How Did the National Women's Conference in Houston in 1977
Shape a Feminist Agenda for the Future?

Document List

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Judith P. Zinsser, "From Mexico to Copenhagen to Nairobi: The United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-1985," 2002


Part I. Congress Mandates the Conference

Document 1: "Executive Order Establishing a National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, 1975," 9 January 1975

Document 2: Excerpts from "Historical Notes on the Growth of the Women's Movement," 1976

Document 3: Jill Ruckelshaus, "Who Shall Speak For Our Nation's Women? An American Dialogue," 1976

Document 4: "A Bill to direct the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, 1975, to Organize and Convene a National Women's Conference," Public Law 94-167, 23 December 1977


Part II. State Conferences
Section A: Actions Taken by State Conference

Document 5: Woman: 1977: The Status of American Women, 1977

Document 6: Caroline Bird, "Every Woman Her Say -- State Meetings," 1978

Document 7A: Table: "National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year State Meetings, 1977," 1978

Document 7B: Table: "Summary of Resolutions Adopted By State Meetings, 1977," 1978

Section B: Right Wing Opposition

Document 8: John M. Crewdson, "Mormon Turnout Overwhelms Women's Conference in Utah," 25 July 1977

Document 9: Excerpt from Carolyn Kortge, "Schlafly Says Women's Movement Is Dying in an Anti-Feminist Surge," 3 August 1977

Document 10: Excerpt from Betty J. Blair, "Klan's ‘Spies’ Plan to Disrupt Feminist Parley," 1 September 1977

Document 11: Dick Behn, "Antifeminism: New Conservative Force," 1 September 1977

Document 12: Patricia Schroeder, speech in House of Representatives and Marjorie Bell Chambers, letter to Members of Congress, 21 September 1977

Document 13: Senator Birch Bayh, senate address, and Bella Azbug, Letter to Friends and Former Colleagues, 22 September 1977


Part III. National Women's Conference, Houston, Texas, November 1977

Document 14: Bella Abzug, letter to President Carter, 22 March 1978

Document 15: Biographies of National Commissioners, 1978

Document 16: "The Torch Relay," 1978

Document 17: Maya Angelou, "To Form a More Perfect Union," 1977

Document 18: "Declaration of American Women 1977," 1977

Document 19: Caroline Bird, " Houston Day by Day," 1978

Document 20: "International Perspectives: World Peace is a Women's Issue," 1978

Document 21: "What the Press Said," 1978

Document 22: "Epilogue: The Spirit of Houston," 1978

Document 23: Joan Gubbins, et al., " ‘…To Establish Justice…’: Minority Report," 1978

Document 24: "Black Women's Plan of Action," 1978

Document 24B: Supplementary tables from "Black Women's Plan of Action," 1978

Document 25: "The Minority Caucus: ‘It's Our Movement Now,"’ 1978

Document 26: "Rediscovering American Women: A Chronology Highlighting Women's History in the United States," 1978

Document 27: Linda Colvard Dorian, "Legal Report," 1978


Part IV. The National Plan of Action Adopted at National Women's Conference, 1978

Document 28: "Plank 1: Arts and Humanities"

Document 29: "Plank 2: Battered Women"

Document 30: "Plank 3: Business"

Document 31: "Plank 4: Child Abuse"

Document 32: "Plank 5: Child Care"

Document 33: "Plank 6: Credit"

Document 34: "Plank 7: Disabled Women"

Document 35: "Plank 8: Education"

Document 36: "Plank 9: Elective and Appointive Office"

Document 37: "Plank 10: Employment"

Document 38: "Plank 11: Equal Rights Amendment"

Document 39: "Plank 12: Health"

Document 40: "Plank 13: Homemakers"

Document 41: "Plank 14: Insurance"

Document 42: "Plank 15: International Affairs"

Document 43: "Plank 16: Media"

Document 44: "Plank 17: Minority Women"

Document 45: "Plank 18: Offenders"

Document 46: "Plank 19: Older Women"

Document 47: "Plank 20: Rape"

Document 48: "Plank 21: Reproductive Freedom"

Document 49: "Plank 22: Rural Women"

