DMH Spotlight - Reconnecting with the people I photographed-what a thrill! Back

Please scroll down for encounters with High chief Pulu Peneueta, Agnes Dill, Sally Popkin,

and a the stamp campaign page on the website for Peggy Kokernot

"The photographs on your site bring back so many memories.You were THE photographer for Women on the Move.

It is all your pictures that Iremember seeing in magazines and in the Women on the Move book."

--Peg Kokernot Kaplan, 2006

Hear Melba Tolliver's wonderful tribute to Diana as well as Gloria Steinem's and Elizabeth Holtzman's at:

Melba Tolliver writes, 12/27/2011:

"Hello Ms Henry...
What a lovely surprise and how thoughtful and generous of you to make me aware of your photo of me. It comes at a really appropriate time as I am writing a memoir and the Women's Conference was a highlight of 1977. Yes, I did cover the big meeting in Houston and have some memories (not as many as I'd wish) of it that I will be writing about in my book. I'd love to talk to you, find out what you're up to and if I can be helpful...."

Please stay tuned for our report of this upcoming meeting of us two journalists after 35 years!

Melba's Blog

Through the Maynard Institute Diana Mara Henry reconnected with Melba Tolliver, photographed above as she was composing her report at the NY State Women's meeting, Albany, 1977.

Melba Tolliver got the assignment of the year in 1971

President Nixon's daughter, Trisha, was marrying Eddie Cox, and Tolliver was to go to Washington D.C. to cover the presidential event. Reporting for WABC in New York, at the time it was unusual for a local station to send a reporter out of town on a national story.....Perhaps it was the beginning of entertaining news. The station took great pains to make sure the staff was ethnically diverse. Tolliver, an African American and Geraldo Rivera, Puerto Rican, were some of the "identifiable ethnics" on staff.

Tolliver had been thinking for some time of changing her hairstyle. She was tired of processing her hair, and using wigs. So she decided to go natural, and made the switch the week of her assignment to Washington D.C. It was a modest afro....

Management threatened to keep her off the air if she didn't change her hair back. She went to Washington D.C. for the wedding, covered it the only way she knew how using live shots of herself, and let New York decide what to do with the footage.

When she returned, management was insistent that she had to straighten her hair or she'd have to wear a hat or scarf if she wanted to get back on air. Now the New York Post had gotten wind that something was happening at the station, and people were beginning to wonder why they hadn't seen Tolliver on air. When the Post began calling people at the station, including the news director, the station backed down and put her on the air. But by now word had gotten out what had happened. It was bad publicity for the station. People wrote letters supporting Tolliver's right to wear her hair as she pleased, even if no one liked it.

It was a defining moment in television history as African Americans grappled with how to define themselves. The struggle spilled over into other realms of journalism, but Tolliver insists this was not the defining moment of her career...Complete story here. © 2011 The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education | 663 Thirteenth St., Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612 | (510) 891-9202 |

Click on image above or go to

"Hi, someone just alerted me to the fact that you have a great photo of my deceased mom Sally Popkin holding the gallup sign at the start of the Mcgovern 72 slide show. ....It's a wonderful surprise to see her so young!"

Note from DMH: It seems miraculous to would know after all these years the name of that heroic woman ! Many thanks to her daughter and all who helped make this possible....

The Mayor of American Samoa photographed at thte First National Women's conference, Houston, 1977

"Subject: High Chief Pulu PeneuetaMessage: Aloha, could you please tell me how I can purchase a photo of my grandmother High Chief Pulu Peneueta? And do you have other shots of her? Please contact me the email address above at your earliest convenience. Mahalo!"

and again: "Aloha Diana,
Thank you so much for responding so quickly! Naturally I can't fit everything in an email concerning my grandmother who WAS a very extraordinary woman, mother and grandmother. Not only was she that but was also a pillar in our village and a force to be reckoned with..." Hilo, Hawaiii....

and then 6 years later, from another member of the tribe:

"Thank u.... I luv it! I am thinking of using dis photo on r t-shirts 4 da "Filigataula & Tuugasala Kuaea" reunion 4 Aug 5th & 6th, 2011 & Jan 2012."

And from another relative:

" I had a brochure used by the airlines with her photo on it but I returned it to my oldest brother who is still alive in L.A. I'm actually the youngest in the family. I will let you know as soon as I find anything.
Thanks for responding and taking the time to write about her. She was an amazing woman that taught me a lot on how to survive....

"She was great woman of faith and belief in womens equal rights. Hope to meet you in person one of these days.
Blessings to you and your endeavors in life."

Agnes Dill, orf the Isleta Laguna tribe, born in 1913 and here photographed as a delegate to the First National Women's Conference, became a University of New Mexico graduate and received her BA in 2009, as reported in a feature story with this photograph in The American Indian Graduate Magazine and seen elsewhere on the website:

Two of the athletes in the photograph below, women of distinction and lifelong service to good causes, Suzy Chaffee and Peggy Kokernot, have written thoughtfully and extensively about their experience and participation at the First National Women's conference. Suzy Chaffee writes to DMH:

"Did you know that I also brought sports to the International Action Plan for the First International Women's Year, at Mexico City in 1970, with my Olympic mother Stevia. It was coincidentally funded by the sister of the Shah of Iran and possibly Farah Diba too, whom I did a film skiing with her and Billy Kidd - synchronized skiing - in Iran just before their downfall. Got a great photo skiing with her in case you want some roots like that. Thanks soooo much and what a difference our Women's event made! When and where is the 30th Reunion? Bless you and your Valiant Team, Suzy Chaffee." More from Suzy Chaffee here.

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