Friday, March 18, 2011

Celebrating Perle Mesta

Perle Fried Skirvin Mesta (1890 -1975) - Socialite, hostess, diplomat. Born Sturgis, MO. Combined politics with entertaining. Appointed by President Harry Truman as minister to Luxembourg (1949-1953). Named Oklahoma's "Ambassador to the World" at the 1965 World's Fair. An ardent feminist, Mesta was a member of the National Women's Party and helped start the World Women's Party. In 1944, she was partially responsible for getting an Equal Rights Amendment plank in the Democratic Party platform. Her remarkable entertaining skills were parodied by Irving Berlin in his play "Call Me Madame" thus earning her the title "the Hostess with the Mostess." With Robert Cahn, she published her biography Perle: My Story in 1960; you can read this book online by clicking here. Mesta returned to Oklahoma in 1973 and was posthumously inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 1997. The Oklahoman ran a lovely article about Mesta in May of 2006 which you can read here.

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