RECORDS, 1977-1997

6 linear feet

ACQUISITION: The records (donor no. 118) were donated by Elizabeth Kay Moon. The material was received in 1992.

ACCESS: The records are open for research.

COPYRIGHT: Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


PROCESSED BY: Derryn E. Moten, 1993; Sharon M. Lake, 2005. [JC-ICNOW.doc]



          The Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization for Women chapter organized in Iowa City on May 3, 1978. It became an addition to several already existing Iowa state NOW chapters. There were chapters in Davenport, Des Moines, and Waterloo and by 1980, there were over 1,100 members state-wide.

         NOW's raison d'etre was to ensure that women in Johnson County could fully participate in society without fear, without capricious encumbrances, and without malicious retributions. NOW sought equal educational, financial, and social opportunities for women. Therefore, women deserved the right, NOW argued, to work in any field that their education qualified them, to be financially independent, and to spouses, partners, based on their preference not society's.

         In its rather short tenure, the Johnson County-Iowa City NOW became involved with a couple of events of major national significance. The first was its 1980 work to obtain voter approval of the Iowa state equal rights amendment and the national ratification of ERA. The Johnson County-Iowa City NOW held runs in 1978, 1979, and 1980 to raise monies and public awareness for the national NOW's ERA efforts. Another important matter was the Linda Eaton sexual discrimination case. In February 1979, Ms. Eaton, then a firefighter for Iowa City, was suspended twice without pay because of alleged insubordination. Her offense was that she refused to discontinue breastfeeding her son during her work breaks. In response, Ms. Eaton filed a sex discrimination complaint against Iowa City before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. On March 20, 1980, the Commission ruled unanimously in Ms. Eaton's favor, awarding her compensatory damages, back pay, and attorney's fees. And although she lost her subsequent civil suit against several city administrators, Ms. Eaton's case became a cause celebre.


Scope and Content Note

         The Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization for Women records measure 6 linear feet and date from 1977 to 1988 They are arranged into seven series: Administrative, Financial Records, Fundraising, Political Activities, Topical Files, Photographs, and Scrapbook. The bulk of the collection concerns NOW's efforts to ratify the state and the national Equal Rights Amendment in the period 1978 and 1980. Additional subjects covered include lesbian rights, abortion rights and sex discrimination.

          The Administrative series (1978-1988) consists of general business and organizational materials including bylaws, budgets, board meetings minutes, and committee oversight. The correspondence folder features letters by Jean Lloyd Jones, Minnette Dodderer, and Lily Tomlin. The History subseries two events scrapbooks highlighting some of NOW's most celebrated campaigns such as their 1981 UI Bijou protest against DePalma's "Dressed to Kill" at the Bijou Theatre on the University of Iowa campus. NOW argued that the movie should not be shown at the campus cinema because it portrayed gratuitous acts of violence against women.

          The Financial Records (1978-1988) series includes ledgers, budgets, treasurer's reports, as well as ancillary material such as receipts for the Linda Eaton Litigation Fund.

          The Fundraising (1978-1984) series provides a glimpse into the types of activities use by NOW to raise funds at the same time, and women's consciousness. Prominent among them were the Linda Eaton litigation drives, the ERA runs, and the 1980 Alternative Inaugural spoof, presenting a woman president and vice president as alternatives to 1980 president-elect Ronald Reagan and vice-president-elect George Bush.

          The Political Activities (1979-1985) series contains a plethora of material concerning NOW's many political campaigns and canvassing. These documents dovetail with other series in this collection in that they mostly pertain to NOW's state and national ERA efforts. Similarly, this series contains information about NOW's political endorsements and its efforts to elect Walter Mondale president of the United States.

          The Topical Files (1978-1997) document some of NOW's less sustained political and fundraising activities such as the 1980 Iowa City street light campaign which lobbied Iowa City's city council for better lit residential neighborhoods. Other folders include the organizations newsletter and newspaper clippings about Linda Eaton's sex bias case and the 1978 NOW effort resulting in an ERA travel ban. This ban enjoined Iowa City from spending city funds for travel by municipal employees to states that had not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment.

