Feb 242010

Bella Abzug 1920 – 1998

Big mouthed funny hat wearing New Yorker who grew up working in her family’s store – “The Live and Let Live Meat Market”.  Ran for congress at the age of fifty with the campaign slogan: “A Woman’s Place IS In The House”.  She meant The House of Representatives. Ever hear of the Pentagon Papers?  They were “secret” documents about the Vietnam War and SHE got Nixon’s administration to give ‘em up. She was rejected by Harvard Law School on account of her having a pair of ovaries (an annoying and recurring theme in women’s history), Lotsa firsts – including being the first member of congress asking for Nixon’s impeachment, being the first Jewish woman elected to Congress, and she presented the first bill trying to get equal rights for homosexuals. Wonder what she’d say today about Prop 8.  Probably a lot and in a loud voice. She ran for President in 1972 along with Shirley Chisholm, and Patsy Mink. She said (among many many other things) “I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee”.