts, go to the grocery to get my salad supplies, and make my lunch salads.

Our Parting Quote this Wednesday evening comes to us from Garry Marshall, American actor, director, producer, writer, and voice artist. Born in 1934 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, his father was of Italian descent (and had changed the family name from Masciarelli to Marshall) and a director and producer of industrial films, and his mother was a tap dancer who ran a tap dancing school. (His younger sister, born in 1943, is actress and director Penny Marshall.) After graduating from high school he attended Northwestern University, where he wrote a sports column for The Daily Northwestern. Marshall began his career as a joke writer for such comedians as Joey Bishop and Phil Foster, and became a writer for The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. In 1961 he moved to Hollywood, where he teamed up with Jerry Belson as a writer for television. The pair worked on The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Joey Bishop Show, The Danny Thomas Show, and The Lucy Show. Their first television series as creator-producers was Hey, Landlord, which lasted one season (1966–67). Then they adapted Neil Simon’s play The Odd Couple for television. On his own, Marshall created Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley (starring his sister Penny Marshall as Laverne), and Mork & Mindy, which were produced by his associates Thomas L. Miller, Robert L. Boyett, and Edward K. Milkis. He was also a co-creator of Makin’ It, which the three men also produced. In the early 1980s Marshall met Héctor Elizondo while playing basketball, and the two men became great friends. Elizondo appeared in every film that Marshall directed, beginning with his first feature film Young Doctors in Love in 1982. Elizondo once noted that he was written into all of Marshall’s contracts whether he wanted to do the film or not. In the opening credits of 1994’s Exit to Eden (their eighth film together), Elizondo was credited as “As Usual … Hector Elizondo”. In 1984 Marshall had a film hit as the writer and director of The Flamingo Kid. He launched independent productions through his theater (The Falcon in Toluca Lake) and in association with productions launched with talent he was grooming and working with for years. One such project titled Four Stars was directed by Lynda Goodfriend (who portrayed Lori Beth in Happy Days), and was based on a play Goodfriend had read when she was studying at the Lee Strasberg Center, which had been written by John Schulte and Kevin Mahoney. It starred Julie Paris (the daughter of Jerry Paris) and Bert Kramer. Schulte later co-wrote with TV veteran writer and producer, Fred Fox, Jr., who penned and produced a number of Marshall’s television series, including Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Marshall went on to focus on directing feature films, with a series of hits, such as Beaches, Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. Marshall was also an actor, appearing in Murphy Brown and in such films as Soapdish and On the Lot, and provided a guest-starring voice for The Simpsons episodes “Eight Misbehavin'” and “Homer the Father”. He also appeared in two episodes of Happy Days as a drummer. His theater credits included Wrong Turn at Lungfish, which he wrote in collaboration with Lowell Ganz, The Roast with Jerry Belson, and Shelves and Happy Days: A New Musical with Paul Williams, which had its premiere at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California in 2006. He portrayed the role of “director” on Burbank’s “Lights… camera… action!” float in the 2014 Rose Parade. In 2014 Marshall appeared in a guest star role in a February episode in season eleven of Two and a Half Men (died 2016): “When in doubt, you bring in relatives. Nepotism is a part of my work.”

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