          The Photographs series includes Roxanne Conlin, Linda Eaton, Geraldine Ferraro, and the ERA Countdown Rally.

          Scrapbook (1980-1983) consists of four scrapbooks entitled "ERA Task Force;" "Johnson County/Iowa City NOW," 1981-1983; Johnson County/Iowa City NOW, 1978-1980; and Linda Eaton, 1979-1981.  They are comprised of newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia.


Box no. Description

Box 1
                                     Administrative office codes
                                           National Organization for Women--amended 10/1978
                                           Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization for Women,
                                     Chapter memorabilia and records, 1978
                                     Correspondence, 1978-1985
                                     Standardized computer data entry; staff and volunteers
                                     Taskforce guidelines
                               Governing Board
                                     Board meetings, 1979, 1982
                                     Executive board (general), 1980 and undated
                                     Operating rules/bylaws task force
                                           April-December, 1978
                                           January-May, 1982
Box 2
                                     Application, fact sheet, and local chapter directory
                                     General membership and board meetings minutes
                                           May 1978-September 1979
                                           October 17, 1979-September 17, 1980
                                           October 1, 1980-September 16, 1981
                                           Iowa NOW membership list
                                     Membership processing manual
                                     Roster (2 folders)
                       Financial Records
                                     Iowa NOW treasurer's report and budget, 1984-1986
                                     "Record Keeping for Chapters," undated
                               Administrative Committee
                                     Budget request, November 5, 1980
                                     Budgets, 1978-1983
                                     Chapter renewal monetary report, 1983-1988
                                     Federal tax forms and information, 1979-1980
                                     Income and expense records (3 folders)
                                           January 1981-October 1981
                                           November 1981-December 1982
Box 3
                                           1984-1985 (2 folders)
                                                 Account balances
                                           Procedure manual, undated
                                           Treasurer's report, 1978-1982
                                     Correspondence, 1978-1981
                                     Local chapter campaigns, 1981-1984
                                     Alternative inaugural ball, January 20, 1981
                                     ERA Countdown rally, June 30, 1981
                                     ERA lapel pin, 1981-1982
                                     ERA Media Awareness Week, 1981
                                     ERA Walk/Run, August 20, 1980
                                     Film Festival, 1981
                                     Flyers and placards
                                     Linda Eaton legal fund
                                     Spouse abuse shelter, 1979-1981
Box 4
                       Political Activities
                               Iowa NOW
                                     Administration, general
                                     Correspondence, 1980-1981
                                     Endorsement guidelines
                                     Legislative project, 1981
                                     Lesbian rights committee report, July-September 1985
                                     Precinct caucus project, 1981
                                     Precinct report-delegate election tally, 1984
                                     Proposed state plan of action (strategies), 1985-1986
                                     Public relations committee report, 1981
                                     Reproductive Rights Lobby Day, January 19, 1983
                                     Skills development conference, November 10-11, 1979
                                     State conferences
                                     State consciousness raising coordinator, 1980
                                     State contact sheet
                                     State council meetings, 1981-1985
                                     State council minutes, 1981-1982
                               Political conventions
                                     Johnson County Democratic Convention, 1980
                                     State and county convention: delegates and alternatives,
                                     District Democratic party convention, 1982
                                           First district
                                           Third district
                                     Democratic national convention (2 folders)
                                     Democratic newsletter
                                     Iowa Democratic Convention, 1980-1982
                                     Political action committees
                                     Political endorsements, 1980
Box 5
                               Precinct work
                                     Iowa NOW precinct caucus kit, 1982
                                     Johnson County precinct captains
                                     Precinct caucus delegates, 1980
                                     Precinct caucus delegate selection
                                     Precinct coordinator: Edward Kennedy endorsement, 1980
                                     Precinct finders, 1981
                                     Precinct maps: Iowa City
                                     Precinct report tally sheets, 1984
                                     Republicans of Iowa, 1980
                                     Republicans rights plank, 1980
                               Walter Mondale's Presidential Bid
                                     Iowa Women for Walter Mondale, 1983-1984
                                     Mondale phone script--aka "Fritz Blitzers"
                                     Mondale precinct captain kit
                                     Mondale precinct caucus, February 20, 1984
                                     Mondale precinct report forms
                       Topical files
                               Abortion rights week, 1979
                               Advertisements, 1979-1981
                               Affirmative Action, 1981
                               AllState [Insurance] protest, 1983
                               Antioch University Internship, 1978-1979
                               Certificates of Appreciation
                               Chicago ERA march, May 11, 1980
                               Chu, Amy: sex discrimination, 1982
                               Clark, Joan: visit to University of Iowa, November 16, 1979
                               Consciousness raising, 1979
                               Constanza, Midge visit at Old Brick, 1980
                               Director of Human Relations, Iowa City, 1978-1979
                               Disorientation collective, 1983
                               Door-to-door canvassing, 1982
                               Early childhood development committee, February 1981
Box 6

