Jerrie Cobb, America’s first female astronaut candidate, dies at 88 via NBC News

I first learned about Jerrie Cobb when I wrote my Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space in 1998 (a great year all around!).

She was among the Mercury 13 (whom no one has done a film on yet) who Jackie Cochran paid to take all the astronaut training given to the male candidates. Jerrie outscored them all – men and women – but then NASA added the requirement that astronauts also have experience as military test pilots – which, naturally, no women had ever done since they weren’t then allowed in those positions in any branch of the military.

What’s so cool about Jerrie is she taught me to keep on going no matter what – because when NASA said no, she spent the rest of her pilot career delivering humanitarian packages to the Amazon. She deserved to go into space. The best she got was when Eileen Collins became the first female pilot of the space shuttle and she invited Jerrie and the other surviving members of the Mercury 13 to the 1995 shuttle launch (Collins later also became the first female space commander.)

Amazing women all around – their names ought to be as well known as the boys who made it into orbit.

Jerrie Cobb, America's first female astronaut candidate, dies at 88 via NBC News

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — America’s first female astronaut candidate, pilot Jerrie Cobb, who pushed for equality in space but never reached its heights, has died.

Cobb died in Florida at age 88 on March 18 following a brief illness. News of her death came Thursday from journalist Miles O’Brien, serving as a family spokesman.

In 1961, Cobb became the first woman to pass astronaut testing. Altogether, 13 women passed the arduous physical testing and became known as the Mercury 13. But NASA already had its Mercury 7 astronauts, all jet test pilots and all military men.

None of the Mercury 13 ever reached space, despite Cobb’s testimony in 1962 before a Congressional panel.

“We seek, only, a place in our nation’s space future without discrimination,” she told a special House subcommittee on the selection of astronauts.

Read Jerrie Cobb, America’s first female astronaut candidate, dies at 88 via NBC News

JerrieCobb MercuryCapsule


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Dr. Rosanne Welch Speaks at the Golden Leaves Presentation, Cal Poly Pomona University Library [Video] (6 minutes, 8 seconds)

Dr. Rosanne Welch Honored with 2019 Golden Leaves Award for 2 New Books at Cal Poly Pomona

Dr. Rosanne Welch Speaks at the Golden Leaves Presentation, Cal Poly Pomona University Library

 

Golden Leaves Presentations 2019 at Cal Poly Pomona University Library.

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on her 2 new books for the 2018-2019 season, “Technical Innovation in American History; An Encyclopedia of Science and Technology” and “When Women Wrote Hollywood”.

Since 1986, the Golden Leaves program has celebrated those members of the Cal Poly Pomona campus community (faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees) who have authored or edited a book* in the preceding year. The Golden Leaves program is funded by the University Library.

Each year, books published by Cal Poly Pomona authors are on display in the Library during the month of April. The Golden Leaves program is celebrated annually at the University Library in conjunction with National Library Week.

*A book is defined (per UNESCO) as “a non-periodical printed publication of at least forty-nine pages, exclusive of cover pages.”

See more Golden Leaves books

Dr. Rosanne Welch Honored with 2019 Golden Leaves Award for 2 New Books at Cal Poly Pomona

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Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 24 – in a series – A Marriage of Words

Do you know about these women screenwriters? Many don’t. Learn more about them today! 

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood - 24 - in a series - A Marriage of Words

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Married at age nineteen and together until Sam’s death, their marriage fed the comedic portrayals of the mishaps of women and men as they fall head over heels for each other and rage against the other. More of a writing partnership than romantic in some ways, as a team the Spewacks conquered Hollywood during a turbulent time when their peers were being sacrificed by producers to a government blacklist fueled by fear of Communism.

Marriage of Words: Bella And Sam Spewack 
by Laura Kirk


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Faculty Screenwriter and Author Gives Voice to Forgotten Women via California State University Fullerton News Center

Faculty Screenwriter and Author Gives Voice to Forgotten Women via CSUF News Center

Thanks to Karen Lindell for attending my library lecture on When Women Wrote Hollywood at the Pollak Library on the campus of California State University, Fullerton. Her article tries to make sense of the many subjects that have populated my books, and she rightly deduces that it is highlighting the work of women writers that is my main mission.  Even in my book on The Monkees I made sure to fully cover the career of Treva Silverman, who by writing on that show became one of the first women to write for television without a male partner.

Video of “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Coming Soon!

Faculty Screenwriter and Author Gives Voice to Forgotten Women via CSUF News Center

As a young girl in Ohio, Rosanne Welch was a regular at her local library, pouring over autobiographies and memoirs of screenwriters from Hollywood’s early years. By the age of 10, she knew that she wanted to have a career in television or film.

Welch, lecturer in screenwriting at Cal State Fullerton, did make it to Hollywood, where she wrote for television shows “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Picket Fences,” ABC’s “Nightline” and “Touched by an Angel.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to the studio … as Welch prepared for her career, she was surprised to find that the female screenwriters she had read about as a child weren’t mentioned in her screenwriting courses.

This piqued her curiosity. Upon researching the matter, she found several reasons why these women had been sidelined in history.

