1970’s : Chronology of Recent Highlights of Wisconsin’s Women’s Movement (1962 - 1977)

March 1970 - Bureau of Personnel conducted second survey of status of women in Civil Service. Computer printouts demonstrated secondary status of women.

March 1970 - First edition of Wisconsin Women, newsletter from UW-Extension Women’s Education Resources, edited by Marian L. Thompson. This periodical is a primary source of information about activity, issues, and progress of concern to Wisconsin Women.

April 1970 - Founding of Resource Center for Women of Alverno College, Milwaukee, announced at Milwaukee. Celebration honoring Milwaukee suffragists…50 years after passage of 19th Amendment. Co-directors of Resource Center, Sister Mary Austin Doherty, PhD, and Barbara Mulligan.

May 1970 - Wisconsin Rapids - first Women’s Conference of AFL-CIO, chaired by Helen Hensler. Conference endorsed ERA. Catherine Conroy on program. Kathryn F. Clarenbach keynoted.

June 1970 - Organizing Conference of Interstate Association of Commissions on Status of Women met in D.C. the day preceding the 50th Anniversary National Conference of Women’s Bureau. Kathryn F. Clarenbach elected first President of Interstate Association. “A Matter of Simple Justice,” report of Nixon Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities chaired by Virginia Allan, was issued at the 50th Anniversary conference.

Spring 1970 - UW Regents ruled that freshman girls must observe hours regulations in dormitories.

June 1970 - Wisconsin Women in Apprenticeship, three year project, funded by US Department of Labor. Charles Nye, Director of Wisconsin Division of Apprenticeship and Training, and Kathryn F. Clarenbach of University Extension, co-directed project designed to move women into skilled occupations via apprenticeships. Norma L. Briggs hired as project coordinator. The film created by the project, “Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman” has had wide national distribution.

Summer 1970 - “Face to Face with the 7O’s,” a conference bringing together a range of women’s groups, was held on the Alverno College campus in Milwaukee. Chaired by Marianne Epstein, this conference became an annual event.

Fall 1970 - The Milwaukee Community Coordinated Child Care (4 C), Inc., was organized to promote comprehensive quality services to children. The following year the Dane County 4 C’s also incorporated.

Fall 1970 - Faculty Women’s Association organized, UW-Madison. Ruth Bleier, Joan Roberts, Cyrena Pondrom, Ann Seidman, Kathryn F. Clarenbach, elected to Steering Committee.

December 1970 - Regional office of Health, Education & Welfare (HEW) investigated UW-Madison in response to complaint lodged by Women’s Educational Equity Action League of Washington, D.C., that UW-Madison discriminated against women faculty.

January 1971 - Regional Director of Chicago Health, Education & Welfare (HEW) took second look at alleged sex discriminations at the UW-Madison.

January 1971 - Women’s Program Committee of Great Lakes Inter-tribal Council held first meeting at Wausau, attended by women representing five tribes.

January 1971 - Robert Gentry, Assistant Vice President of Business and Finance at UW-Madison presented 20 points to Association of Faculty Women as goals for UW-System.

February 1971 - Chancellor Edwin Young appointed Cyrena Pondrom as part-time assistant “to coordinate equal opportunities for women.”

February 1971 - Professor Robert Seidman and two law students held independent study course to analyze what Wisconsin statutes discriminate against women.

February 1971 - UW-System defined nepotism policy — no restriction is placed on employing persons related through affinity or consanguinity.

March 1971 - Jane Sternberg named the first chair of Wausau’s Mayors Commission on the Status of Women. This was Wisconsin’s second local Commission.

April 1971 - Appleton Post Crescent, under publisher John Torinus, became the first daily paper in Wisconsin to de-sexigrate help wanted guidelines. Encouragement to take this overdue step came from Wisconsin Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, on which Gene Boyer serves. Fifteen other newspapers soon followed the lead of the Post Crescent.

April 1971 - Alverno College Research Center on Women published a preliminary report, “Women In Public Life in Wisconsin.” Later that year Alverno hosted a retreat of the national board of NOW. The Research Center also received word it will receive all CBS TV video tapes and films pertaining to women for their archives.

April 1971 - University Extension’s Committee on the Status of Women established by Vice Chancellor George Strother. Maggie Sadler was named the first chairperson of this committee of fourteen.

