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Feature

A Not-So-Brief History of Women in Politics

With Kamala Harris on the Democratic presidential ticket, this year could be a turning point for women in American politics. However, Harris is just the most recent in a line of trailblazing women.

1872 – Victoria Woodhull runs for President. Woodhull also created a publication called Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly.

1887 – The first female mayor is elected: Susanna Salter of Argonia, Arkansas.

1916 – Jeannette Pickering-Rankin is the first woman to be elected to congress. 

1920 – White women are granted the right to vote.

1923 – Soledad Chacon, a Latina woman, wins the election to become the Secretary of State in New Mexico.  

1952 – Charlotta Spears-Bass is the first black woman to be nominated for vice president. 

1952 – Asian American women earn the right to vote.

1962 – Patsy Takemoto Mink becomes the first female Asian/Pacific Islander woman to be elected into state senate.

1965 – Native American women earn the right to vote.

1974 – Elaine Noble becomes the first openly queer woman to win in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

1976 – Mary Rose Oakar is the first Arab-American woman elected to senate.

1980 – LaDonna Harris becomes the first indigneous woman nominee for vice president.

1984 – Geraldine Ferraro is Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, making her the first female vice-presidential nominee representing a major American political party. 

1985 – Wilma Mankiller becomes the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.

1992 – Nydia Velasquez becomes the first Puerto Rican woman elected to congress.

2001 – Condelezza Rice becomes the first woman to hold the position of National Security Advisor.

2016 – Hilary Clinton runs for president, before losing to Donald Trump.

2017 – Nikki Haley becomes the first Indian-American woman to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

2020 – Kamala Harris runs for Vice President along with Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. 

Compiled and written by November Shawler 

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Feature

The History and Legacy of Jeffersonville’s Taylor High School

A forgotten piece of history stands at 821 Wall Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The two-story building is boarded up, the red bricks slowly losing their color. Over the entrance of the building are the cracked white words “City School.” To passerbys, this may not look like anything special, just a decrepit structure that has worn away over time.

This building is Taylor High School, Jeffersonville’s former African-American school. Built in 1891 and initially named City School, the school was renamed after Robert Frank Taylor (its first principal) in 1924. This building has seen the Great Depression, weathered the Great Flood of 1937 and was a school for the black children of Jeffersonville throughout segregation.

Though Taylor High School had the words high school in its name, it enrolled grades one through 12. The building was basic compared to the all-white Jeffersonville High School and it did not have indoor plumbing or heating.

Flora Clipper, age 97, attended the school from 1936 to 1940. “All of our education was segregated,” Clipper said. “We were always angry (and) unhappy at the difference between Taylor High School and Jeff High. We had no kind of gym, we had no kind of extracurriculars….We were always very unhappy about the condition of segregated schools….We wanted an education equal…to the white schools.”

While education changed as necessary for Jeffersonville High School, it did not evolve for those who were enrolled at Taylor High School. “Education had changed for the white kids,” said Clipper. “We were expected to keep with the same model that was started in 1892.”

In January and February of 1937, the Ohio River flooded and in the Louisville area, the river gauge levels rose to 57 feet. In Jeffersonville, 90 percent of homes were flooded. The majority of buildings had water up to the second story.
Because of the damage from what is now known as the Great Flood of 1937, many of Taylor High School’s students were hopeful that they would get a new school.

“There were many of the young people who said, ‘Now we gonna get a new school. I know we gonna get a new school,’” Clipper reflected. “They were disheartened when…we did not get a new school. Some of the boys never did come back after the flood. Because…they had to try to get work to help out with the families at home.”

For the black students, graduating from Taylor High School didn’t make a difference when it came to searching for jobs. “One of the difficult things was that, in those days, when you graduated from high school, that didn’t make any difference as far as your employment was concerned,” Clipper explained. “And I can remember the boys in our class used to always complain about that. Because at Jeff High…they were having other things that would make them employable.”

In 1952, two years before the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education ruled that segregation of schools was unconstitutional, Jeffersonville’s school system was integrated. According to an article by the Courier-Journal that was published in 2009, the building was turned into Wall Street Elementary school, a school that enrolled both African-American and white students. However, the elementary school closed in the 1970s.

As reported by the Courier-Journal, on April 4, 2009, a historical marker was put in front of the building. Tom Galligan, the mayor of Jeffersonville at the time, declared the day Taylor High School Day. Later, Taylor High School was made a site on the Indiana African-American Heritage Trail.

The building stands neglected now, with the marker offering a brief summary of the decades of history the structure contains and represents. While it is easy to put off issues such as segregation as long ago, Taylor High School is a reminder of the past and a reminder of the injustices that African-Americans experienced.

Story and photos by Greta Reel
Archival research by Greta Reel and Jaida Bell

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News

The Great Spirit Stick Controversy: Is it Rigged?

THE-UNDERSCORE

To get the answer to this question, we went straight to the source: Principal Julie Straight. She started by pointing out that the seniors don’t always win. For instance, at a pep rally last year, the seniors didn’t win the spirit stick, which resulted in “outrage and devastation” until they got it back.

“It isn’t rigged,” she clarified. “But I will say that if it’s a coin toss, that nod will go to the seniors. There is something to senior privilege. They have earned that. But … they have to earn it.”

Do you have a burning question about Jeff High history or traditions? Ask The Underscore and we’ll investigate for you. To submit an idea, talk to a Hyphen staff member or send an email to jeffhighhyphen@gmail.com

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Feature News

RED! WHITE! RED! WHITE! We all fight for the Jeff High Spirit Stick — but WHY?

 

 It’s homecoming season. You’ve waited all week and the pep rally is finally here. You are separated by classes. Underclassmen are wearing red and upperclassmen are wearing white. You’re screaming back and forth, yelling ” RED!” and ” WHITE!” at the top of your lungs, all to win the spirit stick. But why is a red cardboard tube worth so much to Jeff High students? 

Principal Julie Straight says the answer is simple: “There’s pride in fighting for the school together, just showing that spirit and pride for the school.” A Jeff High graduate, Straight remembers battling over a spirit stick when she was a student — although it wasn’t the same spirit stick we have now. 

The current spirit stick came from Nancy Molnar, a former teacher at Jeff, who made it herself in the early 1990s. She says, “I had new carpet installed in my house. When it was completed…the installer asked if I needed the carpet roll. I looked at it and immediately knew it would work. I sawed the length I knew I could handle at school and big enough for students to see. I fluffed up the plastic at the end to appear like something…perhaps a flame. I placed it on my husband’s sawhorses and painted it red, bought the striped ribbon and glued it down on the stick.” 

Although we don’t know exactly when Jeff High students started battling over some form of stick, we do know that a similar tradition that has been around for many decades. A 1972 yearbook photo shows students claiming a “spirit jug” at a pep rally.  

Principal Straight says that this history and tradition is part of what makes every battle over the spirit stick great. “It brings that bit of nostalgia.”

The seniors claimed the spirit stick at this year’s fall homecoming pep rally.
The 1972 Jeff High yearbook shows a predecessor to the spirit stick: the spirit jug. The caption reads, “J.V. cheerleader, Vanessa Rorrer accepts the spirit jug for the Sophs. from varsity cheerleader Bev Brogan.”


Story by Kaitlyn Monroe