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Archive for the ‘Women’s History’ Category

During World War II American Red Cross services were in high gear. By the wars end in 1945, over 7.5 million volunteers supported 40,000 paid Red Cross staff around the world. “Nearly every family in America contained a member who had either served as a Red Cross volunteer, made contributions of money or blood, or was a recipient of Red Cross services.”

My family’s Red Cross volunteer was my Great Aunt Kay.

On June 6, 1945, just about a month after VE Day, Kay Kehoe boarded the Queen Mary to Europe, where she spent the next 18 months traveling all over Great Britain and the Continent as a Clubmobiler. Red Cross Service Clubs offered meals, recreational activities, overnight accommodations and amenities like barbershops and laundries to American soldiers stationed all over the world; Clubmobiles were designed to be like service clubs on wheels.

These half-ton trucks and single-deck buses, acquired by the Red Cross from a former London bus company, were converted to literal welcome wagons. Each was operated by three American Red Cross women and a local driver, and were equipped for “making and serving coffee and doughnuts and for distributing newspapers, chewing gum, and other small items” to the troops. Some had phonographs and loudspeakers, and others were even outfitted with movie projectors.

Kay Kehoe disembarked from the Queen Mary in Scotland, and didn’t stop traveling for the next 18 months. She and the girls of Clubmobile Group A boarded a train from Scotland to England, then took a boat across the chilly English channel to France, then boarded another train to Paris. From there, they traveled all over Europe in a truck the size of an ambulance, delivering coffee and doughnuts to troops through the truck’s windows. Occasionally they’d stop in service clubs — Kay remembers a particularly big one in Berlin — where they’d work as ‘club girls’, acting as hostesses to the troops. But being on the road was the type of service Kay Kehoe liked best.

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When it got too hot on the dusty French roads in the summer, the girls of Clubmobile A served lemonade in place of coffee. “Most of the boys were in a staging area, just waiting to go home,” says Kehoe. “We’d serve them their lemonade and doughnuts and gab with them, and sometimes they’d invite you to come to the G.I. Club for a dance. There we’d dance and listen to records, and they had beer and soda and pretty much anything you wanted at the clubs.”

As for cocktails, says Kay, “they didn’t have the kinds of ingredients you’d need to make fancy drinks, like Martinis, Old Fashions, and Manhattans. But, since it was France, you could pretty much always get your hands on cognac, and all the G.I. Clubs had Coca Cola.” So that’s what they drank.

This weekend, let’s raise a glass to Kay Kehoe and the girls of Clubmobile A!

Clubmobile Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Cognac
Fill glass with Coca Cola
Serve in a highball glass


A votre sante!

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In 1917 General “Black Jack” Pershing began his search for bilingual switchboard operators to improve communication between commanders and troops on the European front. The women needed to speak French, be college educated and single. Over 7000 women applied and 450 were selected. Upon completion of military and Signal Corps training at Camp Franklin Maryland the ladies were issued their Army regulation uniforms complete with US crests, Signal Corps crests and dog tags.

By the end of the war over 200 women had served oversees as part of the Hello Girls. The women had been sworn into service, were considered combatants and one of their own, Grace Banker, was awarded the Distinguished Medal of Service by Congress. However, upon returning to the States the Hello Girls were denied veteran status as all military regulations had been written in the male gender. One of the operators, Mearle Eagan Anderson, spent fifty years advocating on behalf of the Hello Girls. Her diligence was rewarded in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed a bill recognizing the service of the Hello Girls and awarding them veterans status.

And now a (Mixology Monday) toast to our bilingual fore-broads!

The French 75
2 oz Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar or 1 tsp simple syrup
Champagne

Shake the gin, lemon juice, and sugar in an iced cocktail shaker. Strain into a champagne flute. Fill with Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Cheers!

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On this date in 1919 Congress proposed the 19th amendment which, upon ratification, would guarantee women the right to vote.

The history of the suffragist movement began in 1848 at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY. In 1840, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton had attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. Unfortunately they were relegated to the balcony as mere observers because they were women. As a result they decided to hold their own convention “to discuss the social, civil and religious rights of women.” At the Women’s Rights Convention Stanton presented her Declaration of Principles, a document based on the Declaration of Independence which highlighted women’s subordinate status. The Declaration of Principles included 12 resolutions, one of which states “That it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” This set in motion one of the most important eras in women’s history.

As the Civil War began the convention continued on a regular basis. The emphasis, however, was turned toward the emancipation of slaves. The belief was that upon emancipation slaves and women would be afforded rights equal to white men. The war ended and the government perceived the issues as two separate causes. Abraham Lincoln declared, “This hour belongs to the negro.”

In response Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass created the American Equal Rights Association in 1866. The goal was to join the cause of sexual equality and racial equality towards the common goal of universal suffrage. Unfortunately the ratification of the fourteenth amendment in 1868, which defined “citizenship” and “voters” as male, and the ratification of the fifteenth amendment in 1870, which granted black men the right to vote, led to a temporary division in the suffragist movement. Stanton and Anthony created the more radical National Women’s Suffrage Association in New York. In Boston, the more conservative American Women’s Suffrage Association was created by Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe and Henry Blackwell.


