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JFK Library, Harvard Holding Conference On Status Of Women

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Eleanor Roosevelt meets with President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961. (Credit: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum)

Eleanor Roosevelt meets with President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961. (Credit: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is hosting a conference on Columbus Day to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women report.

In 1961, Kennedy established the commission to examine and report on the status of American women. The commission, which Eleanor Roosevelt led from its beginning until her death in 1962, published its report in October 1963.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is co-hosting Monday afternoon’s conference. The event is being held at the UMass Campus Center on Morrissey Boulevard.

In December 1961, Kennedy created the commission by issuing Executive Order 10980. The preamble to the executive order begins with the following statement: “Prejudices and outmoded customs act as barriers to the full realization of women’s basic rights, which should be respected and fostered as part of our Nation’s commitment to human dignity, freedom, and democracy.”

Speakers at the conference are set to begin their presentations and panel discussions at 1 p.m., including women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke; veteran journalist Eleanor Clift; historians Allida Black, Sue Cobble, Jill Ker Conway, and Ellen Fitzpatrick; civil rights activist Aileen Hernandez; Brandeis law professor Anita Hill; lawyer and granddaughter of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Tracy Roosevelt; and former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

The conference will be webcast live at www.jfklibrary.org/webcast.

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