November News from the Library of Congress

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to create a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a month being designated for that purpose.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans with this joint web portal highlighting collections, resources and events: 


“Paris is Burning” premieres in theaters

After more than five years of fundraising, shooting, and editing, the documentary Paris is Burning debuts in New York City on March 13, 1991. The groundbreaking look at the culture and characters surrounding the city’s drag ball culture changed the way many people thought about drag, queerness and even documentaries themselves.

Paris is Burning chronicles the “Golden Age” of ball culture in New York, drawing from extensive interviews with drag queens and others associated with the elaborate balls and complex social networks surrounding them. Filmmaker Jennie Livingston had almost literally stumbled across the subject while taking courses at New York University, striking up a conversation with two men whom she saw voguing (a stylized modern dance in which participants often competed at balls) in Washington Square Park. While cobbling together small amounts of funding from disparate sources, Livingston interviewed a cross-section of those associated with the ball, documenting the various categories of competition, extensively cataloguing slang, and conducting tying the experience to larger issues such as the AIDS crisis and the bigotry that routinely faced and even took the lives of the gay, transgender, and otherwise queer subjects of the film.

Paris is Burning was an instant hit, winning prizes at the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Los Angeles and New York Critics’ Circle Awards, the GLAAD Media Awards, and more. Its failure to garner an Academy Awards nomination, along with the exclusion of other minority-focused documentaries like Hoop Dreams, led the Academy to revise its system for nominating documentaries in 1996. The Library of Congress added Paris is Burning to the National Film Registry in 2016.


Gloria Steinem publishes part one of “A Bunny’s Tale” in SHOW magazine

After enduring a brief but grueling stint as a Bunny in Manhattan’s Playboy Club, feminist writer Gloria Steinem published the first half of her landmark account, “A Bunny’s Tale,” in SHOW magazine on May 1, 1963. Steinem’s undercover reporting increased her profile and stripped back the glamorous facade of Hugh Hefner‘s empire to reveal a world of misogyny and exploitation.

Steinem, a freelance writer, was commissioned by SHOW to apply for a job at the Playboy Club under a fake name and document her experience. Ads for jobs as a server at the club, whose female employees were all known as Bunnies, portrayed the work as something akin to paid participation in a party straight out of Playboy Magazine. As Steinem quickly learned, the truth was far uglier. Bunnies were paid less than advertised and subject to a system of demerits, which could be given for offenses such as refusing to go out with a customer in a rude way (even though Bunnies were strictly forbidden to go out with most customers) or allowing the cotton tale on the back of their uniforms to get dirty. 

Steinem’s account was replete with examples of the toll the work took on Bunnies: uniforms so tight one could barely move, swollen and blistering feet from hours of working in high heels, and near-constant harassment by the drunk businessmen who made up most of the clientele. After one night when roughly 2,000 people came through the club’s doors, Steinem estimated there had been maybe ten who “looked at us not as objects … but as if we might be human beings.”

“A Bunny’s Tale” was one of the first feminist attacks on Playboy and the “sexually liberated” but male-centric lifestyle it embodied. Hefner tried to take it in stride, stating that Playboy was on the side of the women’s liberation movement and asserting that applications to work at the Playboy Club had increased thanks to Steinem’s article. He also ordered the club to stop giving new Bunnies mandatory blood tests and gynecological exams, practices Steinem had questioned in her article. 

Though it helped an early-career Steinem establish her credentials as a reporter and a feminist, she regretted the piece for years after it ran, dismayed by a slew of offers to take on sexualized undercover roles and haunted by photos of herself in the Bunny costume, which had been taken during her brief time as an employee. Over time, however, she has said that she is glad she wrote the piece, an exposé that laid bare the struggle of women who were more or less objectified for a living.

READ MORE: Inside Gloria Steinem’s Month as an Undercover Playboy Bunny


BCPS to Serve as a National Model to Help Bring Computer Science to More Students Across the Country

Broward Codes- Computer Science in every school, for every student.

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) computer science initiative will serve as a national model for broadening participation in computer science in schools. Over the next four years, BCPS will participate in three Computer Science for All grants, which were recently awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The three grants focus on increasing participation in Computer Science education among underserved groups, including minority students and students with disabilities.

The grants include:

  • Collaborative Research: A research-practice partnership focused on creating equitable computer science opportunities for elementary students – Will integrate computer science through problem-based learning units that will eventually be made available nationwide on, one of the largest providers of K-12 computer science content. The grant was awarded to BCPS in partnership with Outlier Research & Evaluation at UChicago STEM Education at the University of Chicago and with the University of Florida.
  • Universal Design for Computer Science Learning: Partnership for Inclusive Elementary Computer Science Education – focuses on increasing participation in computer science among elementary students with disabilities. This grant was awarded to the University of Florida, with BCPS selected as one of four partnering school districts.
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Community of Practice to Prepare and Support Teachers to Teach Rigorous Computer Science Courses in Culturally Diverse School Districts – this grant will leverage HBCU to facilitate a series of professional development trainings for high school computer science teachers. The grant was awarded to the Quality Education for Minorities Network, in partnership with L.L. Burge and Associates, LLC., and Florida Memorial University. BCPS was selected as one of three participating school districts.

