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Houston Area NOW and Other Feminist Activities Collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

Houston Area NOW

Texas NOW Organization(s)

Other affiliated state, regional and/or local NOW organizations

National NOW

NOW Task forces and committees

NOW Social and political activism

NOW and other feminist conferences

Houston Area NOW affiliates


Newspaper Clippings

NOW promotional Material

Contact us about this collection

Houston Area NOW and Other Feminist Activities Collection, 1970-1996

By Kristen Nicole McAlear, Timothy Wyatt

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Collection Overview

Title: Houston Area NOW and Other Feminist Activities Collection, 1970-1996

Predominant Dates:1974-1977

ID: 02/2002-003

Primary Creator: National Organization for Women

Other Creators: Barnes, Betty, Hall, Peggy, Hicks, Frances, Kuykendall, Nancy, Medley, Donna, Pierce, Janet, Randal, Marjorie, Robinson, Ann

Extent: 13.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 12/31/1996

Subjects: Equal rights amendments - United States, Feminism - United States, International Women's Year, 1975, National Organization for Women, National Organization for Women. Houston Chapter, National Women's Conference, Sex discrimination against women - United States, Women's rights - Texas - Houston

Forms of Material: Brochures, Bylaws (administrative records), Clippings (information artifacts), Correspondence, Ephemera (general), Minutes (administrative records), Newsletters, Publications (document genre)

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection is comprised of the files maintained by the members of the Houston Area (National Organization for Women) NOW. Not all of the files pertain specifically to Houston NOW activities and organizations because several of the members were active in other NOW affiliated organizations. The collection is organized into 11 series: Houston area NOW; Texas NOW organization(s) ; Other state, regional and/or local NOW organizations; National NOW; NOW task forces and committees; NOW social and political activism; NOW and other feminist conferences; Houston area NOW affiliates; Publications; Newspaper clippings; NOW Memorabilia. The collection contains correspondence, financial records, promotional materials and an extensive series of publications and newspaper clippings relating to women’s rights and the NOW organization. Additionally the collection contains a variety of ephemera used to promote women’s rights, and the NOW organization including t-shirts, buttons, posters and other artifacts. Many of the long runs of newsletters and publications in this collection have been removed and catalogued separately. It has been noted in the finding aid when this has occurred.

Biographical Note

Founded in 1970 by Sally and Bart Hacker the Houston chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) organized to help further the goals of the National Organization for Women. The national NOW website states that “Since its founding in 1966, NOW’s goal has been to take action to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.” Houston Area NOW has been very active in education reform and media reform, having successfully formed task forces that helped eliminate sexist language in textbooks, and radio and television programs in the Houston and greater Texas areas. Houston Area NOW members also played instrumental roles in forming related groups such as the  Texas Women’s Political Caucus and the Harris County Women’s Political Caucus which contributed to the elimination of sexist hiring practices by many major Houston area employers. The National and Houston Area NOW organizations, in particular, have been working towards passage of the Equal Rights Amendment after it narrowly missed ratification in 1972 and the organization continues to be active in efforts for reproductive freedom, women’s health and anti-discrimination initiatives for women and GLBT individuals.

Subject/Index Terms

Equal rights amendments - United States
Feminism - United States
International Women's Year, 1975
National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women. Houston Chapter
National Women's Conference
Sex discrimination against women - United States
Women's rights - Texas - Houston

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Photocopy decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

Acquisition Method:

The Houston Area NOW collection is a combination of several collections and additional items from anonymous donors.

