Maria Getzinger Jones oral history interview, November 16, 1998
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Scope and Contents
Interviewed by Joyce Durand and Charlene Ball. In the first of two interviews, Jones begins by describing her childhood on a farm in Woodcliff, Georgia. Her father died when she was four years old, and she remembers the strength of her mother as she continued to run the family farm. She believes that it was through observing this strength that she first began to see herself as a feminist. She considers a two-year visit to Germany as a teenager pivotal, as she experienced blatant sexual discrimination for the first time. When she returned to the United States from Europe, Jones took her first job at the Curtis Printing Company. It was there, she says, that she met her future husband, and where she became involved with the labor movement through the Typographical Union and the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). She discusses her union experiences, and she says that her interest in unions is similar to her interests in the Women’s Movement, in that each confronts issues such as discrimination, pay inequities, and political organization. Jones discusses NOW associates Eliza Pascal, Annabelle Walker and Patricia Ireland, as well as the anti-ERA contingent at the state Capitol. She goes on to talk about the women-centered courses offered by the Unitarian Church, and about her views on modern politics. In the second interview Jones begins by talking about her involvement with NOW: She says that “the first Atlanta NOW meeting I ever attended was because I had heard Betty Freidan from National NOW, the founding first president, had been in Atlanta and spoken on the Women’s Movement and on what her involvement was and her founding the national NOW.” She goes on to describe her first national conference in Los Angeles (at which the issue of lesbianism and homosexuality was broached) as well as a number of other conferences she attended. Jones discusses the split of the Atlanta NOW chapter and the emergence of the Feminist Action Alliance (FAA) and explains why she remained active with both organizations. Also involved in the Atlanta chapter of the Women’s Political Caucus, she talks about their activities. Jones discusses her interest in women’s participation and representation in organized religion, as well as in the labor movement. Finally, she describes the Seneca Falls Anniversary Celebration in 1998, and the signing of a new “Sentiments of 1998” at that conference.
- Creation: November 16, 1998
- Jones, Maria Getzinger, 1919-2005 (Interviewee, Person)
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Maria Getzinger was born in 1919 into a German-American family in Woodcliff, South Georgia, where her father owned a cotton farm. In 1936, after graduating from high school, she spent two years in Germany with her father's family, then returned to the United States where she lived for a year on the family farm. In 1939, she took her first job at the Curtis Printing Company in Atlanta, Georgia, where she met her future husband Charles Jones, and where she joined the International Typographical Union -- the first non-discriminatory union that paid men and women the same salaries. In the late 1940's Jones and her husband transferred to the printing department of Park & Baird law firm in Los Angeles. Until her retirement in 1985, Maria Getzinger Jones worked in leading print shops such as Curtis, Stein, and Darby printing companies. Raised a Roman Catholic, Jones joined the Unitarian Universalist Church. Her political activism and interest in equal rights originated in her work experiences, as well as from the inspiration of local and national feminists and activists. In the late 1960's Jones became an early member of Atlanta NOW and was a founding member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). In the 1970's she served in various capacities and actively participated in conferences and events held by both NOW and CLUW, and in 1974 she represented the International Typographical Union on the CLUW National Coordinating Committee. Maria Getzinger Jones continued to be active as a member of NOW and other feminist organizations, attending the 1998 and 2000 NOW conferences and taking part in the events surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Declaration. Jones passed away in August 2005.
2 item(s) (transcript (38 pages) audio)
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English