June 1971 - Formation in DC of Women’s Political Caucus. Wisconsin participants were Mary Louise Symon, Dane County board; Midge Miller, Wisconsin State Assembly; Betty Smith, Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women; Kathryn F. Clarenbach, who chaired opening session of Caucus. Midge Miller elected to National Caucus Board. Targets voted by caucus for eradication: racism, sexism, violence, poverty.

June 1971 - A Women Theologians Conference - two-week institute at which twenty women from both the U.S. and abroad conferred to discuss feminist issues in theology. Conference held at Alverno with Sister Margaret Early leading.

Summer 1971 - Assembly Joint Resolution 141 directed the Legislative Council, at the request of Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, to establish a Special Study Committee of citizens and legislators to review all State Statutes for evidence of sex-based discrimination. Marian Thompson, Midge Miller, Mable McElligott, Shirley Wright served on Committee. Thomas Boykoff staffed. On January 5, 1973, their recommendations were introduced to the legislature as AB21, 22, and 23, also 1973 Assembly Joint Resolutions 3 and 4.

Summer 1971 - Wisconsin State Employment Service appointed Mary Bresnahan to work with business, labor, government, industry and community organizations to promote equal employment opportunity for women.

Summer 1971 - UW-Stout and UW-Platteville held two summer credit courses in Women’s Studies. Sheila Tobias taught “The Social Role of Women” at Stout and Dr. Reza Rezazedeh coordinated “Freedom and Equality! Toward Liberation” at Platteville.

August 1971 - Vel Phillips, member of Milwaukee’s City Council, was appointed by Governor Lucey as Judge of Branch #13, Milwaukee County Children’s Court. Attorney Phillips was the first black woman in Wisconsin to sit on the bench.

August 1971 - State Bureau of Personnel Director Carl Wettengel announced that State of Wisconsin will not advertise jobs under men only and women only columns in state newspapers.

September 1971 - Women’s Program Committee of Great Lakes Intertribal Council opened program for Indian women heads of household to attend UW- Green Bay and live in a cooperative living situation with their children.

September 1971 - Stoughton High School offered course devoted to history of American Women.

Fall 1971 - Joan Roberts gave graduate course at UW-Madison on “Education and Status of Women.”

September 1971 - Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus held first meeting in Madison with Representative Bella Abzug as the main speaker. Patti Nowak of Milwaukee selected in January, 1972 as State Coordinator.

October 1971 - Statewide conference of more than 100 women from more than twenty colleges and universities met in Madison to develop a plan of action. A second meeting was held in Green Bay and the Wisconsin Coordinating Council of Women in Higher Education was formed. Joan Roberts, Sister Joel Read and Annette Harrison named first state coordinators.

October 1971 - Alverno College Research Center on Women, Milwaukee, hosted a Midwest Conference on Women’s Studies under leadership of Center Director Mary Austin Doherty.

Fall 1971 - Wisconsin Bureau of Personnel issued policy statement that in sick leave and disability, maternity leave would be treated as any other medically-related work interruption. This policy had been urged by Governor’s Commission on Status of Women, who commended Carl Wettengel (Division of Personnel and member of the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women).

Winter 1971-72 - Women’s Program Committee of Great Lakes Intertribal Committee received grant to train community health representatives in family planning education.

Winter 1971-72 - US Department of Labor brought suit against UW-Regents for failure to pay women employees equal wages at UW-Hospitals.

February 1972 - Women’s Education Resources, UW-Extension, separated from Family Living and established as a distinct program unit. Staffed by Constance F. Threinen, Marian L. Thompson, and Kathryn F. Clarenbach.

February 1972 - Important Milwaukee School Board decision to continue Lady Pitts Center with full school system funding and provision for all pregnant school girls to have choice of remaining in district school; of having a home visit teacher when needed, regardless of grade; or of attending the Center. Lucinda J. Gordon, Coordinator of program.

February 1972 - Equal Rights Amendment passed by US Congress 49 years after its introduction to each Congress.

April 1972 - Wisconsin legislature ratified ERA to Federal Constitution in a special session called by Governor Patrick Lucey. Wisconsin was the 14th state to ratify.

Spring 1972 - Women in State Civil Service (WISCS) organized and named Marilyn Reidel and Ellen Raimer co-chairs.

