Posts Tagged Lucille Ball

Women’s History Month: focus on 1950s

1950—Althea Gibson is first black woman to play in the U.S. Open. She later wins Wimbledon.

1950—writer Hisaye Yamamoto publishes “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara” based on her experience as a Japanese-American placed in a detention camp during WWII.

1951—I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball first airs.

1951—artist Bette Nesmith Graham [mother of Mike Nesmith of The Monkees] invents Mistake Out in her kitchen. She sells it to Gillette for $47 million and it is renamed Liquid Paper.

1952—flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer becomes the first woman appointed to a principal chair in any major orchestra—Boston Symphony Orchestra.

1952—Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, known best for her short stories, publishes her first novel, Wise Blood.

1952—Barbara Holdridge and Marianne Mantell cofound Caedmon Records and record spoken voices of famous poets and writers like Dylan Thomas.

1953—Mary Steichen Calderone becomes medical director of Planned Parenthood.

1955—opera singer Beverly Sills joins New York City Opera.

1955—actress Shirley MacLaine appears in her first film, The Trouble with Harry.

1956—singer Tina Turner begins her career.

1957—country-western singer and songwriter Patsy Cline sings “Walking After Midnight” on the television talent show, Talent Scouts.

1958—chef Joyce Chen opens a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, Mass. She also writes cook books and hosts a cooking show on public television. She popularized Mandarin Chinese food in the U.S.

1959—writer Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun makes its Broadway debut.

SOURCE: Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America

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Women’s History Month: Focus on Josephine Baker and Lucille Ball


Josephine Baker [1906-1975]

–Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis to an African-American mother and Jewish/Spanish father, who deserted the family.

–Baker grew up in poverty and became terrorized by a 1917 race riot.


–At age 19, she moved to Paris to join the dance company La Revue Negre and then became part of Follies Bergere. In France, there was no racial segregation. Baker became a French citizen in 1937.

–During WWI, Baker became a spy for the French Resistance,gathering information mingling among café society, and also entertained troops in North Africa and the Middle East.

–Baker married three times and adopted 12 children of different nationalities.

–Back in the United States, Baker joined the Civil Rights movement and marched on Washington in 1963.


Lucille Ball [1911-1989]

–Ball worked in the entertainment business for three decades before becoming extremely successful. She modeled and made some forgettable films.

–In 1940, Ball married musician Desi Arnaz and spent most of the 40s on tour with his band.

–Ball and Arnaz created Desilu Productions in 1950 and created the television comedy I Love Lucy based on their own lives. Ball and Arnaz divorced in 1960.

–She won four Emmy awards and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1984.

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