BCPS offers computer science courses, curriculum and activities at every elementary, middle and high school. Computer science prepares students to innovate and create the new technologies that drive local and national economies – and provide them the ability to make a difference in a global society. To learn more about the District’s computer science initiative, visit

For more information, contact Dr. Lisa Milenkovic, Supervisor, Applied Learning: STEM + Computer Science, at 754-321-2623 or


ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS “Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has nearly 261,500 students and approximately 110,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 92 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 170 different countries and 147 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on Facebook at and download the free BCPS mobile app.


Florida mayors plead with governor to take action on virus

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Five Florida mayors on Wednesday said they were extremely concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state, and begged Gov. Ron DeSantis to change his approach to the virus in hopes of slowing the spread.

Following a monthslong decline from its huge summer spike in the outbreak, Florida has seen a mid-autumn climb in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Still, the governor has resisted a return to statewide restrictions in place earlier in the year.

“What Florida is doing right now isn’t working,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, during a sharply worded news conference on Zoom. “We’re failing pretty horribly … Positive cases are rising steeply and it’s spreading everywhere. We don’t believe it’s going to change unless we do something different.””

Over the past week, Florida averaged more than 6,500 newly reported cases per day, a steady increase since numbers of about 2,250 at the start of October. Hospitalizations have gone from between 2000 and 2,200 for most of October to more than 3,500 on Wednesday, according to a state online census of hospitals.

The seven-day average of reported deaths is about 62, up from 54 a week earlier. That compares to a peak of 185 in early August. A total of 17,861 people have died.

Gelber was joined by the mayors of Hialeah, Miami Shores Village, Sunrise, and St. Petersburg. The group called for consistency in statewide regulations and made four specific recommendations:

1. Implement a statewide mask mandate;

2. Allow cities and counties to be able to enhance local measures, such as additional penalties for not wearing masks;

3. Restore state testing facilities to full capacity;

4. Beef up contact tracing and use a Covid tracking app developed by Google and Apple.

All of the mayors said they share the governor’s goal in keeping the economy open.

“We understand the economic impact that potentially some of these orders could have but we’re also trying to look at this from a long term basis as opposed to short term.” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “If we don’t deal with this now, the economic catastrophe that we are facing will be worse if we have to go to a complete shut down.”

Said Miami Shores Village Mayor Crystal Wagar: “Give us the tools we need, to get to the vaccine with the fewest deaths.”

The mayors were especially concerned about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Families want to gather, they said, and folks come to Florida from the north.

“I am so fearful,” said Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez.

It’s unclear what, if anything, DeSantis will do in the wake of these recommendations. On Sept. 25, DeSantis signed an executive order that prevented municipalities from fining people for violating a mask ordinance and has stated that he’s not going to have any more lockdowns.

On Wednesday, DeSantis tweeted that he met with Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar this week to talk about distribution of a vaccine. “We also discussed the availability of the new monoclonal antibody treatment & the promising prospects of this new therapeutic,” he wrote.

Florida’s education commissioner on Wednesday gave some sign of flexibility at the state level with the difficult situation. Richard Corcoran said during a state Board of Education meeting in Tallahassee that students will be allowed to attend classes online through the end of the school year due to the pandemic.

The state’s K-12 pandemic plan for the second semester of classes will be laid out in a new emergency order, probably before Thanksgiving, Corcoran said.

“I think we are on a pretty good schedule to get that done,” Corcoran said.

While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.


Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this report.


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Virus worries latest hurdle in Florida school shooting case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Concerns about the coronavirus in jail emerged Tuesday as the latest roadblock in the death penalty case against Nikolas Cruz, who is accused in the 2018 massacre that killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

Defense attorneys said at a hearing they want written health safety procedures from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office before Cruz’s lawyers and mental health experts enter the jail to evaluate him. A lawyer for the sheriff’s office said it is working to accommodate those issues.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer asked both sides to work toward a solution and set another status hearing for Dec. 11.

Cruz, 22, is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder in the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. His attorneys have said he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence, but prosecutors have rejected that offer and insist on a trial.

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Broward County School Board Elects New Chair, Vice Chair New and Re-elected Board Members Sworn In

November 17, 2020 

Dr. Rosalind Osgood, District 5 as Chair and Laurie Rich Levinson, District 6 as Vice Chair

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, The School Board of Broward County, Florida elected Dr. Rosalind Osgood, District 5 as Chair and Laurie Rich Levinson, District 6 as Vice Chair. The nominations and election took place during the School Board’s annual Organizational Meeting.