Spring 1972 - Madison attorney sued League of Women Voters in federal court for discrimination because it did not admit male members.

April 1972 - The first Wisconsin NOW State Conference convened in Oshkosh under the direction of Jan George of Eau Claire. This was the first State Conference organizing NOW chapters into a strong and viable state network. Margo House of Eau Claire was elected State Coordinator.

April 1972 - More than 300 union women attend two one-day workshops at Fond du Lac and Janesville. Meetings were chaired by Helen Hensler, chair of Women’s Program Committee of State AFL-CIO.

May 1972 - Dictionary of Occupational Titles Study. Project funded by US Department of Labor, directed by Kathryn F. Clarenbach, analysts Mary Ann Cook, Mary Witt, P. Kathy Naherny. Grew out of Apprenticeship Project. National impact, especially in questioning systems of job analysis as they affect women’s work.

May 1972 - President Weaver appointed Marian Swoboda Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action for Women to head an Office of Women for UW-System.

May 1972 - Executive Order 39 issued by Governor Patrick Lucey, at request and urging of Commission on Status of Women. This was the first mandate in Wisconsin requiring Affirmative Action in State service. Barbara Voltz was later selected as first Affirmative Action Officer for state.

May 1972 - ERA Jubilee in DC. Banquet celebration of US women and members of Congress. Kathryn F. Clarenbach was banquet speaker on behalf of women’s voluntary organizations.

May 1972 - Joint Committee on Administrative Rules held hearing on new pregnancy and maternity leave ruling of Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR) and committee voted to delay effective date of ruling from July 1 to September 1, 1972.

May 1972 - Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus arranged special meeting for women delegates at Congressional Caucuses held in Milwaukee to encourage them to support feminists’ resolutions at the party conventions.

June 1972 - Steering Committee of the Association of Faculty Women on the Madison campus published a set of proposals for an affirmative action program at the UW-Madison and made it available to the more than 1000 members of the nine University of Wisconsin campus members of the Wisconsin Coordinating Council of Women in Higher Education.

June 1972 - Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus held a retreat and state steering committee meeting at St. Benedict’s Conference Center on Lake Mendota.

Summer 1972 - The first Apprenticeship Training program in the US for Day Care teachers was developed by Pat Mapp, as part of the state’s Women in Apprenticeship project.

Summer 1972 - Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus and National Organization for Women compile first report of legislation voting records on key issues affecting status of women.

July 1972 - Maternity Leave Guideline issued by Department of Industry, Labor, and Human Relations (DILHR). Applied to private employers. Result of four years of effort by many people, under leadership of Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Fall 1972 - Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR) created Bureau of Community Affairs as response to Governors Commission on the Status of Women’s request for Women’s Bureau. Norma Briggs hired as Bureau Director. Two major early projects of Bureau: IPA- The Best Man Person for the Job - Ellen Saunders and Mary Rider Maternity Leave Project - Jennie Gerner

October 1972 - Wisconsin Conference of NOW, held at Madison - purpose to decide on a state issue for NOW to develop during the year 1972-73.

November 1972 - Governors Commission on the Status of Women passed resolution to petition legislature to enact a law which will prohibit school districts from forcing pregnant school girls to leave school.

Fall 1972 - Links, Inc. organized Advisory Committee for study of sickle cell anemia. Involved both Black and white community. Hazel Maxwell, Chair of Advisory Committee, was also first president of Links and the first Black to head the Milwaukee Public Library Board.

January 1973 - Wisconsin College Personnel Association protests Playboy Club site for state conference of Wisconsin Personnel and Guidance Association and held separate meeting.

January 1973 - Members of 17 Wisconsin NOW chapters visited local offices of Wisconsin State Employment Services (WSES) (now Job Services) with ten Affirmative Action demands. Following these actions, WSES administrators negotiated with a team of NOW members which resulted in securing a contract to train Job Service employees to promote sensitivity to the needs of women workers.

January 1973 - Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus held first state convention at UW-Milwaukee and elected Kathryn Morrison State Coordinator, Ruth Duginski Assistant Coordinator-organizer, Alixe George Secretary and Betty Smith, Treasurer.

February 1973 - Wisconsin legislature passed for second consecutive session a State ERA. It now goes to referendum of the people on the April 1973 ballot.

