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Praise and Criticism for 'Then and NOW'

March 04, 1992

As chair of the committee that organized L. A. NOW's first Women's Equality Day Aug. 26, 1970, I was amazed to read in the accompanying illustration (to the article "Then and NOW") that 10,000 marched in Los Angeles. I doubt if you found that figure in The Times for that date (because) you didn't cover the event and I believe you would have if 10,000 (had) marched.

I was also a reporter for City News Service at the time, and mindful of my obligation to report truthfully, I stood on the sidewalk in downtown L. A. and counted every person as the marchers went by me. The number was just short of 400.

That evening about 800 came to an indoor program held in the auditorium of First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles. We were actually quite pleased with those numbers at the time because the movement was minuscule then.

NOW actions today draw much larger crowds than they did in 1970. I'm seeing a resurgence of feminism among my students and among the longtime feminists I know who are beginning to get involved again. It seems strange that you pick this as the time to run a spate of negative or ambiguous stories about the movement.

JEAN STAPLETON

L.A. NOW President, 1973-75

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