Here at PUSH 7, we value the opportunity to recognize Pittsburgh women whose careers have made a significant difference at the local or national level. Two women in history who are most well-known for drawing criticism and controversy to their work are Rachel Carson and Marie Torre.
Marie Torre was the first reporter to gain national attention for refusing to identify a news source. In 1957, as a radio and television columnist, Torre quoted a CBS executive stating that Judy Garland was recoiling from appearing on a CBS special because of her weight. The network was sued, and in court, Torre refused to disclose the name of her source, stating it was protected under the First Amendment. As a result, Torre spent 10 days in the Hudson County Jail in New Jersey.
In 1962, Torre joined KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, where she was among the first female news anchors in the country. She also hosted a daily talk show on KDKA, initially called Contact and later renamed The Marie Torre Show. Torre retired from KDKA in 1977.
Another woman who is no stranger to media attention, Rachel Carson, born in Springdale, Pennsylvania, is considered to be the mother of the environmental movement. Her book, Silent Spring, was published in 1962 and was the impetus behind President Kennedy’s call for testing of chemicals and pesticides mentioned in the book. The book caused widespread criticism of Carson and her work. A 1963 report by The President’s Science Advisory Committee backed Carson’s claims. Carson died in 1964 before seeing the changes that her book helped to produce.
We will be back next week with another Women's History Wednesday post, but until then, we encourage you to take a minute to think about women from history and present-day who inspire you. Do you have a role model or someone whose story resonates with you? Please feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us!