February 1973 - Wisconsin Equal Rights Coalition formed to encourage passage of State ERA referendum in April. Fifteen organizations join coalition: League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus, Communication Workers of America, Business and Professional Women (Wisconsin Federation of), American Association of University Women, American Association of University Women (Wisconsin District of), Church Women United, National Organization of Women (Wisconsin), Common Cause-Wisconsin 2nd Congressional District, AFL-CIO (Wisconsin Women’s Conference), Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union, Association of Faculty Women, Wisconsin Education Association-Women’s Caucus.

March 1973 - Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). National organization formed in Chicago. Catherine Conroy served on planning committee. Two state chapters subsequently organized, one in Milwaukee and one for Janesville/Madison.

April 1973 - Wisconsin ERA referendum rejected by 60,000 votes (54%-46%). For the amendment to be adopted in the future, the entire legislative process of passage by both houses of the legislature in two consecutive sessions and then approval by the voters in referendum would have to be initiated.

April 1973 - Rally scheduled in State Historical Society to celebrate passage of State ERA, held despite defeat of referendum. Speakers and audience were more determined than ever to assure equality of rights under the law.

May 1973 - Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women passed resolution requesting State Superintendent Barbara Thompson to establish Task Force on Sexism in Schools.

May 1973 - A state of Wisconsin Conference in Green Bay, the theme “How To Insure a Feminist Future.”

June 1973 - First International Feminist Planning Conference, called by NOW, held on Lesley College Campus, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Women from 30 nations attended. From Wisconsin, Gene Boyer, Dorothy W. Austin, Kathryn F. Clarenbach and Mary Ann Rossi.

Spring 1973 - Chapter 333, Laws of 1973, permitted girls to be included in Department of Natural Resources’ summer youth conservation camp program.

Summer 1973 - Madison schools Human Relations Workshop, funded by Title III money, incorporated component on sex-role stereotyping. Marian Thompson and Kathryn Clarenbach wrote that segment of the in-service training materials.

Summer 1973 - Open hearings on Day Care needs in Wisconsin, sponsored by the State Day Care Advisory Committee, showed widespread endorsement of child care as a support for families. Wisconsin’s first laws to license child care facilities providing safeguards for quality care for children outside their own homes was passed in 1949. The first Kindergarten in the US opened in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1885, founded by Margarethe Meyer Schurz (Mrs. Carl).

July 1973 - Governor’s Commission on Status of Women was voted its first budget by Legislature; $20,000/year. There was strong opposition to any budget. Commission was now able to hire its first staff; Norma Briggs as Executive Secretary. The Commission shared office space at One West Wilson with Commission on Aging.

July 1973 - Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel discontinued sex- designated help wanted columns, joining ranks of 21 other Wisconsin dailies.

Summer 1973 - Wisconsin farm couple denied rights to file joint state income tax by Judge Jackman.

August 1973 - Equal Credit legislation became effective, (S.138.20). Introduced by Senator James Flynn, the act prohibits discrimination in the granting of credit or loans based on sex or marital status.

Fall 1973 - UW-Central Administration offered administrative internship program for women and minorities in the System.

Fall 1973 - Wisconsin Personnel Guidance Association and Wisconsin Education Association filed formal complaint with the Regional Health Education and Welfare(HEW) charging that Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association policies violate Title IX.

Fall 1973 - Radio station WRFW of River Falls invited River Falls chapter of NOW to do half hour weekly program - “Abigail Adams Was a Right On Woman”.

September 1973 - National Conference on Women and the Arts, held at Wingspread, The Johnson Foundation Conference Center, Racine, Wisconsin. Sponsored by UW-Extension Arts and Women’s Education Resources in cooperation with The Johnson Foundation. Linda Heddle and Monica Jensen co-chaired. Formed the basis for organization of Wisconsin Women in the Arts.

Fall 1973 - Governor Lucey appointed Victoria “Tote” McCormick of Waukesha to Department of Natural Resources six member board. She was the first woman to serve on the board.

November 1973 - Badger Council Girl Scouts sponsor life options conference for girls.

Fall 1973 - Apple Corps, a feminist theater group, formed and gave first performance of “Empty Space Blues,” a feminist play.