Chair Dr. Osgood has served on the School Board since 2012. She earned master’s and doctorate degrees in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Osgood is a Broward County native and a Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) graduate of Fort Lauderdale High School.

Vice Chair Levinson was first elected to the School Board in 2010 to represent District 6.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Brandeis University. Levinson was born and raised in South Florida. 

Debra Hixon and Sarah Leonardi

Also, today, the School Board welcomed two new members during its swearing-in ceremony. 

Debra Hixon was sworn in to represent Countywide At-Large, Seat 9. Hixon began her education career with BCPS as a science teacher at Blanche Ely High School in 1989. She transferred to South Broward High School in 1994, where she most recently served as magnet coordinator for the Maritime/Marine Science & Technology magnet program.  

Sarah Leonardi was sworn in to represent District 3. Leonardi began her education career with BCPS in 2014 at Coconut Creek High School, where she was voted Teacher of the Year in 2016. She is currently an English teacher at Nova High School, where she serves as coordinator for the Literary Fair.  

Re-elected School Board Members Patricia Good, District 2, and Dr. Osgood, were also sworn in during today’s ceremony. Other School Board members currently serving terms include, Lori Alhadeff, District 4; Donna P. Korn, Countywide, Seat 8; Ann Murray, District 1; and Nora Rupert, District 7.


NOTE: See attached JPGs for Chair Dr. Osgood and Vice Chair Levinson, and new School Board Members Hixon and Leonardi.




“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”   

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has nearly 261,500 students and approximately 110,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 92 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 170 different countries and 147 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on Facebook at and download the free BCPS mobile app.    


Broward County Public Schools Swearing-in Ceremony For Newly Elected School Board Members

November 16, 2020

School Board Members, District Administrators, Community and Family Members

Swearing-in Ceremony for recently elected School Board Members

Tuesday, November 17, 2020
9:30 a.m.

Kathleen C. Wright Administration Center, Boardroom
600 S. E. Third Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Swearing-in Ceremony for two new members – Debra Hixon and Sarah Leonardi – and two returning members – Patricia Good and Dr. Rosalind Osgood – elected to the School Board of Broward County, Florida. In addition, the School Board will hold its annual Organizational Meeting (at 1 p.m.) for nominations and election of Chair and Vice Chair.

MEDIA NOTE: To maintain physical distancing guidelines, media will not be allowed inside the Boardroom for the entirety of the ceremony but may take turns to briefly obtain b-roll. The ceremony will be live streamed at


“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is
Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has nearly 261,500 students and approximately 110,000 adult students in 241
schools, centers and technical colleges, and 92 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 170
different countries and 147 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on
Facebook at and download the free BCPS mobile app.


Today in History – November 16

Oklahoma entered the Union as the forty-sixth state on November 16, 1907. Five days later, The Beaver Herald, the Beaver County Oklahoma newspaper, carried this news, reporting in the headline that “The Brightest Star in the Constellation Now Shines for the 46th State—Oklahoma.” The history of Oklahoma is tied to the early nineteenth-century use of this land for relocating the Native American population from the settled portions of the United States. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act on May 30, 1830, authorizing land grants in this open prairie, west of the Mississippi, in exchange for Native American property to the east. Oklahoma became the migration destination of Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee tribes as the federal government coerced these peoples to relocate. Known as the “five civilized tribes,” these Native Americans of the south and southeastern United States were forced west by the enormous land hunger of this period. By 1880, sixty tribes had moved to Oklahoma where they created a government structure, landownership laws, and a thriving culture. Thus, the name Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw Indian words “okla,” meaning people, and “humma,” meaning red.

Cheyenne Sun Dancer. Henry C. Chaufty, c1909. Panoramic Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division

In 1889 Congress opened part of the region, which the United States had acquired in 1803 under the terms of the Louisiana Purchase, to settlement by non-Native Americans. The Oklahoma Territory was organized in 1890. The new state of Oklahoma incorporated what remained of Indian Territory.

Home of Quanah Parker, near Cache, Okla.External Denver Public Library Digital Collections: Photographs.External

Ben Stimmel was among the first non-Native Americans to take advantage of the opportunity to settle in the Oklahoma Territory. A native of Ohio, Stimmel had spent the 1880s mining gold in White Oaks, New Mexico. “We lived in White Oaks until September 1889,” Stimmel recalled, “when we set out in a covered wagon drawn by four horses, to go to Oklahoma to buy a farm. We had two children and two hound pups.”