Document 50A: "Plank 23: Sexual Preference"

Document 50B: Eleanor Smeal, speech excerpt and Betty Friedan, excerpt from conference remarks made from the floor, Fourth Plenary: Plank 23 Sexual Preference, National Women's Conference, 1977

Document 51: "Plank 24: Statistics"

Document 52: "Plank 25: Women, Welfare and Poverty"

Document 53: "Plank 26: Committee of the Conference"

Part V. Houston Conference Addresses and Debates, November 1977

Document 54: "Speech by Bella Abzug, Presiding Officer, First Plenary Session"

Document 55: "Speech by First Lady Rosalynn Carter, First Plenary Session"

Document 56: "Speech by Betty Ford, National Commissioner and Former First Lady, First Plenary Session"

Document 57: "Commissioner Liz Carpenter: Faces and Voices. First Plenary Session"

Document 58: "Introduction of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan by Lady Bird Johnson, First Plenary Session"

Document 59: "Keynote Speech by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, First Plenary Session"

Document 60: "Speech by Congresswoman Margaret M. Heckler, Third Plenary Session"

Document 61: "Speech by Honorable Patsy Mink, Assistant Secretary of State (Former Congresswoman and Co-sponsor PL 94-167), Third Plenary Session"

Document 62: "Speech by Honorable Margaret Mead, Fourth Plenary Session"

Document 63: "Commissioner Cecilia Preciado-Burciaga, Commissioner Carmen Delgado Votaw, Hispanic Dialogue, Fourth Plenary Session"

Document 64: "Speech by Billie Masters, Chair, National American Indian and Alaskan Native Women's Conference, Closing Plenary Session"

Document 65: "Speech by Commissioner Addie Wyatt, Closing Plenary Session"


Part VI. The Legacy of Houston, 1977-1997
Documents 66-95 come from Decade of Achievement: 1977-1987:
A Report on a Survey Based on the National Plan of Action for Women

Document 66: "U.S. Map Showing States with Statewide Networks"

Document 67: "The Decade in Numbers"

Document 68: "Introduction"

Document 69: "Part I: How the National Plan of Action for Women Came into Being"

Document 70: "Part II: Report on the Survey of Women's Groups Nationwide and Women's Statewide Networks"

Document 71: "Arts and Humanities"

Document 72: "Battered Women"

Document 73: "Business/Credit"

Document 74: "Child Abuse"

Document 75: "Child Care"

Document 76: "Disabled Women"

Document 77: "Education"

Document 78: "Elective and Appointive Office"

Document 79: "Employment"

Document 80: "Equal Rights Amendment"

Document 81: "Health"

Document 82: "Homemakers"

Document 83: "Insurance"

Document 84: "International Affairs"

Document 85: "Media"

Document 86: "Minority Women"

Document 87: "Offenders"

Document 88: "Older Women"

Document 89: "Rape"

Document 90: "Reproductive Freedom"

Document 91: "Rural Women"

Document 92: "Sexual Preference"

Document 93: "Statistics"

Document 94: "Welfare and Poverty"

Document 95: "Part IV: Noteworthy but not in the Plan"

Document 96: "Moving History Forward," 1997


Part VII: Recorded Speeches and Debates of the 1977 National Women's Conference


Document 97A: Opening Plenary Session: Maya Angelou, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, and Bella Abzug

Document 97B: Opening Plenary Session: Bella Abzug (continued), Liz Carpenter, Lady Bird Johnson, and Barbara Jordan

Document 98A: Second Plenary Session: Judy Carter; shared reading of the "Declaration of American Women" by Jean Stapleton, Coretta Scott King, and Lupe Anguiano; Arts and Humanities Plank

Document 98B: Second Plenary Session: Jill Ruckelshaus; Arts and Humanities Plank, the Battered Women Plank, the Business Plank, the Child Abuse Plank and the Child Care Plank

Document 99A: Third Plenary Session: The Child Care Plank (continued), the Disabled Women Plank; Speech of Patsy T. Mink

Document 99B: Third Plenary Session: Margaret Heckler, Helvi Sipila, and the Education Plank