Fall 1973 - “Women in Apprenticeship — Why Not,?” the final report of a research and development grant sponsored by UW-Extension and Wisconsin Division of Apprenticeship and Training, was published.

October-November 1973 - Wisconsin Tribal Women held series of conferences, “Tribal Women: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” at Odanah, Tomah and Oneida. Conferences sponsored by UW-Extension and Wisconsin Commission on the Humanities.

November 1973 - UW Women Law Students Association sponsored midwest conference on Women & Law with UW-Extension and Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.

November 1973 - Fourth annual Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Women’s Conference endorsed ERA with no crippling amendments.

November 1973 - Second Midwest Regional Conference of Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women met in Madison.

November 1973 - Wisconsin Feminist Projects Fund Inc. founded by Gene Boyer, Margo House, Ellen Saunders. Among early projects in-service training of Job Service State Staff; also publication of “Uncommon Lives of Common Women,” written by Victoria Brown.

January 1974 - Dr. Katharine Bradley was named by the Arboretum Committee as Director of the University Arboretum in Madison. She Is the first woman to hold that post.

January 1974 - A UW-System newsletter University Women was initiated by the Office of Women.

February - September 1974 - Six Conferences sponsored by Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women on “Homemaking and the Family: Changing Values and Concerns.” Co-sponsored by UW-LaCrosse, River Falls, Green Bay, Platteville, Madison, and Alverno College in Milwaukee. These conferences had national influence and were cited in “Chronology of the Women’s Movement in the USA, 1961-1975” issued by the National Commission for Observance of International Women’s Year.

March 1974 - Center for Public Representation established in Madison by attorneys Louise and David Trubek. Implementation of equal credit opportunity and non-discriminatory insurance practices were among their early concerns.

March 1974 - AB 23 defeated by Senate (17-14) after overwhelming Assembly vote of 69-28 in favor of passage.

April 1974 - Elizabeth Langenkamp was named chair of the Merrill Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women, Wisconsin’s third local Commission.

April 1974 - Wisconsin Tribal Women, Inc., formed under the leadership of co-chairs Frances LeMay, a Menominee from Keshena and Lois Crow, Potawatomi from Wabeno. Group counseling for girls and young women of the eleven Tribes and an oral history project were among the early programs.

April 1974 - Mary Louise Symon elected chair of Dane County Board. First woman in Wisconsin to chair a County Board. By 1976 there were nine women elected to this Board.

April 1974 - Chapter 183, Laws of 1973, reduced minimum age for girls in street trades from 18 to 12. For the first time Wisconsin girls could have newspaper routes and other employment experiences at the same age as boys.

April 1974 - Board of Regents adopted policy on Equal Opportunities in Education eliminating discrimination based on sex.

April 1974 - Wisconsin NOW conference on general overall women’s issues held at Eau Claire.

Spring 1974 - Wisconsin Academy Review published a special issue on Women.

May 1974 - Legislature, by Ch. 247, Laws of 1973, repealed earlier provisions of state’s unemployment compensation laws. With this repeal, pregnant women and new mothers were no longer automatically denied eligibility for unemployment compensation, but were subject to the same standards as all other workers.

June 1974 - Parental rights were extended to fathers of children born out of wedlock by Ch. 263, Laws of 1973. Before a child can be adopted by another person, the parental rights of the father as well as those of the mother must be legally terminated.

June 1974 - Ch. 268, Laws of 1973, reversed previous court rules and permitted Department of Industry Labor and Human Relations to award back pay to persons unlawfully discriminated against under Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Law.

July 1974 - Educational opportunities for pregnant school girls were assisted by two legislative measures: (1) Ch. 319, Laws of 1973, prohibited compelling a pregnant girl to withdraw from her regular educational program; (2) Ch. 89, Laws of 1973, included in definition of children eligible for special education, pregnant girls for period of pregnancy and up to 2 months after birth of her child.

July 1974 - Katherine (Kit) Saunders was named Director of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was given a three year contract beginning July 1.

Summer 1974 - Center for a Woman’s Own Name published the “Booklet for Women Who Wish to Determine Their Own Names After Marriage.” Attorney Priscilla Ruth MacDougall of Madison is co-author with Terri Tepper and Diana Altman.