With the proliferation of women’s organizations such as the National Council of Jewish Women and the National Association of Colored Women the suffragist movement continued to gain steam throughout the 1880’s and 1890’s. During World War I the movement slowed as women focused their energies on the war effort. However, in 1919 years of dedication came to fruition as the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in both houses of Congress. In 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote to all citizens regardless of sex, was passed by President Woodrow Wilson.

And now, the Nineteen Pick Me Up!
1.75 oz Pastis
.75 oz Gin
dash Orange Bitters
dash Angostura Bitters
Sugar to taste
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. (Splash of soda is optional)

Cheers!

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From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…

– Julia Ward Howe
1870

Mother Cocktail
1.5 oz Dry Gin
.5 oz Cherry Heering
.5 oz Orange Juice
Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

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Thank you to all who attended the tenth annual Operation Frontline Dinner at Tremont 647 last week! Also a huge thank you to Matt Lambo and Triple Eight Distillery for donating the delicious Triple Eight Cranberry Vodka that the ladies of LUPEC used to make the Petticoat Row! If you weren’t able to attend, but are interested in our newest cocktail creation here’s the recipe and the history of the name!

LUPEC Boston’s Petticoat Row

2 parts Triple Eight Cranberry Vodka
1 part Fresh Orange Juice
1 part Spiced Simple Syrup*
Chill the above mixture in a shaker with ice. Strain into a flute, filling the flute halfway. Fill the flute with Prosecco and enjoy!

The Petticoat Row is named after the shops located along Centre Street on Nantucket. This area acquired it’s nickname in the 19th Century when, while most women were mothers and homemakers, the majority of these shops were owned and operated by the wives of whalers who would be at sea for years at a time. Cheers to our forebroads of Nantucket!

Spiced Simple Syrup
Place one cup of water, 12 whole cloves, 1 or 2 star anise, and 1/8th teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups sugar and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes more.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Remove the cloves and star anise with a slotted spoon. Syrup will keep for up to four weeks when refrigerated.
Recipe from “Raising the Bar”by Nick Mautone

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Begun in 1897, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events.

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. She was a 20- year-old Syracuse University junior who wanted to prove to herself and her coach she was capable of running 26.2 miles. But Switzer took steps no one woman had taken before to run Boston. Unlike other women who had completed the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon, Switzer had been so brash as to officially enter the race.

Switzer never told Boston Athletic Association officials she was a woman; the race application didn’t ask. In those days, the BAA assumed everyone entering its grueling event was a man. But on that cold day at the starting line in Hopkinton, Mass., Switzer’s coach, Arnie Briggs, picked up her race number and she pinned it on her hooded sweatshirt.

About three miles into the race, the press truck caught up to Switzer, who was running with Briggs and her boyfriend, Tom Miller. When the photographers noticed a woman in the race with an official number, the cameras started to click. And something clicked inside a BAA official, Jock Semple (one of the race’s top competitors during the 1930s), who jumped off the truck and ran at Switzer in an attempt to tear off her number, yelling at her to stop in the name of the sanctity of the Boston Marathon.

Dazed and frightened she would be pulled off the course at any moment, Switzer managed to finish between four and five hours — no one was quite sure of her time. She wore no watch and by the time she finished, all the officials had left. Bobbi Gibb, a woman who ran the race without an official number, finished about an hour ahead of her. But it was Switzer who had made headlines the next day with dramatic photos of her encounter with Semple.

The BAA allowed women to officially enter the race in 1972. From 1970 to 1976, Switzer competed at Boston six times, finishing second in ’75 in 2:51:37. In 1996 the BAA retrospectively recognized as champions the unofficial women’s leaders of 1966 through 1971. Bobbi Gibb was recognized as the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon.

Congratulations to this year’s winner, Lidiya Grigoryeva!

Photo Finish
- 1 oz Carioca Rum
- 1/2 oz Curacao
- juice 1/2 lime
- ice
- shake well. strain over cracked ice in an old-fashioned glass. garnish with lime peel.

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Revered poet and sculptor, Anne Whitney was a passionate opponent of slavery and advocate for women’s rights. Using her art to reflect her political beliefs, Whitney sculpted the busts of many suffragists and abolitionists including Lucy Stone, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frances Willard.

In 1875 Whitney was commissioned for a statue of Samuel Adams which was contributed to the national capitol building by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter she won first place for a commission for a memorial for William Sumner. Entries for the commission had been anonymous. Upon learning that the winner was a woman, the judges denied Whitney the commission. Having been an ardent supporter of Sumner’s political campaign against slavery, Whitney decided to complete the statue using personal funds and contributions from friends. At the age of 80 she completed the statue and donated it to the city of Cambridge. The statue is now located outside Harvard Law School on an island at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Church Street.

Queen Anne
1.5 oz Bourbon
.75 oz Dry Vermouth
.75 oz Pineapple Juice
2 dashes Peach Bitters
Shake and Strain

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