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.
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Roxcy Bolton was acknowledged as a driving force in establishing August 26 as an annual observation of Women's Equality Day.
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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.
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.
Roxcy Bolton's battle against sex discrimination extended to the White House.
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..."
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