Virginia Chapter of the

National Organization for Women

Women's History


y Lee Perkins

This great blog tells the story of
August 26, 1981, the day the movement
shut down the RNC in DC, with a chain
and determination too strong to cut.

The Virginia legislature of 1982 failed to ratify the ERA by THREE VOTES!!! We hope this archive will serve as a catalyst to, at long, long last, ratify the amendment that would grant women full legal humanity in the US Constitution and assure that no kind of sex-based discrimination will ever be allowed again.

Daughter of No Comment

Mary Jane Peterson Hartzler served an essential role in the demonstrations and civil disobedience of Virginia feminists in the push to ratify the ERA during the 1970s-1980s. She was the "bag lady," the person who held the bail money for any arrestable actions. 

Originally from Chicago, Mary has lived in Alexandria/Fairfax, Virginia for over 26 years.  Mary was born on May 10th, 1931 and proudly refers to herself as FBFH, "Feminist Bitch From Hell". Mary also produces a Community Access TV Show called “On the Go” which is shown on Channel 10, a public access channel in Fairfax County (AKA Fairfax Public Access).
Inspired by the NO COMMENT department of Ms. Magazine, Mary wrote Daughter of No Comment, a regular feminist opinion column from 1994-2007.


The ERA Movement in Virginia

Here we link to the ERA Network which promotes our current efforts for the ERA. In future, we will be building in archive of Virginia feminists at the forefront of the first ratification movement.


Farmville 1963

An archive of over 400 images of the civil rights protests in Farmville, VA in 1963 -- a critical moment in Virginia's history. The archive is available on-line from the special collections of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Flora Crater's Papers


Flora Crater was one of Virginia's intrepid second wave activists. She deeded her papers to the University of Virginia Library upon her death, and the archive is both extensive and rich. Included are her journals, newspaper clippings, records of votes in the General Assembly (a one-woman Richmond Sunlight!), and her feminist newsletter that was a national resource. Some of Flora Crater's work is also archived with her daughter-in-law's papers. The Frances Mae Kubitz Crater's papers are archived at the special collections of Vanderbilt University, as Frances Crater founded the Nashville NOW chapter in Tennessee in 1971 (PDF).

Lenny Lianne: The Poetry of History

Lenny Lianne was a poet and activist in the early years of the Second Wave.  She is the author of four books of poetry. She’s taught creative writing at Delaware Technical and Community College and writing workshops (in California) in the persona poem, ekphrastic poems and the poetry of place.  Check out her second website: Lenny Lianne's Passport to Poetry.


Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Speaker, Author, and National NOW Foremother.

Suffrage on the Menu, Part III: Alva’s Political Equality Association Lunchroom

Historical biography of Alva Vanderbilt Belmont's contributions to the suffrage movement.  Courtesy of the New York Historical Society.


Personal Histories of the Second Wave: UK Edition

Several of these women came to Virginia and elsewhere in the US to work for ratification with us. This PDF collects summaries of interviews conducted with women in the UK. Collected and summarized by Viv Honeybourne and Ilona Singer of The Feminist Archive, these interviews demonstrate the differences and the similarities of the women's movement internationally. They are fascinating.

Veteran Feminists of America

, and Archive, and VFA Men, Feminists who have passed on, and loads of Second Wave Awesome (poets, artists, explore this site!). Much of our history that is not yet in books is living here.

The Virginia Feminist History Oral Project

From VCU: The Virginia Feminist Oral History Project consists of oral history interviews that Dr. Megan Taylor Shockley conducted with women involved in second-wave feminism and related activism in Virginia during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.  Many of Virginia NOW's own ERA Foremothers are archived: Georgia Fuller, Lee Perkins, Emily McCoy, and more!


Voices of Freedom

This on-line archive houses oral histories with several prominent activists from the Civil Rights Movement in Virginia. While much of the history of the movement in the Deep South has been well documented, this archive is one a few that chronicles action and work in the Mid-Atlantic region.


American National Biography | Women's History

This small, highly selective set of articles is recommended by Oxford editors to help students get started doing research in this massive biography collection and The Oxford Companion to United States History encyclopedia content that supports it.


Women's Rights Movement

History of the American Women's Rights Movement in 1848.

The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848–1920

Historical essay on the first feminist wave.


1960s-70s American Feminist Movement

Breaking down barriers for women!


Women's Museums

Women are 53% percent of the population. Our stories are worth telling. These museums tell them.

Download this file (American Feminist Movement PDF.pdf)The American Feminist Movement[Breaking Down Barriers for Women]1145 kB