Two American heroines die

Recently, two of the most important women in the history of the United States passed away, Coretta Scott King and Betty Friedan. Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King Jr., took many important steps to further the ideals of women, peace and minorities. King put together a series of Freedom Concerts that helped raise funds for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). These Freedom Concerts combined poetry, music and speakers to highlight the Civil Rights Movement. Later on, in 1962, she became a delegate in the Women’s Strike for Peace at the disarmament conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She even opposed the Vietnam War and participated in a 1965 anti-war rally at Madison Square Garden, New York City. After the death of her husband, she continued to participate in many protests that ranged from opposing apartheid to gay rights. On Aug. 16, 2005, Coretta Scott Key suffered a stroke and a mild heart attack, but survived. After a difficult last few months, she eventually died of respiratory failure on Jan. 30, 2006. Betty Friedan was a strong advocate for woman’s right and will be best known for her book The Feminine Mystique. This book depicted the roles of woman in industrial societies. This book has been considered the cause of the second American wave of feminism and helped spike the interest of the feminist cause. Friedan also co-founded the US National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (REPEL). She has been called the most influential feminist of the late 20th century. On Feb. 4 2006, Betty Friedan died in her Washington D.C. home of congestive heart failure. It was on her 85th birthday. Even though these two figures have left this Earth, their impacts will be felt for centuries to come.