Thursday, December 18, 2008

On December 18

On this day in ...
... 1957, the 1st U.S. nuclear power plant (right) used to generate electricity on a large scale went on line near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The New York Times reported of the plant, which would remain in operation until 1982:

As a developmental project, the Shippingport plant will produce high-cost power that will be far from competitive with conventional power. Its developers hope it will lead the way, however, to future atomic-power plants that will produce economical electricity.
... 1993 (10 years ago today), Grace Hartman died. She'd been born in 1918 in Toronto, Canada, and dropped out of school in 11th grade to help support her family. Securing clerical jobs despite discrimination against women in the profession at the time, she became active in the labor movement. In 1975 -- International Women’s Year -- she was elected President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the 1st woman to lead a major union in North America. The CUPE website states:

As a trade unionist, feminist, and social activist she was forever committed to women’s rights and creating positive change.

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