May 1974 Home   Newsletters

June-July 1974

September 1974

President's Notes (Diane Hastert)
Voters Service Reports (Gretel McLane)
Trading Stamps and Coupons
Convention '74 - Summary
League Notes
31st National Convention Banquet Address (Henry Steele Commager)
International Relations and Trade (Barbara Wiebenga)
Membership (Nancy Guille)

President's Notes

There are no accurate words to describe how tremendous the Convention in San Francisco was, how much your delegates gained from attending. Its hoped that the spin-off will touch each of you through the year.

The week in review is a flurry of impressions: Yearly 2000 women actually conducting business in an orderly fashion (most of the time) under the brilliant leadership of Lucy Wilson Benson-- she really could be President of the United States. We're certain to hear more of her.... Circulating between pro-male (don't be a female chauvinist sow) and anti-male (over-reaction to ERA) caucuses the night prior to the BIG VOTE)....Don't ever doubt the diversity of LWV membership -- it’s definitely there ! .... The intense lobbying from proponents of the addition of a national health-care study to the program --a narrow loss .... the ERA rally in beautiful Union Square complete with blooming rhododendrons -- Hawai' led the parade as first state to ratify .... Pat Shutt's hat (this is not an "in" joke--she'll be happy to model her bizarre acquisition ).... Budget discussions that actually made sense, and serve notice to everyone that fund raising is part of LWV life and there is something for each member to do.

Laura and I bearing leis marching (would you believe barging?) into the Imperial Suite to meet Lucy, involved at the time in a private reception. She said later that she was quite flabbergasted.... Information exchange taking place with Leaguers from everywhere - wonderful ladies from Wisconsin, California, Arizona, Oregon, Massachusetts, Virgin Islands, really every state and territory. Big Vote on male membership, both Melvia and I spoke in favor; one Leaguer requests the floor to have an associate member (male) speak to the convention body for the amendment, Retorts Mrs. Benson: "The chair denies the request. They (males) have to get to convention in the usual way.” --the press and TV corps present en masse -- an interminable wait while the computer counts up --Lucy is stone-faced holding the results - a moment of pandemonium -- the Convention body has proven on the first vote that it’s in step with the times -- the first voting male member's check is turned over to the treasurer from none other than Mr. Bruce Benson (Mr. Lucy Benson?) -- our own Craig Whitesell had orchids flown in for the Hawaii people for the formal dinner that evening. Not sure how he got them from Hilo that quickly but we loved them...

Henry Steele Commager -- a great man, a great Leaguer ... Program discussions, small League caucuses, big League caucuses, finance workshops, publications bookstall, films being screened ... Laura's incredible pidgin joke (not "in" either, she'll be happy to tell it) delighting everyone and convincing all that we're from some far out islands ... La Pantera, David's, Salmagundi, onion soup at City of Paris, Magic Pan, Irish Coffee, Restaurant de France, Scoma's, etc., etc., etc. ....quickie cable car trips to Ghiradelli and the Cannery for shopping .... a hotel that needed 40 elevators instead of the meager six they have (oh well, let's walk. We're only on the seventh) .... "Women in Politics" panel with Barbara Mikulski among others -- remember that name, you'll hear it again.. a resolution to send a telegram to the President encouraging his cooperation in Watergate and related investigations -- overwhelming vote ....another telegram to Rep. Wayne Hayes to report out legislation on campaign reform no later than June 1; similar telegram to Rep. Carl Albert to prod Rep. Hayes .... old friend Gwen Murphree nursing a fractured elbow from a mishap on the second day...

The vignettes can go on and on but as you can see, it was a tremendous experience. We benefitted enormously, we should work very hard to raise funds to send as many delegates as we are allowed to future conventions. The experience is invaluable. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity, for your moral and financial support.

Diane Hastert

May 1974 Top   Home   Newsletters September 1974