Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, Sept. 3, 2015



djn-1973-03-30-0-031I was asked a question: When did women finally get first names when cited in the Jewish News?

Researching this question in the archives, the results were interesting and, generally, followed at-large trends in American society.
It was not uncommon in the 1940s for a woman to be referred to as “Mrs.,” followed by her own first name and marital last name. But, this changed in the 1950s and 1960s when “Mrs.” began to be followed by the woman’s husband’s first name, and then, her marital last name.

While there were certainly exceptions throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the use of a woman’s first name instead of her husband’s did not ramp up again until the 1970s. It is also notable that some women preferred to use their husband’s first name when publicly mentioned, while others preferred to publicly maintain their individual identity.

Well, in the end, the best that I could determine was that, in the midst of the social changes in the 1970s, the JN finally begin the practice of using a woman’s first name, a practice this continues to this day. By the way, my name is Meghan!

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

By Meghan McGowan, Techner Family Fellow


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