Primary Source Set
Roxcy Bolton and Rights for Women
Florida feminist Roxcy Bolton spent her life advocating for women’s rights in the state and around the country. A long-time Coral Gables resident, Bolton is credited with gaining access for women to the previously all-male lunchrooms at Burdines and Jordan Marsh department stores; for helping to end the practice of naming hurricanes only for women; and for opening the influential Tiger Bay political club to women.
Bolton was one of the first Florida women to join the National Organization for Women (NOW) after its founding in 1966, and she served as national vice president after being elected to the board of directors in 1968. She also founded and served as the first president of the Miami-Dade Chapter of NOW in 1968. Bolton took NOW’s message to county commissioners, town councils and university presidents, arguing the case for equal rights for women and actively campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She convinced U.S. Senator Birch Bayh to hold the first hearings on the ERA before Congress in 1970.
In 1972, Bolton was the driving force behind the designation of August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. The proclamation by President Richard Nixon establishing the day was later presented to Bolton in recognition of her diligent work for equal rights.
Photo credit: Portrait of Roxcy Bolton.
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Letter from Victoria J. Powell to Roxcy Bolton Regarding a Requirement for Girls to Study Home Economics in High School, April 29, 1970
Letter from Roxcy Bolton to the Director of the Hurricane Center in Coral Gables Regarding the Naming of Hurricanes, 1970
Letter from Roxcy Bolton to R.H. Simpson of the National Weather Service Regarding Hurricane Names, January 1, 1972
Letter from Eastern Air Lines Official Marvin C. Amos to Roxcy Bolton Regarding Company Policies, June 5, 1972
Letter from Patti Griffiths to Roxcy Bolton Asking for Help Establishing a Rape Crisis Center in Ocala, December 24, 1975
Remarks by Florida Secretary of State Richard Stone Announcing the Establishment of the Florida Women's Archives Collection, April 15, 1974