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1975: Signs against equal rights flourish

Published March 20, 2007


MARCH 16, 1975

CLEARWATER - Pickets reading "Don't Draft American Girls," "A Woman's Role is Sacred, Protect It," "It's Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature," and "God Knows the Difference, Shouldn't We," greeted people passing by local legislators' offices Saturday.

It was all part of a statewide protest by Equal Rights Amendment opponents who picketed against legislators who support the amendment.

About 25 people of all ages - including elderly people, mothers carrying their babies and teenagers - picketed the offices of state Rep. Mary Grizzle, R-Belleair Beach, and Rep. Betty Easley, R-Largo, and then picketed in front of the Pinellas County Fair.

Most people walking past the picketers accepted pamphlets, but few stopped to talk. However, Rani Davidson, spokeswoman for the group, said that "so far we haven't found anyone who is in favor of the amendment."

Mrs. Davidson said that members of the Conservative Political Action Committee of Pinellas County and the Florida Federation of Women for Responsible Legislation oppose the Equal Rights Amendment because it is "a dangerous act that will destroy more rights than it creates."

The amendment reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any states on account of sex."

Mrs. Davidson said that the amendment, which will become a part of the U.S. Constitution if it is ratified by 38 states, is a "Pandora's Box" that will rob women of their protected status in American society.

Pamphlets the pickets distributed said that the amendment would rob women of Social Security benefits if they depended on their husband's income in order to be eligible and lead to desegregation of dormitories, barracks and rest rooms. The pamphlet claimed government would be led to abolish protective laws against sex crimes, draft of women into the armed services and allow homosexuals to marry.

"Do you want your husband to sleep in barracks with women?" it asked.

MARCH 3, 1927

Hero of Merrimac to deliver address

CLEARWATER - Capt. Richmond Pearson Hobson, hero of Merrimac fame, and former Alabama congressman, is coming to Clearwater on the evening of March 11 to deliver an address on American citizenship.

Capt. Hobson will lecture in the Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, and will be accompanied by Prof. Alvin W. Roper, celebrated pianist, who is reputed to be one of the best hymnologists and accompanists in the country.

Capt. Hobson's address is reported to be the most forceful one that he has ever delivered, giving a vivid portrayal of modern tendencies in our civic progress. The speaker and his accompanist are waging a vigorous campaign in the interest of law enforcement.

MARCH 26, 1936

Town leaders thanked for street lights

LARGO - After the regular meeting of the Largo town commissioners was postponed because three members were ill, a meeting was held Monday night. A letter from the Largo Civic Club, thanking the commissioners for the continued lighting of streets for the past three months and for "full cooperation in all civic matters" was read to the group. Permission was granted town manager W.F. Belcher to secure the help of an assistant one week per month, with salary left to his good judgment.

Pinellas History is compiled by Times staff writer Theresa Blackwell. She can be reached at 727 445-4170 or

Looking back

Headlines through the years

A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

[Last modified March 20, 2007, 00:39:16]

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