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Remembering The Names of Bella

August 10, 2010

Bella AbzugBella Abzug was known by several names, Hurricane Bella, Battling Bella, and Mother Courage.  Time Magazine summed up how she was described by friends and foes alike in these words.  “Her partisans know her as a raucously passionate crusader for minority rights, Women’s Lib and the antiwar movement, a truculent and courageous woman. To the less friendly, she comes on as a sumo liberal, a lady wrestler, Joan of Arc resurrected as an elemental yenta.”  In the words of Bella herself, “I’ve been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy.

Bella the Founder of  Women’s Equality Day

Today, we reflect on her role as the Organizer and Founder of Women’s Equality Day which is celebrated every August 26th since 1971, but what about the woman?  Bella was born on July 24, 1920 and died in 1998, and during her 77 years she lived her life in service to women, peace, and equality.  The causes she worked for speak for themselves, freedom of the press, banning nuclear testing, ending sex discrimination, tirelessly working for civil liberties and urgent social needs such as National Day Care Centers, education, health care, and labor and tenant rights.

For the complete article, Remember the Names of Bella.

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