Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pioneers On The Supreme Court

One Book, One Community Read committee presents a skit including Ruth Badger Ginsburgh, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Susan B. Anthony, Sandra Day O’Connor and Genevieve Angelides (as herself).

AAUW members and guests attended the One Book, One Community Read program on Tuesday, April 18th at the Fremont Main Library. The OBOCR committee led by Chris Sandoe, Margery Leonard and Genevieve Angelides gave a scholarly and professionally delivered synopsis of the book Sisters In Law by Linda Hirshman. This book gives “a thorough, accurate, and most readable account of the careers of the first two women to serve as justices of the Supreme Court.”

Fremont Branch President Elaine Wong Eakin welcomed everyone. She discussed some of the programs that the branch offers such as Discovery Day, One Book, One Community Read and Women’s History and she encouraged guests to join AAUW. Genevieve Angelides gave a brief history of the nine years that the Fremont Branch has brought OBOCR to the community. She spoke of the collaborative effort of the school district, city and community that helped make the program thrive. Jo Szeto then introduced the book that told the story of how these two women complimented each other and worked together to change the face of the Supreme Court.

Committee members Margery Leonard, Mary Fuchs, Chris Sandoe, Jo Szeto and Genevieve Angelides pass out cookies made from the Martin Ginsburgh cookbook.

Jean Delp and Mary Fuss relayed the story of the brilliant cowgirl that helped change the world, Sandra Day O’Connor. O’Connor was born in El Paso Texas on March 26, 1930. She spent her youth on her family’s Arizona ranch where she became adapt at riding and assisted with ranch duties. She learned the value of hard work and getting the job done without excuses while working on the ranch. Hirshman writes of the time Sandra Day O’Connor was expected to deliver lunch to her father and his crew. Sandra was late because she had a flat tire and had to change the tire herself. When she explained this to her father he said, “You should have left earlier.” These lessons served her well as she attended Stanford University and pursued a distinguished law career. She is most remembered for being the first female justice of the Supreme Court. To this day she still considers herself to be a cowgirl!

Kris Sandoe introduced the audience to the invincible Ruth Badger Ginsburg. Ginsburg was born on March 15, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother instilled a love of education in her daughter. Unfortunately her mother died the day before Ruth Ginsburg graduated from high school. Ruth Badger Ginsburg went on to distinguish herself at Cornell University and later at Harvard and Columbia Law School.  Her mother told her to be a lady. For Ruth Ginsburg, that meant to be your own person, be independent. Her mother-in-law shared the secret of a good marriage is that “sometimes you have to be a little deaf.” Ruth Badger Ginsburg learned very early to “turn a deaf ear to powerful colleagues who were making life so much worse for women.” Ruth Badger Ginsburg was the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court where she fought valiantly against gender discrimination.

The committee presented a very creative skit in which Susan B. Anthony, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Badger Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton and Genevieve Angelides sit down for tea and a discussion of the status of women. The same theme echoes from each of these dynamic women: the power of argument and civility, strive for excellence, and equity for women and girls. Sandra Day O’Connor said it best when she said, “We should not be held back by artificial barriers.” Hillary Clinton encouraged us all to keep up the good fight when she made her concession speech at the conclusion of the 2016 Presidential election.

“Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The One Book, One Community Read committee presented a program that both entertained and inspired the audience. There was a special drawing for a copy of Chef Supreme, a cookbook with the favorite recipes of Marty Ginsburg (husband of Ruth Badger Ginsburg). The lucky winner was Anne MacLeod. Attendees took home samples of yummy cookies made from his cookbook.