August 1974 - Women’s Equality Day — On Capitol steps, Virginia Hart, member of Governor’s Cabinet, read Governor Lucey’s Proclamation designating 1975 International Women’s Year, and calling on Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women to renew its efforts to bring equality to Wisconsin women in the law and in fact.

November 1974 - Ten women elected to Wisconsin Legislature, including Kathryn Morrison, first female State Senator. There are now nine women on Dane County Board and six women on UW Board of Regents.

December 1974 - Delegation of Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women visited Waupun Prison at request of wives of inmates to request more humane visiting hours and conditions.

December 1974 - Attorney Thomas M. Boykoff of Madison, staff attorney for the Wisconsin Legislative Council, published in the Wisconsin Bar Bulletin, “Legislation Relating to Sex Discrimination by the 1973 Wisconsin Legislature.” In January, 1977 he published a comparable study of the 1975 legislation. Attorney Boykoff had served as the invaluable staff person to the 1971-72 special study committee on equal rights legislation.

January 1975 - “A Room of One’s Own,” Madison’s first feminist book store opened.

February 1975 - Governor Patrick Lucey named Sarah Dean to his cabinet as Secretary of Registration and Licensing, and moved Virginia Hart from that post to chair of Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR). For first time in Wisconsin history, two women headed major departments and served on cabinet.

Spring 1975 - Julia Burgess founded Pyramid Club, first Black women’s unit of National Association of Business and Professional Women’s Club.

March 1975 - TEMPO, an organization of Business and Professional women, formed in Milwaukee to provide opportunities to make professionally- beneficial contacts and to educate themselves on subjects of concern. Founders were Pat Gerizak, Donna Dollase, Mary Frymark, and Sue Sheedy Nelson.

Spring 1975 - Dr. Barbara Thompson, first woman to be elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, established a Statewide Task Force on Sex-Role Stereotyping in the Schools. The Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women and coalition of women’s organizations had urged such a Task Force. Constance F. Threinen of UW-Extension, Women’s Education Resources, chaired the Task Force which submitted its final report in November 1975.

April 1975 - Executive Order 9, calling for Affirmative Action in State Service, issued by Governor Lucey. This was a strengthened revision of Executive Order 39 of 1972, and resulted from efforts of statewide Ad Hoc Citizens Committee co-chaired by Rev. James Wright and Kathryn F. Clarenbach.

April 1975 - UW-La Crosse hosted an International Women’s Year Conference with delegates representing 38 nations. With the IWY themes of equality, development and peace, the delegates addressed the topics of employment, education, public affairs and family. Among the LaCrosse faculty planners were Jean Foss, Noreen Smith, Shirley Haas and Elizabeth Starr.

Spring 1975 - The Sexual Assault Law, Ch. 184, revised rape statutes and placed them under criminal assault laws. A Statewide Coalition of women’s groups led by Barbara Ulichny, Milwaukee, was primarily responsible for the educational effort to design and urge passage of this progressive legislation. Senator William Bablitch (D-Stevens Point) was the bill’s prime sponsor.

June 1975 - Dr. Martha Peterson was named president of Beloit College, after serving eight years as president of Barnard College in New York. Previously she had been Dean of Women, UW-Madison, and Dean of Student Services for the entire University of Wisconsin system.

June 1975 - “Handbook for Commissions on Women” rewritten by Marian L. Thompson and Kathryn F. Clarenbach for the National Association of Commissions for Women. The previous 1967 edition had had wide national distribution. The 1975 edition is used by the over 100 Commissions (including city and county) now in existence.

Spring 1975 - Diana Bartley, PhD, first Latin-American woman in Wisconsin to receive Outstanding Young Woman of America award for accomplishment in developing a bi-lingual teacher-training program at UW-Milwaukee, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education. Included both a bilingual elementary classroom program and a high-school-leve1 program emphasizing English as a second language.

June 1975 - College Week for Women, sponsored by UW-Extension’s Family Living, held its 12th annual program in Madison. One thousand five hundred women from all over the state attended. Karen Howard is the coordinator of this outstanding event.

July 1975 - The State of Wisconsin and all units of local government were included for the first time as employers subject to the provisions of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (by Ch. 31). Wisconsin’s 1961 Fair Employment Act was the first law in the nation to prohibit sex-based discrimination in employment.