Faculty Screenwriter and Author Gives Voice to Forgotten Women via CSUF News Center

Read Faculty Screenwriter and Author Gives Voice to Forgotten Women via CSUF News Center

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Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 24 – in a series – Zoë Akins

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Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood - 24 - in a series - Zoë Akins

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“As Zoë Akins attempted to prove the legitimacy of her work, the need for commercial success could not be ignored. Like her characters, Akins had to secure her own economic future. While her parents lived a comfortable life, they did not support her fiscally.  Such restraints meant setting aside the high-minded rebellion of Papa. She needed to fill theatre seats, so she had to fulfill specific story requirements. Akins wrote, “…I longed for the freedom which money alone could buy” (OTM 127). She used that declaration as the foundation for her next work.”

Zoë Akins: A Quiet Rebellion
by Sarah Whorton


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A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … – OC Weekly, February 26, 2019

Well, that has to be a record (at least for me) – appearing in local newspapers two days in one week! 

This article — A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … — is about my upcoming Noontime Faculty talk on the history of Female Screenwriters for the Pollak Library at Cal State Fullerton. They take the time to mention the talk I gave last year about my book on The Monkees, which is a bit sad since what makes the book topical this week is the loss of Peter Tork. 

But the beauty of both my books (I hope) is the fact that they bring much needed attention to writers and performers who weren’t necessarily lauded in their own time. —Rosanne

 A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … - OC Weekly, February 26, 2019

You know how you are going to lecture on topics from your new book and then something happens in the big old world that touches on your previous book?

Such is happening to Rosanne Welch, who is a writer and adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

She is scheduled to give one of the Faculty Noon Time Talks in CSUF’s Pollock Library from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. These events are based on faculty research, which in Welch’s case is partly encapsulated in her most recent book, When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry (McFarland & Co., 2018).

However, on Feb. 21, actor/composer/musician Peter Tork, who is best known as the bass player/keyboardist with the Monkees, passed away, which prompted the re-release of something Welch had said about him:

Read A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … 

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Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 23 – in a series – Missing History

Do you know about these women screenwriters? Many don’t. Learn more about them today! 

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood - 23 - in a series - Missing History

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“The lesson learned by this emerging scholar is that researching with the goal of establishing factual history of who, what, when, where, and why is a serious responsibility and details cannot be taken for granted.

The longer litany of errors begins at the end, with one of Heerman’s obituaries, published by Variety November 7, 1977. Film Pioneer Victor Heerman Dies reads, “His wife, the former Sarah Mason, shared his Little Women writing chores and the Oscar.”

The Six Degrees of Sarah Y. Mason and Victor Heerman
by Pamela L. Scott


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Rosanne is mentioned in “Titan Voice: My screenwriting realization steals the scene” – Orange County Register

You never know how much of an effect – if any – you’re having on students who are sometimes quiet in class, or looking at their computer screens when you think they ought to be looking at you… but this article was a wonderful reminder that they are listening, sometimes even amidst their multi-tasking lives. And what this MFA student took away didn’t come from any long lectures, really, but rather from the opening of all my classes where I bring in articles from recent newspaper stories about the film and television business and discuss what they mean to them and their futures. In this case, it had to do with which gendered writers are usually chosen for which genre films…a topic of deep interest to me – and through this article she published, I learned it was a topic of deep interest to Chelsea as well.

“Titan Voice: My screenwriting realization steals the scene” by Chelsea Barns

Rosanne is mentioned in

[…]

I can only lend my stream of consciousness to the screenwriting instructors I have had the pleasure to learn from in the MFA program. Specifically, when it comes to this filmmaker Michael Bay-type realization, I had to give the credit to lecturer Rosanne Welch. This woman has taught me more about what it is to be a female writer in Hollywood than I ever thought I needed to know. I would never have made this connection with the tone and the story of this film had it not been for her classes.

She has taught me that as a woman I need to speak up. I have to raise my voice, and in the way that I know how; writing. Going into this program I did not imagine I would grow as much as I have. Thank you to all my classmates and our faculty that push me every day to be better. I will miss learning from all of you when this wild ride of a program is over.

[…]

Read the entire column: Titan Voice: My screenwriting realization steals the scene

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 22- in a series – Joan Harrison and Hitchcock

Do you know about these women screenwriters? Many don’t. Learn more about them today! 

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood - 22- in a series - Joan Harrison and Hitchcock

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“Harrison’s last partnerships with Hitchcock was a return to the war film in 1942’s Saboteur, which tells the story of an innocent man framed for an act of terror and trying to clear his name. Harrison’s first feature without Hitchcock was Dark Waters, in which she wrote and served as associate producer. In the film a woman, recovering from a boating accident, in which she was the sole survivor, seeks refuge from relatives but finds there is an insidious plot to murder her for her inheritance.”

Joan Harrison: Redefining Femininity in Film Noir and Hollywood
by Chelsea Andes 


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Event: “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Rosanne Welch, Ph.D, Pollack Library, Cal State Fullerton, March 5, 2019, Noon

When Women Wrote Hollywood

When Women Wrote Hollywood

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) in PLS-360 (Pollack Library)
Rosanne Welch, Ph.D., Instructor and Editor of
“When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry” 
Department of Cinema and Television Arts
College of  Communications

This time I’ll discuss the women in my new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars – but fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


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