                               Eaton, Linda (2 folders)
                                     General, 1979
                                     Newspaper clippings, 1979-1984
                               ERA Congressional correspondence, 1978-1979
                               ERA state vote count, Iowa 1983
                               ERA travel ban, 1980
                               Goldsmith, Judy campaign visit to Iowa Memorial Union, 1983-1984
                               Grant, Charity: sex discrimination, 1984
                               Illinois legislature lobby, 1982
                               International Women's Day, 1982
                               Iowa Abortion Rights Action League, 1981
                               Iowa City Human Rights Action League
                               Iowa City Jaycees: sex discrimination, 1982
                               Iowa City Street Lights Campaign, 1980
                               Iowa redistricting, 1980
                               Iowa State NOW chapters
                               Iowa Women's Day, April 17, 1979
                               Iowa Women's Meeting, June 1977
Box 7
                               Jepsen, Roger (former U.S. Senator, R-IA), 1984
                                     Iowa City town meeting, March 31, 1984
                                     Newspaper clippings
                               Johnson, Sonia: Mormons and the ERA, 1979
                               King, Sheila Jean (lesbian mother--child custody case)
                               Legal Defense Fund, 1980
                               Lesbian Rights Task Force
                               Letter writing (handbook on effective letter writing)
                               Message brigade
                               Midwest regional conference, Sioux City, IA, 1981
                               "A Million Voices Strong: The Call to Conscience:" resolution of
                                                 Iowa NOW, September 7, 1985
                               Model state bylaws, 1978
                               National ERA petition campaign
                               National Organization for Women material order form
                               National Organization for Women policy manual
                                     Iowa City/Johnson County National Organization
                                                 For Women Newsletter
                                           June 1978-December 1979 (scattered)
                                           1982-October 1984
                                           February 1993-1994
Box 8
                               Newspaper clippings, general
                               Press releases
                               Roth, Sandy--visit to Iowa City, November 7-12, 1979
                               Round, Claudia J. (lesbian mother--child custody case)
                               Schlafly, Phyllis Iowa City visit, March 1983
                               Sex discrimination
                               Sexist advertisements, 1979
                               Sexual harassment survey, 1981
                               Speech materials
                               State presidents/coordinators caucus
                               Strategic overview of local feminism, November 12, 1978
                               University of Iowa homecoming, [NOW protest of Homecoming
                                                 Queen pageant] 1978
                               Volunteer workshop, 1983
                               Wells-Schooley, Jane visit, November 30-December 2, 1979
                               WRAC (Women's Resource and Action Center) orientation, 1978
                               Women and hunger, 1984
                               Women in development symposium, May 6, 1980
                               Women on U.S. postage stamps, 1979
                               Women's Truth Squad on Reagan, 1984
                               Conlin, Roxanne
                               ERA Countdown rally, June 30, 1981 (4 envelopes; includes
                               Eaton, Linda
                               Ferraro, Geraldine
                               Johnson County-Iowa City National Organization For Women
                                                 holiday party, undated
Box 9
                               ERA Task Force, 1980
                               Johnson County/Iowa City NOW, 1981-1983


Box 10

                              Linda Eaton, 1979-1981


Box 11

                              Johnson County/Iowa City NOW, 1979-1980