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Friendly skies? Only for guys.

Fifty years ago this month, Liz Haded of Mallard Way was eager to return to her flight attendant job at American Airlines after a 17-year maternity break (several children). But the door was padlocked. Why? Because she had the gall to exceed 30 years of age and even get married. In 1973, flight attendants had to be young, pretty and single, all the better for the male business traveler. There was even a weight limit for flight attendants. Liz had no problems in the physical appearance department, but she was too old and wore a wedding ring. Disqualified.

Liz Haded
Liz Haded’s final days on the job. (James Haded photo)

In August of 1973, she reached out to a new organization called Stewardesses for Women’s Rights and was awaiting the outcome of some bellwether court challenges sponsored by the group, which had the backing of Gloria Steinem.

Here’s a Smithsonian Institution photo of a “stewardess” conducting obligatory self-checks.

Stewardess mirror check

Stewardesses for Women’s Rights folded in 1976 due to lack of focus and funding, but it did win many court decisions and settlements. So did Liz get her job back? No, but she joined the Silverliners, a social club of former flight attendants from Eastern Airlines and Colonial Airlines. And she made a trip to Vietnam to pick up a baby and bring it to its adoptive American parents.

In other news from 50 years ago . . .

Veterans Playground Burlington MA
Do you see a signal? Nobody can remember one ever being installed. Oh well.

Charlene Santagate cheer
Editor’s note: Charlene is now a social worker at the Bridge Elementary School in Lexington. In fact, she had a hand in hiring me into the special ed department. Also, Ronald Road is now Dolores Drive. — Robert Fahey, Burlington Retro

Simonds Park pool grand opening 1973 Burlington MA

Simonds Park wading pool
The pool nowadays

Burlington Public Library roof collapsing Aug. 1973





Here’s the plaque mentioned in the article above. Ted suffered a stroke just hours after receiving it, and never recovered.

Editor’s note: If you’re reading this article on a cell phone, it might not display correctly. Scroll to the very bottom and tap “exit mobile version.”

4 thoughts on “Friendly skies? Only for guys. Leave a comment

  1. I believe this is 1973 …there is a pic up top dated Thurs Aug 16, 1973 (the lil cheerleader one).

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