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11 named to National Women’s Hall of Fame

Associated Press / March 9, 2011

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Singer Billie Holiday, educator Donna Shalala, and civil rights champion Coretta Scott King will be enshrined with eight others in the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

The 2011 honor roll, unveiled yesterday, includes Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving woman in the history of the US Senate, and Lilly Ledbetter, an Alabama woman whose lawsuit against Goodyear sparked a pay equity act in Congress.

The 11 women will be inducted at an Oct. 1 ceremony in Seneca Falls, a western New York village where the first known women’s rights convention was held. Established in 1969, the hall acclaims women who have made valuable contributions to society and especially to the freedom of women.

“Each of these women have demonstrated fortitude, perseverance, intelligence, and hope,’’ said the hall’s executive director, Christine Moulton. “Their experiences provide both an example for each of us to emulate and a challenge for each of us to embrace.’’

Four other women being honored posthumously are King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; early suffragist Abby Kelley Foster; beatified missionary St. Katharine Drexel; and Dorothy Harrison Eustis, cofounder in 1929 of the nation’s first dog-guide school for the blind.

Fellow honorees include chemist Helen Murray Free, nurse practitioner pioneer Dr. Loretta C. Ford, and Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 became the first official female competitor in the Boston Marathon.

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