Summer 1975 - A systemwide Task Force on Women’s Studies was established by UW-Central Administration with a representative from each University of Wisconsin institution. The Task Force was administered by Dr. Karen Merritt.

August 1975 - “Working Together,” Directory of Organizations for Wisconsin Women, published by The Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women in commemoration of International Women’s Year.

August 1975 - Kathryn F. Clarenbach invited to serve as public member on Arts and Humanities Committee; later also on Homemakers Committee of the National Commission on Observance of International Women’s Year. During 1976, testimony was presented on various subjects by invitation of the National Commission, by Mary Lou Munts, Mary Witt, and Norma Briggs. Marian L. Thompson prepared brochure for National Commission on “How To Get Women Appointed to Public Office”. In September 1976, Kathryn F. Clarenbach employed half-time as Deputy Conference Coordinator of International Women’s Year Secretariat.

September 1975 - “Wisconsin Women and the Law” published by The Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women. Over 7500 copies distributed. Revised edition prepared primarily by Attorney Linda Roberson published May, 1977.

September 1975 - UW-System sponsored conference “Advancing Women in Higher Education Administration” for aspiring women administrators.

October 1975 - Governor Lucey signed AB 431, which brought into conformity all State Statutes with principle of equal rights. Many Wisconsin women’s groups actively supported this landmark legislation which is now Ch. 94, Laws of 1975. The law includes equalizing minimum age of marriage, surnames of divorced persons, parental approval of minor’s purchase and registration of autos, extended minimum wage and maximum hours to all workers, made Huber Law privileges equally available for all purposes to women and men, and added sex (as a prohibited basis for discrimination) to public accommodations law.

November 1975 - Lois Crow won election as Tribal Council Chair of the Forest County Potawatomi.

December 1975 - Women’s Agenda Day, sponsored by Women’s Action Alliance, New York City. Thirty-three Wisconsin communities responded to invitation of The Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women to present Agenda to local officials. Lt. Governor Martin Schreiber received Agenda from the Commission.

December 1975 - Portage County became Wisconsin’s first county to establish a Commission on the Status of Women with Pam Rewey at its head.

February 1976 - Under the leadership of a group of women led by Ann Cunningham, the Walworth County Board established a County Commission on the Status of Women. Jan Gurrie is its first chair. This brings to five the number of official local community Commissions in the State.

Spring 1976 - Insurance Commissioner Harold Wilde issued administrative rules to prohibit sex discrimination in insurance coverage as unfair trade practices.

Spring 1976 - Judge Maloney strikes down “Pers 27,” a Department of Administration civil service rule which permits special lists for hiring of minorities and women.

April 1976 - Senator Gaylord Nelson, upon request of Representative Midge Miller, held hearings on flexible hours and job sharing in Washington, D.C.

April 1976 - The Baraboo City Council voted to create a coalition on the Status of Women, a direct outgrowth of the December 2, 1975, Women’s Agenda Day. Dene Hellman was named chair by the Mayor, to this sixth such official local organization in the State.

May 1976 - Members of Wisconsin NOW, led by State Coordinator Judy Goldsmith, organized and recruited over 400 Wisconsin women, children and men to attend the Springfield, Illinois National Rally to demonstrate support for ratification of the ERA. Over 10,000 attended the rally from across the country, the largest Women’s Rights demonstration in recent times.

Summer 1976 - Family planning legislation change permits sale of contraceptives to unmarried persons.

Summer 1976 - Senator Kathryn Morrison’s Inheritance Tax Bill passed which provides proportionate inheritance tax exemption for survivors of property held in joint tenancy.

June 1976 - Wisconsin Education Association Council filed several state and federal class action suits challenging widespread practice of requiring primary and secondary school teachers to coach (boys’) sports as a condition of employment.

June 1976 - The first of four consultations held across the country on Educational Needs of Rural Women and Girls was held in Madison. Sponsored by the National Advisory Council on Women’s Education Programs, the final report of this study was written by Kathryn F. Clarenbach and published April, 1977.

Summer 1976 - Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, February 15, to be recognized in Wisconsin as a special day of recognition in schools. Jean Young of Beloit American Association of University Women was the prime mover of this legislation and was present in the Capitol when Governor Lucey signed the measure. The only other woman so recognized in Wisconsin statutes is Frances Willard.