Collections combined: Peggy Hall NOW collection (2006-004), Janet Pierce NOW collection (2003-006), Betty Barnes NOW collection (2002-003), Donna Medley NOW and Feminism Collection 1970-1982 (1998-013), Marjorie Randal National Women's Conference Collection (1996-007)

Contributing material: Nancy Kuykendall NOW Donation, Frances Hicks NOW document donation, Ann Robinson Feminist materials

Related Materials: Harris County Women’s Political Caucus Records (http://archon.lib.uh.edu/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=464)

Preferred Citation: Houston Area NOW and Other Feminist Activities Collection. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Houston Area NOW
This series contains items related directly to the administrative and operational activities of the Houston Area NOW. Of particular interest are the documents composed by the prominent members of the Houston Area NOW organization describing its origins and history, as well as correspondence to and from the organization and between the prominent members of the organization.
Box 1
Folder 1: Bylaws
Folder 2: Correspondence, 1970-1973
Folder 3: Correspondence, January–May 1974
Folder 4: Correspondence, June–December 1974
Folder 5: Correspondence, 1975
Folder 6: Correspondence, 1976-1998
Folder 7: Financial documents, 1971-1975, undated
Folder 8: Houston NOW history
Folder 9: Layout Sheets for outreach and propaganda materials, undated
Folder 10: Meeting notes
Folder 11: Membership information and lists
Folder 12: Outreach activities
Folder 13: Miscellaneous
Series 2: Texas NOW Organization(s)
This series contains items related directly to the administrative and operational activities of the Texas NOW organization, as well as various local organizations around the state of Texas. Many of the leaders in the Houston Area NOW organization were also heavily involved with the state level NOW operations, and participated in the state council and related meetings.
Box 1
Folder 14: Bylaws
Folder 15: Council Meetings
Folder 16: Financial documents
Folder 17: Handwritten notes from state meetings
Folder 18: Membership information
Folder 19: Resolutions
Folder 20: Other Local NOW organizations in Texas
Series 3: Other affiliated state, regional and/or local NOW organizations
This series contains items related directly to the administrative and operational activities of other NOW organizations around the country. Of particular interest is an extensive set of documents relating to the activities of the NOW organization in Virginia. Frances Hicks, affiliated with Houston NOW, also worked with the Virginia and Mt. Vernon NOW organizations.
Sub-Series 1: Various
Box 1
Folder 21: Memphis NOW
Folder 22: Minnesota NOW
Folder 23: New York NOW
Folder 24: Southern Regional NOW
Folder 25: Washington D.C. NOW organizations
Sub-Series 2: Virginia NOW
Box 1
Folder 26: Abortion clinic vigils
Folder 27: Education reform task force
Folder 28: Legislative contacts
Folder 29: Legislature and legal procedures
Folder 30: Mailing info
Folder 31-32: Membership and related documents
Folder 33: History coalition
Folder 34: Northern Virginia Counseling Center
Folder 35-37: Newsletters/minutes
Folder 38: Political Action Committee
Folder 39: Miscellaneous
Sub-Series 3: Mt. Vernon (Virginia) NOW
Box 2
Folder 1: Administration documents
Folder 2: Correspondence
Folder 3-4: Finance
Folder 5: Minutes
Folder 6: Newsletters
Folder 7: Women’s caucus
Series 4: National NOW
This series contains items related directly to the administrative and operational activities of the National NOW organization. Of particular interest are the documents relating to the ideological split between the leaders of the National NOW organization and a splinter group formed December 7, 1974 that came to call itself the Majority Caucus of NOW which formed in protest to what the group perceived as violations to the bylaws and membership contracts of the NOW organization.
Box 2
Folder 8: Bylaws