Document 99C: Third Plenary Session: The Equal Rights Amendment

Document 100A: Fourth Plenary Session: Media Plank and Minority Women Plank

Document 100B: Fourth Plenary Session: Minority Women Plank (continued), Offenders Plank, and the Older Women Plank

Document 100C: Fourth Plenary Session: Older Women Plank (continued), the Rape Plank, and the Reproductive Freedom Plank

Document 100D: Fourth Plenary Session: The Sexual Preference Plank

Document 101: Closing Plenary Session: Addie Wyatt, Midge Costanza, Brenda Parker, and adjournment

Document 102A: Ad Hoc Hearing on Disarmament and Peace Issues - 1: Pat Schroeder, Randall Forsberg, Dr. Helen Caldicott

Document 102B: Ad Hoc Hearing on Disarmament and Peace Issues - 1: Dr. Helen Caldicott (continued), Dr. Anne H. Cahn, Dr. Betty Goetz Lall

Document 103A: Ad Hoc Hearing on Disarmament and Peace Issues - 2: Dr. Betty Goetz Lall (continued), Yvonne Burke

Document 103B: Ad Hoc Hearing on Disarmament and Peace Issues - 2: Margaret Mead, Ethel Barol Taylor, Katherine "Kay" Camp

Document 104A: Ad Hoc Hearing on Disarmament and Peace Issues - 3

Document 104B: Ad Hoc Hearing on Disarmament and Peace Issues - 3 (continued)

Document 105A: Beth Abramowitz

Document 105B: Beth Abramowitz (continued)

Document 106A: Barbara Babcock

Document 106B: Barbara Babcock (continued)

Document 106B: Barbara Babcock (continued)

Document 107B: Elizabeth Ellery Bailey (continued)

Document 108A: Mary F. Berry

Document 108B: Mary F. Berry (continued)

Document 109A: Barbara Blum

Document 109B: Barbara Blum (continued)

Document 110A: Carin Clauss

Document 110B: Carin Clauss (continued)

Document 111A: Midge Costanza

Document 111B: Midge Costanza (continued)

Document 112A: Virginia Dill McCarty, Pat A. Danner

Document 112B: Virginia Dill McCarty, Pat A. Danner (continued)

Document 113A: Bernadine Denning

Document 113B: Bernadine Denning (continued)

Document 114A: Carol Tucker Foreman

Document 114B: Carol Tucker Foreman (continued)

Document 115A: Arvonne Fraser

Document 115B: Arvonne Fraser (continued)

Document 116A: Patricia Albjerg Graham

Document 116B: Patricia Albjerg Graham (continued)

Document 117A: Alexis M. Herman

Document 117B: Alexis M. Herman (continued)

Document 118A: Sarah T. Hughes

Document 118B: Sarah T. Hughes (continued)

Document 119A: Shirley Hufstedler

Document 119B: Shirley Hufstedler (continued)

Document 120A: Cornelia G. Kennedy

Document 120B: Cornelia G. Kennedy (continued)

Document 121A: Mary King

Document 121B: Mary King (continued)

Document 122A: Allie Latimer

Document 122B: Allie Latimer (continued)

Document 123A: Margaret A. McKenna

Document 123B: Margaret A. McKenna (continued)

Document 124A: Patsy Takemoto Mink

Document 124B: Patsy Takemoto Mink (continued)

Document 125A: Eleanor Holmes Norton

Document 125B: Eleanor Holmes Norton (continued)

Document 126A: Esther Peterson

Document 126B: Esther Peterson (continued)

Document 127A: Elsa A. Porter

Document 127B: Elsa A. Porter (continued)

Document 128A: Ruth Prokop

Document 128B: Ruth Prokop (continued)

Document 129A: Hazel Rollins

Document 129B: Hazel Rollins (continued)

Document 130A: Donna E. Shalala

Document 130B: Donna E. Shalala (continued)

Document 131A: Eileen Shanahan

Document 131B: Eileen Shanahan (continued)

Document 132A: Irene Tinker

Document 132B: Irene Tinker (continued)

