From the Archives & Special Collections: Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month in the United States. Puget Sound has hosted some incredible women on campus over the years. Here are some highlights from the archives:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the Jones Hall Inside Theater on November 2, 1978. At the time, Ginsburg was the general counsel for the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Ginsburg would go on to become an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court in 1993, a position she still holds today.

Fannie Lou Hamer visited campus in February 1969. Hamer was one of the most powerful voices of the civil rights movement. She was the co-founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and was very involved with the NAACP and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Mississippi. The photo on the left is of Hamer meeting with Puget Sound students Lou Smith, George Neely, and Al Roberts. She gave a lecture that was written about in the February 28, 1969 issue of The Trail (page 7). Another article in the same issue of The Trail (page 12) discusses how Black Student Union president Lou Smith was so inspired by Hamer’s speech that he asked university president R. Franklin Thompson, “Are you moved enough now to sanction a separate, autonomous black studies course curriculum here at UPS?”

Nikki GiovanniPoet, educator, and civil rights activist Nikki Giovanni visited the Puget Sound campus on at least three different occasions in 1981,1984, and 2019. Following her 1981 visit, The Trail published an interview with Giovanni in which she said, “We know that in any emergency we all pull together…because we understand each other more than we understand the unknown. So we should begin work on ourselves, getting rid of race, gender, and religious hang-ups that separate us.”

The Archives & Special Collections is currently open by appointment only. Please email to schedule an appointment.

By Laura Edgar, Assistant Archivist

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