Folder 9: Chapter formation guidelines
Folder 10: Finances and dues
Folder 11: Ideology split
Folder 12: Membership and board elections
Folder 13: Newsletters and meeting minutes
Folder 14-15: Resolutions, histories, policies
Series 5: NOW Task forces and committees
This series contains items revolving around the task forces of NOW. The four sub-series are: Houston area NOW task forces and committees, the Houston area NOW Reform in media task force, Texas task forces and committees and national task forces and committees. Many of the task forces and committees at the state and national level also participated at the local level in various NOW organizations. The folders contain statistics, documents, letters, organizational and administrative information and research related to the various social and political action committees of the NOW organizations. Of particular interest is the extensive series of documents related to the media reform efforts in the Houston area. Mass media reform to remove sexism in broadcasting was one of the important goals of the national NOW organization, and was a particularly important and successful committee in the Houston area organization.
Sub-Series 1: Houston Area NOW task forces and committees
Box 2
Folder 16: Employment task force, 1973-1975
Folder 17: Rape Crisis Coalition
Folder 18-19: Textbook review - general information
Folder 20: Textbook review, book reviews, 1971-July 1976
Folder 21: Textbook review, book reviews, July 1976
Folder 22: Textbook review, book reviews, undated
Folder 23: Women’s health task force (and abortion)
Sub-Series 2: Houston Area NOW Reform in media task force
Box 2
Folder 24-25: Affirmative action reports for media employers
Folder 26: Broadcast media guides, 1971-1972
Folder 27: Data and statistics
Folder 28: Essays, data, proposed shows, etc.
Folder 29: FCC instructions, 1972-1974
Folder 30-31: Petition to deny license renewal for KPRC (draft), 1974
Box 3
Folder 1: KPRC editorials
Folder 2-3: KPRC meeting, research, viewing notes
Folder 4: KPRC women’s program pilot
Folder 5: Newsletters and outreach
Folder 6: Radio and television station information (Houston, Tx) #1, 1974
Folder 7: Radio and television station information (Houston, Tx) #2, 1974
Folder 8: Radio and television station information (Houston, Tx) #3, 1974
Folder 9: Radio and television station information (Houston, Tx) #4, 1974
Folder 10: Radio and television station information (Houston, Tx) #5, 1974
Sub-Series 3: Texas state task forces and committees
Box 3
Folder 11: Education and Legal fund, 1986?
Folder 12: General Texas task force information
Sub-Series 4: National Task forces and committees
Box 3
Folder 13: Consciousness raising
Folder 14: Minority women’s rights
Folder 15: National NOW task forces and politics
Folder 16: National task force on women and poverty
Folder 17: Sexism in education and Title IX task force
Folder 18: Women and religion
Folder 19: Women and volunteerism
Series 6: NOW Social and political activism
This series contains items including pamphlets, research, clippings and other documents related to the mutual social and political interests of the various NOW organizations. Of particular interest is a series of documents relating to the efforts to gain passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and several sets of publications to increase awareness and understanding of the feminist movement and feminism.
Box 3
Folder 20-22: Abortion and women’s health
Folder 23: Abortion and women’s health, Virginia
Folder 24: Alvin cooperative education workshops
Folder 25: Coors boycott correspondence and press releases
Folder 26: Coors boycott general information
Folder 27: Education related information
Folder 28-29: Equal Rights Amendment – newsletters
Folder 30: Equal Rights Amendment – articles and essays
Folder 31: Equal Rights Amendment – politics related
Folder 32: Equal Rights Amendment – informational publications
