Guide to the Mormons for ERA photograph collection,
1977-1983

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Mormons for ERA.
Title: Mormons for ERA photograph collection
Dates: 1977-1983 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1 box (0.25 linear ft. )
Collection Number: USU_P0144
Summary: 122 photographs and 81 negatives chronicling the activities of the Mormons for ERA from 1977 to 1983. Included in the collection is the ERA Mother's Day March in 1980 and the White House demonstrations in August 1981 and September 1982. Also included are photographs depicting the 20th anniversary of the Martin Luther King March and the plane tow during the LDS General Conference in October 1983.
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Photograph Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

Alice Allred Pottmyer

Alice Allred was born in South Dakota but spent her early years as an active Mormon growing up in Texas in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her father was transferred to Washington, D.C. during the summer of 1954. She attended Brigham Young University and received her B.S. degree in Journalism. During her time at BYU she became friends with Maida Rust Withers and Hazel Davis Rigby (later to be founding members of Mormons for ERA).

Allred worked for 12 years in Washington D.C. as a trade and professional editor. After having young children, she started to work from home. For the next five years, she produced and wrote articles for Dialogue magazine. She also wrote numerous articles for Sunstone magazine, was twice an Arlington delegate to the Virginia Democratic Convention, volunteered for Arlingtonians for a Better County, a member of the PTA, a leader for Girl Scouts, and worked for the LDS Church public communications department.

Allred had long supported the Equal Rights Amendment, and in 1975 the issues of ERA began to heat up. With the increasing anti-ERA activity from conservative groups, including the LDS Church (which formally opposed ERA on Oct. 22, 1976), Allred's friends from BYU, Maida Rust Withers and Hazel Davis Rigby, along with Teddie Wood and Soina Johnson co-founded Mormons for ERA in 1978.

Allred did a great deal of background work with Mormons for ERA. She organized and gave background information to the media about the organization and their activities, including their lobbying efforts, their views on the complexities of ERA issues, and their public debates on ERA issues. She also developed press kits that were given to the media. This proved to be an invaluable task once the media coverage exploded when the Mormon Church excommunicated Sonia Johnson on December 5, 1979.

On December 11, 1982 Alice Allred Pottmyer succeeded Sonia Johnson as president of Mormons for ERA and took over the newsletter. She functioned as president until 1987 when funds and interest began to diminish.

Hazel Davis Rigby

Hazel Davis grew up in Salem, Utah and was an active member of the Mormon community. She attended Brigham Young University with childhood friend Maida Rust (Withers). Davis received her B.A. from BYU and then went on to receive her M.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Hazel Davis grew up in Salem, Utah and was an active member of the Mormon community. She attended Brigham Young University with childhood friend Maida Rust (Withers). Davis received her B.A. from BYU and then went on to receive her M.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Davis served as the treasurer for the organization. In November of 1980, Mormons for ERA held a demonstration in front of the Washington Temple in Washington State. A scuffle erupted between the demonstrators and anti-ERA supporters. Subsequently, the police were called and Davis was one of several demonstrators who were arrested. In the years following, she played other important roles in Mormons for ERA activities and development.

Maida Rust Withers

Maida Rust was born October 13, 1936 in Kanab, Utah, and was the youngest of eight children. She was raised in Salem Utah, as a member of the LDS Church from which she was a sixth generation pioneer descendant. She graduated from Spanish Fork High School in 1954, and then attended Brigham Young University where she received her B.S. in Music and Dance in 1958. She completed her M.A. in Dance from the University of Utah.

Withers began her teaching career at Purdue University. In 1963, she took a teaching position at Howard University for one year. During that time she marched with the other Faculty members (she being the only white female faculty) to the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King was giving a speech.

At the end of 1963, she accepted a position in the Department of Theater and Dance as an Associate Professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. During her career at George Washington University, she directed the M.F.A. dance program, taught advanced dance, dance and movement improvisation, choreography, and performance art theory. She also served on the Board of Directors of Washington Projects for the Arts for eight years, and served a three year term on the Kennedy Center Education Committee. In 1974 Withers founded the critically acclaimed dance troupe Maida Withers Dance Construction Company.

During the early seventies, she became increasingly involved in the social and political issues of the Vietnam war and the Civil Rights movement. In 1975, the issues of the Equal Rights Amendment began to heat up. It was during this year that Maida Rust Withers and one of her friends, Teddie Wood became active participants in the pro-ERA movement.

During the 80's Wither's focus on social reform turned to environmental awareness. The social issues of the past and her activism in the Equal Rights movement prepared her for her passionate environmental activism. In 1992, she and her dance troupe participated with other international artists for ecology at the United Nation's Conference on Environment and Development. Withers continues to tour nationally and internationally with her dance company and uses dance as interpretive means for environmental awareness. She has created over 35 distinctive works for the stage and video, and subsequently has received a myriad of prestigious awards and accolades from her peers, critics, and the public.

More details concerning the history of Mormons for ERA and bios of Allred, Rigby and Withers, are also available in COLL MSS 225.