September 1976 - Shirley S. Abrahamson, Madison attorney and UW Law Professor, sworn in as first woman Justice on Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Over 500 people assembled in the State Capitol to witness this event. Justice Abrahamson was appointed by Governor Lucey to fill the vacancy created by the death of Chief Justice Horace Wilkie.

September 1976 - First meeting of the State Affirmative Action Executive Commission created by Governor Lucey as part of Executive Order #9 (May 1975).

Fall 1976 - Formation of Coalition for Divorce Reform, statewide group in support of legislation being developed by Representative Mary Lou Munts.

Fall 1976 - The State Vocational, Technical and Adult Education system and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction each received Federal funding from Women’s Educational Equity Act for respective proposals to reduce sex-role stereotyping.

Fall 1976 - State Civil Service Clerical Union negotiated first contract.

Fall 1976 - “Beyond Intellectual Sexism: A New Woman, A New Reality,” edited by Joan Roberts, published by McKay. This is a compilation of articles by UW faculty women on a range of subjects.

October 1976 - The first Wisconsin Women’s Credit Union was chartered in Marshfield. Organized by members of Marshfield NOW, they elected Judy Metcalf the first president. Common Bond members are Wisconsin Women’s Political Caucus, Business & Professional Women, League of Women Voters, NOW, Wisconsin Women in the Arts.

October 1976 - Wisconsin Women Library Workers in LaCrosse, Milwaukee, and Fox Valley join the U.W. Library School Women’s Group to form chapters of the Wisconsin Women Library Workers.

November 1976 - Skilled Jobs for Women, a comprehensive employment service for women in Dane County, funded by US Labor Department. This is another project of the Wisconsin Feminists Project Fund, Inc. Dede Graff is the Project Director.

November 1976 - A second woman, Michele Radasovich, was elected to the Wisconsin Senate, and ten women elected to the Assembly. This total of twelve women legislators is an all-time high for Wisconsin and compares with: two in 1967; four in 1971; seven in 1973; and ten in 1975. Wisconsin has yet to send its first woman to the Congress of the United States.

November 1976 - Catherine Conroy, International Representative of Communications Workers of America, was honored by Milwaukee NOW as Woman of the Year. She has served on the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women since 1964, was a founder of NOW in 1966, and is the only woman ever elected to the Wisconsin State Council of the AFL-CIO on which she currently serves.

December 1976 - DIAL ACTION (Directory Identity Action League) secured the right from the Public Service Commission to require Wisconsin telephone companies to include in the same listing in the white pages the first names of two adults with the same last name. Florence Dickinson of Door County led this action, began in 1975.

March 1977 - Women and the Law, 8th National Conference, held in Madison, coordinated by Kathrina Boedecker and Dianne Post. Nearly 2500 attorneys, law students and other interested persons attended.

March 1977 - Alexis Herman of Georgia named Director of the Women’s Bureau, US Department of Labor. Ms. Herman had been a student at Edgewood College in Madison, 1965-67, when Sister Nona was its president.

May 1977 - AB 100, the Divorce Reform legislation introduced by Representative Mary Lou Munts (D-Madison) and supported by a coalition of Women’s organizations, passed the Assembly.

June 1977 - The Wisconsin International Women’s Year Meeting held in Madison. Part of the national process mandated by Congress in which 56 such Meetings are taking place, the event will be climaxed by the National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas November 18-22. Wisconsin will send 26 representatives to the National Conference.

Spring 1977 - Reverend Gertrude Pitts, Pastor of Mt. Calvary Holy Church, started family-housing building program in Milwaukee central city, for moderate income families. Project financed through Columbia Savings and Loan Association, an all-Black institution. Ardie Halyard and her husband founded this bank in the 20’s and at his death Ardie became president. A Black woman, Thalia Winfield, is the current president.

Spring 1977 - Yolanda Ayubi and several Latin American women organized Wisconsin Association of Latin-American Professional Women. Agreed to work on committees preparing for June 1977 IWY meeting because issues important to all women. Chartered three buses to bring Milwaukee minority women to Madison for June 4 meeting.

Also see: Introduction to the 60’s & 70’s | 1960’s | 1970’s | Introduction to the late 70’s-2000 | 1977-1983 | 1984-2000