Folder 33: Equal Rights Amendment – pamphlets, outreach and propaganda
Folder 34-35: Feminist reading lists
Folder 36: Feminism informational publications
Folder 37: Feminism articles
Folder 38: Feminism pamphlets, publicity and outreach
Folder 39: Homosexual interest groups
Folder 40: Various political activities
Series 7: NOW and other feminist conferences
This series contains programs, organizational information, and other administrative information related to the conferences in which the Houston area NOW and its members participated. Of particular interest are the documents related to the International Women’s Year activities. The series is organized into two sub-series: NOW conferences and Conferences devoted to general women’s interests.
Sub-Series 1: NOW conferences
Box 4
Folder 1: Texas state NOW conference, 1973/1974
Folder 2: Texas state NOW conference Austin, 1975
Folder 3: Texas state NOW conference Abilene, 1976
Folder 4: Texas state NOW conference Abilene, 1976
Folder 5: Texas state NOW conference San Antonio, 1977
Folder 6: Texas state NOW conference 1988, 1996
Folder 7: Virginia NOW conferences
Folder 8: Virginia NOW conferences
Folder 9: NOW Southern Regional conference, Memphis 1974
Folder 10: 4th, 5th and 6th National NOW conferences, 1971-1973
Folder 11: 7th National NOW conference Houston, 1974
Folder 12: 8th National Now Conference Philadelphia, 1975
Folder 13: 8th National Now Conference Philadelphia, 1975
Folder 14: 8th National Now Conference Philadelphia, 1975
Folder 15: 9th -10th National NOW conference Houston, 1976 -1977
Folder 16: 9th -10th National NOW conference Houston, 1976 -1977
Folder 17: 9th-10th National NOW conference Houston, 1976 -1977
Folder 18: National NOW conferences, 1981-1985
Sub-Series 2: Other feminist conferences
Sub-Sub-Series 1: Various
Box 4
Folder 19: Houston women's rights town meeting - Beyond convention, towards community
Folder 20: Houston conference on the revitalization of the inner city
Folder 21: Virginia leadership conference
Folder 22: National conference on Christians and Jews
Folder 23: National Party women’s rights conference, 1978
Folder 24: National welfare rights conference, 1974
Folder 25: National woman’s conference to prevent nuclear war
Sub-Sub-Series 2: International Women's Year
Box 4
Folder 26-29: Conference and documents
Box 9
Folder 1: General Information
Folder 2: Mexico City Brochure, 1975
Folder 3: Missouri State Conference, 1977
Folder 4: Washington, D.C. Meeting, 1977
Folder 5: Houston, 1977
Folder 6: Mid-Decade Conference General Information, 1980
Folder 7: Mid-Decade Conference Plan of Action, 1980
Folder 8: Mid-Decade Conference Printed Materials, 1980
Folder 9: Mid-Decade Conference Articles, 1980
Folder 10: Mid-Decade Conference Handout, 1980
OVS_Box 10
Folder 18: From the Lady Poets of Texas (2)
OVS_Box 11
Folder 5: News clippings and Articles
Series 8: Houston Area NOW affiliates
This series contains materials related to organizations and people that worked with NOW. The Houston area NOW organization works extensively with local, state and national feminist and human rights activists to further their social and political goals. Materials include information, pamphlets and organizational material associated with these affiliated organizations and individuals.
Box 4
Folder 30: Affiliated political action organizations
Folder 31: Affiliated Women’s rights organizations
Folder 32: Feminist and women’s organizations
Folder 33: Houston area feminist credit union
Folder 34: National association of women business owners, 1977
Folder 35: National institute of mental health task force on homosexuality
Folder 36: Nikki Van Hightower, City of Houston Office of the women's Advocate
Folder 37: Texas Gay Task Force
Folder 38: United farm workers
Folder 39: University of Colorado division of continuing education, 1974
Folder 40: University of Houston child care center
Folder 41: Virginia black women’s groups
Folder 42: Women in action
