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shareworthy stories + quotes
this week ~ Labor Day
september 4, 2015

The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.
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In a 1912 speech to the group that would become the League of Women Voters, Rose Schneiderman ~ a factory worker, suffragist + labor leader ~ famously reminded her audience: hard work should allow us not just to live but also to enjoy life.

This Monday is a US holiday founded 111 years ago to honor all the workers who’ve built our nation. Plus, made sure we have weekends off. As the annual September tradition goes, we celebrate hard work by taking a well-deserved break from it.

Here are the shareworthy back-stories of everyday women who’ve helped bring the world “bread and roses.”


Laura Ingalls Wilder
the pioneer who wrote her way through retirement

Laura Ingalls Wilder_newsletter

"It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature."
source it! Laura Ingalls Wilder

~ a Wisconsin native whose family tried homesteading around the Midwest

~ a 16-year-old South Dakota teacher who fell for a farm boy

~ a longtime Missouri farmer who sold dairy, poultry + apples

During the Great Depression, 62-year-old Laura Ingalls Wilder sat down at her 200-acre Rocky Ridge Farm to write her memoirs. 60 million copies later, the Little House series that recounts Laura’s youth growing up on the American frontier continues to be a staple of children’s literature.

Why do we still love the stories of Ma, Pa + their 3 daughters? With tales that take us from a log cabin in the woods to a dugout in the prairie, Laura’s books offer a glimpse of a simpler way of life built on hard work + self-sufficiency. In the face of blight, drought and blizzard, her family pulls together to celebrate the pleasures of living close to nature.

Before Laura made her name as a fan-favorite author, she had a column in the Missouri Ruralist called “A Farm Woman Thinks.” Hear some of her wise thoughts about who to marry, how to run a household + business at the same time and why we should all treat the everyday like an “adventure”...

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Rosa Parks
the seamstress who stayed seated for justice

Rosa Parks_newsletter.jpg

"The only tired I was, was tired of giving in."
source it! Rosa Parks

~ a Tuskegee girl who dropped out of teachers college to care for her ailing
grandma + mother

~ a domestic worker, health aide + sewing factory employee

~ a recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal now forever seated in a statue that graces the US Capitol building

Most people know Rosa Parks as the woman who sparked the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott ~ a defining moment in the civil rights movement. So the story goes, a mild-mannered seamstress just happened to change the world on her way home from an exhausting day at work.

It’s a myth that might not have hurt the cause at the time, but isn’t the whole story. Rosa joined the NAACP in 1943. She was secretary of a local chapter who had been trained in nonviolent resistance. Towards the end of her career, the lifelong activist set the record straight about what kind of “tired” she was on that fateful December day in 1955...

After her arrest, Rosa and her husband faced so much harassment, they relocated to Detroit. In 1987, she founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development there to provide job training and other educational programs to urban youth. Discover more about how Rosa sparked kids’ desire to learn + ask questions. And, how she taught by example herself, diving into swimming lessons at age 83...

Rosa Parks

Lilly Ledbetter
the equal-pay icon

Lilly Ledbetter_newsletter.jpg

"When we lose 23 cents every hour, every day, every paycheck, every job, over our entire lives, what we lose can't be measured in dollars."
source it! Lilly Ledbetter

~ the daughter of a mechanic who grew up in Possum Trot, Alabama in a house with no running water or electricity

~ an office manager + tire manufacturing supervisor

~ an unexpected activist who became the namesake of The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Lilly Ledbetter worked as a manager in the Goodyear tire plant for nearly 20 years. On the verge of retirement in 1998, she found out {in an anonymous note from a co-worker} that for her entire career, she had been paid less than men doing the exact same job. Thousands less.

With the support of her family, she sued the company in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled against her...on a technicality. She had filed her complaint more than 180 days after her first discriminatory paycheck. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was so strongly opposed to the “Court’s parsimonious reading of Title VII,” she insisted on reading her dissenting opinion from the bench.

Determined not to let her suit stand as the legal precedent, Lilly turned her personal grievance into a catalyst for social change. She lobbied for legislation that was signed into law in 2009. See more about how Lilly’s “grace and grit” have paved the way for fair pay in all fields...

Lilly Ledbetter

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Quotabelle news   who said it?

Introducing . . . “citeseer”.

Our new Quotabelle blog dishes up fresh quotes + shareworthy stories all week long!

How do you get there? Simply click the "blog" link on the first line of our top menu. Stop by on Monday to see our first round of posts!

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"I want to be in the office until I am 80, with grey hair. It keeps me sane." 
"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word—excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." 
"Treat your career like a bad boyfriend. It likes it when you don’t depend on it." 

from our #citeseers
Labor Day messages from 2 US labor secretaries...

Because the work of every person is built on the work of another, we all rely on one another. Work connects us all. Nothing in human judgment is final. One may courageously take the step that seems right today because it can be modified tomorrow if it does not work well.

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