Content Description

This collection of photographs chronicle the activities of the Mormons for ERA from 1977 to 1983. Included in the collection is the ERA March in 1980 and the White House demonstrations in August 1981 and September 1982. Also included are photographs depicting the 20th anniversary of the Martin Luther King March and the plane tow during the LDS General Conference in October 1983. The collection consists of 122 images with 81 negatives housed in one acid-free box.

The collection is divided between photographs donated by the three women heading the organization. The photographs are primarily color prints with several black and white photographs. Negatives are available for the prints of the White House demonstration in 1981 and the plane tow in 1983. Note: The description of the photographs in folders 1-2 and 5-7 are quotes written by Alice Pottmyer on the back of the prints.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

Restrictions on Use :  Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the Mormons for ERA photograph collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Photograph Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Mormons for ERA photograph collection, 1977-1983. (P0144). Utah State University. Special Collections & Archives Department.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized into subcollections from three influentual members of the organization: Alice Allred Pottmyer, Hazel Davis Rigby, and Maida Rust Withers.

Acquisition Information :  

Alice Allred Pottmyer, Hazel Davis Rigby, and Maida Rust Withers donated this collection to Utah State University Special Collections and Archives on November 21, 1996. The photographs in this collection were taken from the Mormons for ERA manuscript collection.

Processing Note :  

Register completed by Sarah Elliott, May 1998 and revised by Jessica Alexander, December 2006.

Related Materials :  

Mormons for ERA recordsCOLL MS 225


Detailed Description of the Collection

Mormons for ERA from Alice Allred Pottmyer
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 1
01:01:01: Marie's "Ru" Dan on left, Tish on right inspecting the food before we ate
01:01:02: Around the table: "Ru" Atkinson, Robert Head, Dan, the great non-LDS, Tish and Dave Disinore
01:01:03: Our "2 little ladies from Pasadena" then unnamed guest. From right side toward back: Lynn Weatherford, her boyfriend in red shirt standing in back of her, Dave, and Audrey
01:01:04: Beth and Price Gibb
01:01:05: Ron discusses great things with Price
01:01:06: Beth Gibb and "Mary's" friend "Betsy" (She is actually dying in this shot-so shocked was she!)
01:01:07: Same death scene-Ru, Tish, Robert, and ?

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Mormons for ERA from Alice Allred Pottmyer
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 2
01:02:01: Beginning at back right: Dave Disinore, AJ Ryan, Kip Grant, and Michael Johnson
01:02:02: Lynn and boyfriend in hall door (no more room to sit.)
01:02:03: Wayland from his seat in library named for him
01:02:04: Wayland citing a source
01:02:05: Our booth at the L.A. Women's Faire in April
01:02:06: Booth at L.A. Women's Faire in April
01:02:07: Margot Cheney, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and Marlene Hill in Hotel Utah lobby

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Mother's Day ERA March, Chicago, IL , 1980
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 3
01:03:01: Left to Right: Marjory Hart, Sonia Johnson, and Alice A. Pottmyer (blue purse.)
01:03:02: Left to Right: Teddie Wood (red shirt), Alice Pottmyer, Virginia Graham, and Kathy Harvey
01:03:03: "You Can't Excommunicate Equality: Mormons for ERA" banner

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Equality Day Parade, 1977
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 4
01:04:01: Sonia Johnson behind banner
01:04:02: Sonia Johnson carrying banner, Ron Rigby in background

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California Mormons for ERA
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 5
01:05:01: Love the looks on Sam and Gay Taylor's faces: Alice is reading the R.S. lesson!
01:05:02: Alice pledging allegiance?
01:05:03: Gay Taylor is asking why we need the ERA
01:05:04: AJ Ryan chatting with Wayland
01:05:05: Marlene Head, Marlene Hill and Vicki Selmier
01:05:06: Alice Pottmyer and Marlene Head before song at board meeting

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California Mormons for ERA
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 6
01:06:01: The looks on the faces of Alice Pottmyer and Marlene Head tell the story before they sang
01:06:02: Oh! Here she comes
01:06:03: Why isn't Marlene singing with Alice?
01:06:04: Total exhaustion- the song is ended and so is Marlene
01:06:05: Which is pregnant for the first time, Marlene or Alice?
01:06:06: Marlene Head learned "the look" real well- all the gestures and stances real fast
01:06:07: Alice Pottmyer- Home Sweet Home

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Hotel Utah
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 7
01:07:01: Alice Pottmyer's Hotel Utah letter to T.K.- droopy eyelids denote lateness of hour

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Cheryl Dalton
Container(s)
Description
box
folder
1 8
01:08:01: Mormons for ERA present Cheryl Dalton SISTERS!