Folder 43: Peggy Hall greeting Cards
Folder 44: Peggy Hall travel brochures
Folder 45: National Gay Task Force
Series 9: Publications
This series contains publications both by NOW as well as other organizations and is divided into three sub-series: NOW publications; feminist calendars, almanacs and histories; and Affiliated organizations’ publications. Of particular interest are the groundbreaking publications Breakthrough and Broadside, which examine the political and feminist issues for the Houston area. Special Collections also holds nearly complete runs of Breakthrough and Broadside which have been catalogued separately and are accessible with the UH Libraries online catalogue. This series includes selected examples of those publications. Other important publications in this series include Our bodies, Ourselves, a ground breaking publication of feminism and sexuality as well as unpublished poems and feminist fiction and an informational guide to the practices and dangers of sexism.
Sub-Series 1: NOW publications
Box 5
Folder 1: Breakthrough, May 1977, Jul-Aug 1977, Sept 1977, Oct 1977
Folder 2: Breakthrough, Dec 1977-Jan 1978, Feb 1978, Mar 1978
Folder 3: Breakthrough, Apr 1978, May 1978, Jun 1978, Jul-Aug 1978
Folder 4: Daily Breakthrough, Nov 18, 1977; Nov 19, 1977
Folder 5: Daily Breakthrough, Nov 20, 1977
Folder 6: Miscellaneous NOW publications (Montrose Area NOW Horizons July 1983, Texas NOW Times Mar-Apr 1980, National NOW Times Sep/Oct 1979, National Organization for Women 1977, Do It NOW Mar 1974)
Folder 7: Lovell, Linda and Alison McKinney “Sad team.” Houston: Ego press, 1975
Folder 8: Broadside Iss: 2.1, 3.1 – 3.3, 3.8, 4.1, 4.3 – 4.7, Jan 1971 – July 1973
Folder 9: Broadside  Iss: 4. 8 – 5.3, Aug 1973 – March 1974
Folder 10: Broadside Iss: 5.4 – 5. 12, April 1974 – Dec 1974
Folder 11: Broadside Iss: 6.1 – 6.6, Jan- Jun 1975
Folder 12: Broadside Iss: 6.7 – 6.10, Jul – Oct 1975
Folder 13: Broadside Iss: 6.11 – 7.4, Nov 1975 – April 1976
Folder 14: Broadside Iss: 7.5 – 7.12, May 1976 – Dec 1976
Folder 15: Broadside Iss: 8.1 – 8.12, Jan – Dec 1977
Folder 16: Broadside Iss: 9.2 – 9.12, Feb – Dec 1978
Folder 17: Broadside 10.1-10.2, 11.1, 11.3 -11.6, 11.8 – 11.12, 12.4 – 12.6, Jan 1979 – Jun 1981
Folder 18: NOW brochures
OVS_Box 10
Folder 1: Breakthrough, January, August-October 1976
Folder 2: Breakthrough, Feb, Apr, June-July/Aug, Oct, Dec/Jan 1979
Folder 3: Breakthrough, Feb-Mar, Sept 1980
Sub-Series 2: Feminist calendars, almanacs and histories
Box 5
Folder 19: The illustrated Houston woman’s almanac 1975
Folder 20: Male chauvinist pig calendar
Folder 21: Women at work in song and narrative 1974
Folder 22: Women on the move, 1978
Box 6
Folder 1: Women’s heritage almanac and calendar
Folder 2: The liberated woman’s appointment calendar 1974 (Unknown)
Folder 3: The liberated woman’s appointment calendar 1974 (Betty Barnes)
Folder 4: The liberated woman’s appointment calendar 1974 (Janet Pierce)
Folder 5: The liberated woman’s appointment calendar 1975 (Betty Barnes)
Folder 6: Women’s Suffrage: History, arguments, results
Sub-Series 3: Affiliated organizations publications
Box 6
Folder 7: A guide to federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination, 1974
Folder 8: A working woman’s guide to her job rights, 1975
Folder 9: Augusta Tabor, Her side of the scandal, 1955
Folder 10: Centerline, 1984-1985
Folder 11: Double F Journal, 1972
Folder 12: Equal rights monitor, 1976
Folder 13: Feminist poems and literature
Folder 14: Legislative Response, Senator Lloyd Doggett
Folder 15: Male awareness center newsletter, 1976
Folder 16: National Abortion Rights Action League newsletter
Folder 17: National association for women Deans, Administrators and Counselors, 1974
Folder 18: O.W.L (Older women’s league) newsletter, Feb 1988, Jun  1988, Jul 1988, Oct 1988, Jan – Feb 1989, May 1989
Folder 19: Our Bodies, Ourselves
Folder 20: Perfect in her place, women at work in industrial America, 1981
