In honor of International Women's Day I'm posting a photo from the Sonoma County Library's collection. According to the cataloging notes this picture was taken in 1958 and shows Ruth Snodgrass, Jessie Mitchell and Betsy McLaughlin.
Additional notes include that Ruth Snodgrass was secretary to cattle dealer Chris Beck. Ruth, and her husband Harold, lived at 856 B Street, Petaluma. Jessie Mitchell owned Petaluma Travel Agency on Kentucky Street in Petaluma and Betsy McLaughlin, and her husband Bob, owned McLaughlin's Jeweler's also on Kentucky Street. The women are standing in front of a National Business Women's Week poster.
National Business Women’s Week began in 1928. The first annual observance was held in April 15-22, 1928. President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Lena Madesin Phillps, opened the week with a nationally broadcast speech from New York City. She stated that the purpose of the week was “to focus attention upon a better business woman for a better business world.”
Nowadays, National Business Women’s Week occurs during the third week of October. Anything planned for 2017 involving Sonoma County women?
If it wasn’t for the photo of Ruth, Jessie and Betsy I might not have been prompted to research National Business Women’s Week which led me to learn more about the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Club AND discovering who Lena Madesin Phillilps was. A fascinating and inspiring woman. That’s an understatement.
Google Lena’s name and you will be amazed at what you find. Sonoma State University Library has a copy of A Measure Filled: The Life of Lena Madesin Phillips drawn from her autobiography.The papers of Lena Madesin Phillps (1881-1955) are housed at the Harvard University Library.
Once again, I’ve been led astray all because of one photo. Astray might not be the right word – educated is more accurate. Lifelong learning on the job. Can’t beat that!