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Women, Baseball and the Law

The Library of Congress’s Baseball Americana exhibit gives me something new to think about each time I visit.

Most intriguing to me (well, right up there with any mentions of Pittsburgh, the Washington Nationals, Bob Dylan, and my friend Patti’s portrait) are the numerous times women are depicted in the exhibit.

Two things stand out from a legal perspective.

From the Exhibition: Bettye Lane, photographer. Little League Tryouts for Females, New Jersey. 1974. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (034.00.00)

Girls in Little League

Little League began in the 1930s, but initially it was a boys-only sport.

In fact, from 1950 until 1974, Little League’s rules expressly forbade girls from participating after player Tubby Johnston was discovered to be a girl.

It wasn’t until 1972, when a young girl in New Jersey, Maria Pepe, was kicked off her local team, that the issue made its way through the courts. The National Organization for Women challenged the Little League’s rules on Maria’s behalf. Eventually, girls were allowed into Little League in 1974 when the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a Superior Court decision allowing girls to play.


From the Exhibition: Albert Von Tilzer (1878–1956) and Jack Norworth (1879–1959). “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” New York: New York Music Co., 1908. Music Division, Library of Congress (036.00.00)

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Most people don’t realize that only the chorus of this baseball classic is sung during the 7th inning stretch.  The entire song tells the story of a woman who wants her date to take her to the game instead of a movie or Coney Island (depending on the version).

The song is reportedly based on a woman by the name of Trixie Friganza, a vaudeville performer and suffragette.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame was popularized during a period in which the women’s suffrage movement was in full swing, but while many still thought that women should be at home and not at the ballpark.

It would be another twelve years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, granting women the right to vote, which paved the way to broader rights for women.



18th Annual National Book Festival Recap

The Law Library had a dynamic presence at the 18th annual National Book Festival. We had 11 staff members volunteer at the festival from our Global Legal Collection Directorate, Public Services Division, Office of Administrative Operations, and Office of External Relations as well as Maria Soto, a new member of the ABA Standing Committee on the […]

Join us for the 18th annual National Book Festival!

The Library of Congress is celebrating the 18th annual National Book Festival on Saturday, September 1, 2018, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Convention Center will be bursting with activities for all ages from all of the Library’s divisions. Over 100 authors will join the celebration throughout the day including U.S. […]

Andrew Carnegie’s Vision of World Peace Continues 105 Years Later at the Library of Congress

This is a guest post by Ashley Granby Wolf, an intern with the Law Library’s Office of External Relations.   On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the Law Library of Congress and the Peace Palace Library in the Netherlands marked a historical moment in their nations’ long-standing diplomatic relationship. Law Librarian of Congress, Jane Sánchez, and […]

Law Day 2018 Event: Separation of Powers

The Law Library of Congress and the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress will co-sponsor the annual Law Day 2018 event on Tuesday, May 1 at 3:00 p.m. in Room LJ-119 of the Jefferson Building. Law Day, held annually on May 1, is a national day set aside to celebrate […]

2018 Supreme Court Fellows Program Annual Lecture to Feature Justice Clarence Thomas

The Law Library of Congress and the Supreme Court Fellows Program will present A Conversation with The Honorable Clarence Thomas on Thursday, February 15, at 3:30 p.m. in the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium. Tickets are free, but registration is required.  Please register via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/conversation-with-the-honorable-clarence-thomas-tickets-41455844547 Professor Gregory E. Maggs of George Washington University Law School will […]

The Santillana Codes

This is a guest post by Hazel Ceron, external relations intern with the Law Library of Congress. On October 26th, the Law Library of Congress, in collaboration with the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, the Embassy of Tunisia, and the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED), hosted a book talk on The Santillana […]

The 2017 Kellogg Lecture featured Professor Jeremy Waldron’s Discussion of the Fundamentals of Immigration Law

On November 1st, the Law Library hosted the latest Kellogg Biennial Lecture. This endowed series of lectures on jurisprudence is made possible through the generosity of Frederic R. and Molly S. Kellogg. This year’s Kellogg Biennial Lecture was delivered by New York University School of Law Professor Jeremy Waldron, whose lecture was titled, “The Philosophical Foundations of […]

Professor of Law Jeremy Waldron to Deliver the 2017 Kellogg Biennial Lecture on Jurisprudence

The Law Library of Congress is pleased to announce that legal and political philosophy professor Jeremy Waldron of New York University School of Law, will deliver the 2017 Frederic R. and Molly S. Kellogg Biennial Lecture on Jurisprudence. The lecture, “The Philosophical Foundations of Immigration Law,” is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1. […]

1st International Assembly of Law Libraries at UNAM: Law Libraries Within a Global Information Society

On August 3 and 4, 2017, I had the distinct privilege of representing the Law Library of Congress at one of Latin America’s most lauded institutes of legal research. In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, I would like to share some highlights of what transpired there. The following is a recap authored by Celia Carreón […]