Folder 21: Sexism packet (by Joanne Cohn-Gilletly and Maggie Landau)
Folder 22: Stop rape
Folder 23: Texas Observer, 1976
Folder 24: The loyal opposition, May 1982, Sept 1982
Folder 25: The Second Wave, 1971
Folder 26: Spinning off, March 1980
Folder 27: The Spirit of Houston, an official report, 1978
Folder 28: The Spokeswoman, (Jan 1973, Nov 1973, Jan 1974, Feb  1974, Mar 1974, Apr 1974, Jun 1974, Nov
Folder 29: The Texas Humanist, Dec 1979
Folder 30: Thresher, Rice University, Feb 1976
Folder 31: Under the rule of thumb
Folder 32: We are the majority, 1976
Folder 33: Wells, Lyn “American women: their use and abuse”
Folder 34: Women’s rights: women in America
Folder 35: Women Sports, Sept 1974
Box 9
Folder 11: Art in America
OVS_Box 10
Folder 4: Houston Journalism reviews
Folder 5: Life, 1992
Folder 6: Majority Report, 1975, 1976
Folder 7: The New woman’s survival catalog
Folder 8: Women’s political times
OVS_Box 11
Folder 2: The Dinner Party (Judy Chicago)
Series 10: Newspaper Clippings
This series features newspaper clippings and magazine articles related to topics of interest to the Houston area NOW organization and its members.  Some of the articles have dates, although many do not. In general the clippings come from the years 1970 -1985.
Sub-Series 1: Subject
Box 6
Folder 36: Abortion, 1974-1977
Folder 37: Coors boycott, undated
Folder 38: Education, 1973-1977
Folder 39: Equal Rights Amendment, 1975-1982, undated
Folder 40: Gay and Lesbian, 1972-1976
Folder 41: Minority rights, 1974-1996
Folder 42: NOW related clippings, 1972-1982; undated
Folder 43: Prominent women, undated
Folder 44: Rape and Sexual harassment, 1974-1979
Folder 45: Sexism, 1973-1985
Folder 46: Title IX, 1974-1979
Folder 47: Women’s health, 1972-1977
Folder 48: Women’s interests, 1974-1983
Folder 49: Women’s rights, 1971-1975; undated
Folder 50: Various, undated
Folder 51: Various magazine and periodical articles
OVS_Box 11
Folder 3-4: Various
Sub-Series 2: Periodical
Box 9
Folder 12: Catholic Standard
Folder 13: Hannibal Courier-Post
Folder 14: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Folder 15: Twin Circle
Folder 16: Various
Folder 17: Washington Post
Folder 18: Washington Star
OVS_Box 10
Folder 10: Houston Post, April 1973, Nov 1977, April 1979, Jan 1982
Folder 11: Houston Chronicle, April 1973, Jan 1975, Nov 1979, Dec 1981
Series 11: NOW promotional Material
This series contains items of promotional material, other artifacts and an extensive collection of t-shirts. The NOW organization used various means to promote and raise awareness of women’s rights and increase membership in the organization. The artifacts and ephemera in this series have examples of slogans, t-shirts and other novelties used for this purpose.
Box 6
Folder 52: Bumper stickers, report covers, flyers etc.
Box 7
Item 1: Feminist and promotional buttons
Item 2: 1991 Inaugural Celebration cup
Item 3: National women’s conference, 1977 ribbon
Item 4: Betty Friedan Speech cassette (2 cassettes)
Item 5: Time management cassette
Item 6: S.A. NOW Cassette
Item 7: Women on the move National Women’s Conference, 1977 t-shirt
Item 8: Majority Caucus t-shirt
Item 9: NOW t-shirts
Item 10: NOW French t-shirt
Item 11: Frances Farenthold for Governor t-shirt
Item 12: Houston, Texas Feminist capitol of the world aprons
Item 13: Feminist tote bags
Box 8
Item 1-3: E.R.A. T-shirts
Item 4: E.R.A. Spanish T-shirts
Item 5-8: Feminist t-shirts
Item 9-10: Lesbian t-shirts
Box 9
Folder 19: Postcards
OVS_Box 10
Folder 9: Promotional posters and portfolio
Folder 12: Abigail Adams Stamp Poster
Folder 13: Sylvia Garcia Campaign Sign
Folder 14: Kathy Whitmire Campaign Signs (2)
Folder 15: "To Honor America's Outstanding Women"
Folder 16: Thank You Kathy!
Folder 17: Susan B. Anthony (2)
Folder 19: Equal Rights Ratified Poster
Folder 20: NOW Poster (2)
Folder 21: Protest Signs (5)
OVS_Box 11
Folder 1: Kathy Whitmire Campaign Buttons (11)

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