An Exhibit of Items from the Roxcy Bolton Papers

A Joint Resolution of Congress in 1971 designated August 26th of each year as Women's Equality Day and requested the President to issue a proclamation annually to commemorate that day. That Joint Resolution and the resulting 1972 Proclamation issued by President Richard Nixon were symbolic victories representing the very real gains achieved through the perseverance of women's rights activists such as Roxcy O'Neal Bolton.

Roxcy O'Neal Bolton's struggles for women's rights included campaigning for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, pioneering enlightened treatment of rape victims, opening department store lunchrooms to women, denouncing abusive or derogatory treatment of women, and working with national women's rights movement figures such as Betty Friedan.

This exhibit of items from the Roxcy O'Neal Bolton Papers collection at the State Archives of Florida highlights just a few of Roxcy O'Neal Bolton's activities and achievements from over 50 years of concern and activism.

Bolton with Eleanor Roosevelt (ca. 1956)

Bolton with Eleanor Roosevelt (ca. 1956)

Image Number: N045094

President Richard Nixon's Women's Rights Day Proclamation, 1972

President Richard Nixon's Women's Rights Day Proclamation, 1972

Senator Edward J. Gurney's letter to Roxcy Bolton, September 12, 1972, sending her President Nixon's Women's Rights Day Proclamation

Senator Edward J. Gurney's letter to Roxcy Bolton, September 12, 1972, sending her President Nixon's Women's Rights Day Proclamation

Women's Equality Day Letter from Estelle J.M. Greene, American Association of University Women (1972)

Women's Equality Day Letter from Estelle J.M. Greene, American Association of University Women (1972)

Roxcy Bolton was acknowledged as a driving force in establishing August 26 as an annual observation of Women's Equality Day.

Women's Equality Day Letter from Senator Edward J. Gurney (1972)

Women's Equality Day Letter from Senator Edward J. Gurney (1972)

Roxcy Bolton: Miami, Florida (1988)

Roxcy Bolton: Miami, Florida (1988)

Image Number: N038820

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Paula Hawkins, and Roxcy Bolton (1980's)

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Paula Hawkins, and Roxcy Bolton (1980s)

Letter from Burdine's (1969)

Letter from Burdine's (1969)

Roxcy Bolton fought for equality for women in all aspects of community life, such as her ultimately successful efforts to open department store lunchrooms to women.

Letter from Jordan Marsh (1969)

Letter from Jordan Marsh (1969)

Letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel (1971)

Letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel (1971)

In this November 3, 1971 letter to the Playboy Plaza Hotel, Roxcy Bolton left little doubt regarding her stance on abuse or exploitation of women.

Response from Playboy Plaza Hotel (1971)

Response from Playboy Plaza Hotel (1971)

Handwritten draft of letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel, page 1 (1971)

Handwritten draft of letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel, page 1 (1971)

Handwritten draft of letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel, page 2 (1971)

Handwritten draft of letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel, page 2 (1971)

Handwritten draft of letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel, page 3 (1971)

Handwritten draft of letter from Roxcy Bolton to Playboy Plaza Hotel, page 3 (1971)

Letter from Presidential Staff Assistant George T. Bell, June 5, 1970

Letter from Presidential Staff Assistant George T. Bell, June 5, 1970

Roxcy Bolton's battle against sex discrimination extended to the White House.

Letter from Presidential Staff Assistant George T. Bell, June 9, 1970

Letter from Presidential Staff Assistant George T. Bell, June 9, 1970

Roxcy Bolton at her home in Miami, 1980's

Roxcy Bolton at her home in Miami, 1980s

Letter on rape statute

Roxcy Bolton fought for protections for rape victims and for legislation to more efficiently prosecute rape crimes. In this June 5, 1974 letter to Bolton, Florida Attorney General Robert L. Shevin summarized amendments to Florida's statutes "based on your recommendation to me to establish degrees of rape..."

Roxcy Bolton at the Miami rape treatment center (1974)

Roxcy Bolton at the Miami rape treatment center (1974)

Image Number: PR13493