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981

(Negatives Available)

Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 9
01:09:01: "ERA Yes! There's No "E.R." without the "A." Banner
01:09:02: "Without ERA All Women are in Chains" Banner
01:09:03: Demonstrators chaining themselves to the fence

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 10
01:10:01: Demonstrators chained to the fence
01:10:02: Demonstrators chained to the fence
01:10:03: Demonstrators chained to the fence- Sonia Johnson third from left

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 11
01:11:01: Demonstrators from Florida, Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, and Utah - Sonia Johnson on the far right
01:11:02: Demonstrators from Oklahoma, Florida, Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, and a female minister
01:11:03: Demonstrators from Oklahoma, Florida, Carolina, and a female minister

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 12
01:12:01: Demonstrators from Oklahoma, Florida, Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, and a female minister
01:12:02: Demonstrators from USA, Louisiana, Virginia, and others
01:12:03: Demonstrators from Virginia, USA, and Illinois

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 13
01:13:01: Demonstrators from Louisiana, Virginia, and USA
01:13:02: Demonstrator from Utah
01:13:03: Sonia Johnson

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 14
01:14:01: "Without ERA All Women are in Chains" Banner
01:14:02: Chains connecting women to the fence
01:14:03: Chains holding the women to the fence

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 15
01:15:01: Women chained to the fence
01:15:02: Alice Pottmyer and television crews at the demonstration
01:15:03: Alice Pottmyer and demonstrators
01:15:04: Crowd at demonstrations

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White House ERA Demonstration, August 1981
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 16
01:16:01: Crowd of demonstrators
01:16:02: Television crews interviewing demonstrators
01:16:03: Television crews filming demonstrators

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20th Anniversary of Martin Luther King March, August 27, 1983
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 17
01:17:01: From left to right: Debra Evenson, Alice Pottmyer, and Marjory Hart
01:17:02: From left to right: Debra Evenson and Alice Pottmyer
01:17:03: From left to right: Debra Evenson and Marjory Hart

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Plane Tow during LDS General Conference , October 1983

(Negatives Available)

Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 18
01:18:01: "ERA-The Pearl of Great Price" Banner
01:18:02: Banner between two buildings in Salt Lake City
01:18:03: Banner between the LDS Church Office building and LDS Temple
01:18:04: Banner over Hotel Utah
01:18:05: Banner between Church Office building and Temple

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Plane Tow during LDS General Conference , October 1983
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 19
01:19:01: Banner over Temple and Seagull Monument
01:19:02: Spectators in front of LDS Tabernacle looking at the banner
01:19:03: Banner by the side of the Temple
01:19:04: Banner in the sky
01:19:05: Spectators at Temple Square

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Plane Tow during LDS General Conference , October 1983
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 20
01:20:01: Crowd at Temple Square
01:20:02: People at Temple Square
01:20:03: Plane towing the banner
01:20:04: Spectators watching the banner
01:20:05: Banner in the sky

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Plane Tow during LDS General Conference , October 1983
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 21
01:21:01: Close-up shot of the banner
01:21:02: Banner in the sky
01:21:03: Banner on the right of the LDS Church Office building
01:21:04: Banner on the left of the LDS Church Office building
01:21:05: Banner over the Temple

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Plane Tow during LDS General Conference , October 1983
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 22
01:22:01: Banner over the Temple and Hotel Utah
01:22:02: Banner in the sky
01:22:03: Banner over the Temple
01:22:04: Banner over the Temple and Hotel Utah
01:22:05: Banner over Hotel Utah, Temple on the right

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Plane Tow during LDS General Conference , October 1983
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 23
01:23:01: Close-up shot of the banner
01:23:02: Banner in the sky
01:23:03: Banner over the Temple
01:23:04: Banner over Hotel Utah, Temple on the right
01:23:05: Man pointing to the banner in the sky

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Plane Tow during LDS General Conference
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 24
01:24:01: Banner in the sky October 1983
01:24:02: Debra Evenson speaking
01:24:03: Debra Evenson being interviewed by KSL Channel 5
01:24:04: Debra Evenson being interviewed by KSL Channel 5

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Hazel Davis Rigby
Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 25
01:25:01: Group photo taken in Rochester 1980

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Maida Rust Withers , Spring 1982

The Day Women Climbed the White House Fence to Deliver a Message to President Reagan

Container(s)
Description
Dates
box
folder
1 26
01:26:01: ERA Demonstrators
01:26:02: Women holding banners marching down the street "Susan B. Anthony Blvd."
01:26:03: Woman dressed as Susan B. Anthony delivering a speech
01:26:04: Maida Rust speaking at the April Alliance on
Rev. David H. Eaton and Dr. Charles V. Bergstrom on the right.
April 29, 1980

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Pottmyer, Alice Allred--Photographs.
    • Rigby, Hazel Davis--Photographs.
    • Withers, Maida--Photographs.
    • Corporate Names :
    • Mormons for ERA--Photographs.
    • White House (Washington, D.C.)--Photographs.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Demonstrations--Utah--Photographs.
    • Demonstrations--Washington (D.C.)--Photographs.
    • Equal rights amendments--Utah--History--20th century.
    • Mormon women--United States--Photographs.
    • Women's rights--Utah--History--20th century.

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