Document 133A: Jill Wine-Volner

Document 133B: Jill Wine-Volner (continued)

Document 134A: Patricia McGowan Wald

Document 134B: Patricia McGowan Wald (continued)

Document 135A: Barbara M. Watson

Document 135B: Barbara M. Watson (continued)

Document 136A: Sarah Weddington

Document 136B: Sarah Weddington (continued)

Document 137A: Esther Wunnicke

Document 137B: Esther Wunnicke (continued)


Part VIII: Memorabilia from the 1977 Houston National Women's Conference

Document 137B: Esther Wunnicke (continued)

Document 138: American Women on the Move, Program for Houston National Women's Conference, November 1977

Document 139: "Delegates to the National Women's Conference," November 1977

Document 140: Seneca Falls South: Something New, Something Different, November 1977

Document 141: Women: 1977. The Status of American Women, November 1977

Document 142: Daily Breakthrough: Where Women Are News, 18 Nov. 1977

Document 143: Daily Breakthrough: Where Women Are News, 19 Nov. 1977

Document 144: Daily Breakthrough: Where Women Are News, 20 Nov. 1977

Document 145: UN Symbol for International Women's Year, needlework pattern

Document 146: National Women's Conference Official Briefing Book



Image 1: "Oral historians tape personal stories of Vermont women," ca. February 1976

Image 2: "More than 700 people turned out for state meeting at University of Alaska," May 1976

Image 3: "Union women caucus during New York State meeting," July 1976

Image 4: "Louisiana women vote on recommendations," June 1976

Image 5: "Virginia meeting used classrooms for workshops," June 1976

Image 6: "Maine women talk issues over lunch," June 1976

Image 7: "Mississippi meeting aroused controversy," July 1976

Image 8: "Wille Mae Latham Taylor, President of Southeastern Association of Colored Women," July 1976

Image 9: "Henrietta Roth leads workshop discussion on discrimination in the job market," July 1976

Image 10: "C. Delores Tucker of Pennsylvania objects to seating of all-white delegation from Mississippi," 1977

Image 11: "Oldest participant in Texas meeting with her daughter," 1976

Image 12: "Women and men wait in line at Texas meeting to vote for delegates to Houston Conference," 1976

Image 13: "President Carter receives advance text of Official Report from presiding Officer Bella Abzug at ceremony in the East Room," March 1978

Image 14: "Members of National Commission at White House ceremony," March 178

Image 15: "Kathryn Clarenbach, executive director of National Commission, has presession chat with Liz Carpenter," 1977

Image 16: "Delegates from Utah proclaim their arrival," November 1977

Image 17: "YWCA delegates describe themselves as ‘Pro-Plan and Pro-Family,’" November 1977

Image 18: "The Commission holds a business session," November 1977

Image 19: "Mary Crisp, co-chair of the Republican Party National Committee, was Pro-Plan delegate from Arizona," November 1977

Image 20: "Thousands of suitcases fill the lobby of the Hyatt Regency as delegates waited for hours to register," November 1977

Image 21: "Susan B. Anthony, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and Billie Jean King accompany torch relay runners into Houston," November 1977

Image 22: "Presiding over Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Assembly," November 1977

Image 23: "Women stream into Albert Thomas Convention Center to register for Conference," November 1977

Image 24: "Commissioner Gloria Scott uses historic gavel to open first plenary session," November 1977

Image 25: "First Ladies and Bella Abzug hold torch aloft," November 1977

Image 26: "First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Commissioner Coretta Scott King," November 1977

Image 27: "Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman reads plank on Battered Women," November 1977

Image 28: "Texas delegate Ann Richards was first to speak for ERA," November 1977

Image 29: "Coretta Scott King listens attentively as Jean Westwood describes herself as a Mormon for ERA," November 1977

Image 30: "Joan Gubbins, leader of anti-Plan delegates," November 1977

Image 31: "Dorothy Height and Maxine Waters at Minority Women press conference," November 1977

Image 32: "Lesbian Mothers are Pro-Family," November 1977

Image 33: "Keep ‘em in the closet," November 1977

Image 34: "Betty Friedan with Kate Millett," November 1977




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