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Helen Hayes Helps Them to Get Their Act Together

--After 110 years, Washington’s Cosmos Club is about to welcome its first women members, with actress Helen Hayes and Labor Secretary Ann Dore McLaughlin among the first to join, club President Tedson Meyers announced. After years of legal challenges, the club said in June that it would change its all-male membership policy. Two days later, the Supreme Court upheld a New York City law forcing clubs dealing in business matters to admit women and minorities. In 1975, Hayes was the first woman to receive the Cosmos Club’s annual award for achievement in her field. “It was fitting and right she be in the first group,” Meyers said as he released the names of 18 women members. Others joining the 3,000-member club include Chief Judge Patricia Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals; Janet L. Norwood, commissioner of labor statistics, and consumer advocate Esther Peterson.

--Sarah York, the American girl who has been visiting Panama as the guest of strongman Gen. Manuel A. Noriega, will have more than memories to bring back home. The Negaunee, Mich., youngster was honored at an early birthday party in Panama City. Children from the low-income neighborhood of San Miguelito serenaded her with “Happy Birthday.” Sarah smiled broadly when presented with a cake with the Panamanian flag drawn on top. Children also gave her a doll in native dress, a blouse with detailed applique work done by Kuna Indians, a bouquet of flowers and a plaque commemorating her visit. Sarah, who turns 11 on Friday, arrived in Panama on Oct. 5 as a guest of Noriega, with whom she exchanged letters after seeing him on television in March. Noriega has been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges.

--Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley will be in Indianapolis on Friday for the opening of the renovated Madame C.J. Walker Theatre. It is only fitting that Haley participate in the event, because Walker is the subject of his latest project--a biography about the Indianapolis philanthropist who was the first black woman to earn $1 million in her own right. Walker, the daughter of ex-slaves, propelled herself from washerwoman to businesswoman and activist.


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