They settled in Hennessy, Oklahoma, Stimmel remembered, “where we built up a real nice farm and lived for twenty five years.” But on April 20, 1912, disaster struck:

A cyclone hit our farm. It took the roof off of our house, and destroyed our barn and all out buildings. We had a hundred Indian Runner ducks and after the storm we found them about half a mile from the house in a mud swamp, all dead. The family saw the cyclone coming and all got in the storm cellar. After the storm I salvaged what I could from the farm and left Oklahoma for Lincoln County, New Mexico, where they don’t have cyclones. I have lived here ever since.

[Ben Stimmel]. Edith L.Crawford, interviewer; Carrizozo, New Mexico. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940. Manuscript Division

Driving Cattle to Pasture. [Bliss, Oklahoma Territory] A.C. Abadie, camera; Thomas A. Edison, Inc., May 9, 1904. America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894 to 1915. Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division

Oklahoma was devastated by the weather conditions of the 1930s. Thousands of families migrated west, out of the Dust Bowl, to take advantage of the opportunities that California afforded.

Oklahoma Refugees. California. Dorothea Lange, photographer, Feb. 1936. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives. Prints & Photographs Division

In the mid-1930s, Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographer Dorothea Lange traveled to Oklahoma to document the devastating effects of the Great Depression and seven-year drought, which had reduced the Southern Great Plains to a “Dust Bowl” unsuitable for farming. Lange’s work includes numerous images of Oklahoma farm families in and en route to California in search of a better life.

The popular image of this plains state changed with the premiere of the musical Oklahoma in 1943.

Richard Rodgers (seated at piano) and Oscar Hammerstein II. Richard Rodgers Collection, 1917-1980. Music Division

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960) collaborated on some of the most popular musicals of the twentieth century. This joint effort, the 1943 production Oklahoma, was set in Oklahoma Territory near Claremore in 1906, and focused on a young cowboy and his sweetheart.


Today in History – November 15

Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

Article II, Articles of Confederation

On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. Submitted to the states for ratification two days later, the Articles of Confederation were accompanied by a letter from Congress urging that the document…

…be candidly reviewed under a sense of the difficulty of combining in one general system the various sentiments and interests of a continent divided into so many sovereign and independent communities, under a conviction of the absolute necessity of uniting all our councils and all our strength, to maintain and defend our common liberties…

Monday, November 17, 1777, Journals of the Continental Congress. A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875. Law Library

Although Congress debated the Articles for over a year, they requested immediate action on the part of the states. However, three-and-a-half years passed before ratification on March 1, 1781.

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union Between the States… Williamsburg [Va.]: Printed by Alexander Purdie, 1777. Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Still at war with Great Britain, the colonists were reluctant to establish another powerful national government. Jealously guarding their new independence, the Continental Congress created a loosely structured unicameral legislature that protected the liberty of the individual states at the expense of the nation. While calling on Congress to regulate military and monetary affairs, for example, the Articles of Confederation provided no mechanism to ensure that states complied with requests for troops or revenue. At times this left the military in a precarious position as George Washington wrote in a 1781 letter to the governor of Massachusetts, John Hancock.

The Treaty of Paris, which ended hostilities with England, languished in Congress for months before it was ratified because state representatives failed to attend sessions of the national legislature. Yet, Congress had no power to enforce attendance. Writing to George Clinton in September 1783, George Washington complained:

Congress have come to no determination yet respecting the Peace Establishment, nor am I able to say when they will. I have lately had a conference with a Committee on this subject, and have reiterated my former opinions, but it appears to me that there is not a sufficient representation to discuss Great National points.

Letter George Washington to George Clinton, September 11, 1783. Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775-1785, Subseries 3H, Personal Correspondence, 1775-1783, Letterbook 3. George Washington Papers. Manuscript Division

Leaders of the Continental Congress
Leaders of the Continental Congress–John Adams, Morris, Hamilton, Jefferson / A. Tholey. Augustus Tholey, artist, c1894. Prints & Photographs Division

In May 1786, Charles Pinckney of South Carolina proposed that Congress revise the Articles of Confederation. On August 7, 1786, a committee recommended amendments to the Articles that included granting Congress power over foreign and domestic commerce and providing means for Congress to collect money from state treasuries. Unanimous approval was necessary to make the alterations, however, and Congress failed to reach a consensus.

In September 1786, a convention was held in Annapolis, Maryland, in an effort to deal with problems of interstate commerce. Led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, the delegates at the Annapolis Convention issued a proposal for a new convention to revise the Articles of Confederation.

After debate, Congress endorsed the plan to revise the Articles of Confederation on February 21, 1787.

Although ultimately supplanted by the United States Constitution, the Articles of Confederation provided stability during the Revolutionary War years. Most importantly, the experience of drafting and living under this initial document provided valuable lessons in self-governance and somewhat tempered fears about a powerful central government. Still, reconciling the tension between state and federal authority continued to challenge Americans from the 1832 nullification crisis to the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision.

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