A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday M. E. Kerr (Deliver Us From Evie) and Lynn Sweat (Amelia Bedelia series).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Rachel Carson (1907-1942), author of Silent Spring, credited for starting the U.S. environmental movement. Read Rachel Carson: Clearing the Way for Environmental Protection by Mike Venezia, and Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson by Amy Ehrlich, illustrated by Wendell Minor.
- In 1933, Walt Disney released the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with the song â€śWhoâ€™s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?â€ť Read The Three Pigs by David Wiesner; The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury; and the Little Golden Books Disney edition of Three Little Pigs.
On May 27, 1818, Amelia Jenks was born in Homer, New York. She married an attorney named Dexter Bloomer, who encouraged her to write for his paper, the Seneca Falls Country Courier. Amelia became a strong voice for both temperance and womenâ€™s rights. She also had the good fortune of having a piece of clothing that she popularized named after her. Not everyone has a last name that can serve for what the person creates. I sometimes wonder, when I have nothing else to do, what might be called a â€śSilvey.â€ť Possibly a hat that attaches itself to the wearerâ€™s head and cannot be blown off?
But I digress. Recently, Amelia has gotten renewed attention because of a book and a project inspired by her. The picture book, You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! by Shana Corey, focuses on Ameliaâ€™s rebellious nature. Not a proper lady, Amelia thought the trappings of femininity sillyâ€”with the voluminous skirts that swept up trash and the corsets that made women faint. She believed that a woman should have a job and vote. Hence, Amelia became the first woman to own, operate, and edit a newspaper, The Lily. She used her bully pulpit to advocated against drinking and for womenâ€™s rights. When she spied Elizabeth Cady Stantonâ€™s cousin Libby wearing a costume that was not a dressâ€”but pantaloons with a skirt over themâ€”Amelia made one, wore it, sold patterns to her readers, and used the power of the press to advocate for what became known as the â€śbloomer.â€ť This style did go out of fashion but, fortunately, dress reform continuedâ€”and women and girls today can wear clothes to suit their active lifestyles.
Since 2002, the Amelia Bloomer Projectâ€”administered by the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Associationâ€™s Social Responsibilities Round Tableâ€”has been selecting books notable for their feminist content, quality writing, and appeal to young readers. In 2010, the Amelia Bloomer List included fifty-four booksâ€”a notable year in the task forceâ€™s estimation, because of the â€śHilaryâ€ť effect. For more information and book suggestions, you can visit their website.
So thank you Amelia Bloomer for passion and spirited advocacy of comfortable clothes. And thank all of those on the Bloomer Project for finding books that show women taking action and fighting for their rights.
Now I just need to work on that â€śSilvey.â€ť
Originally posted May 27, 2011. Updated for .