A lot can happen in a half century. For women, the last 50 years have brought some of the most sweeping social reforms in history –– and it didn’t come without a fight.
In a new AOL/PBS documentary, “MAKERS: Women Who Make America,” filmmakers have created an unprecedented archive of stories told by the very women –– deemed “Makers” –– who made it all possible.
The three-party documentary captures more than 160 first-person stories from celebrated pioneers like Oprah Winfrey and Faith Ringold and unsung heroes like New York City’s first female firefighter, Brenda Berkman, and the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb.
Business Insider was invited to the premiere earlier this month at the Lincoln centre’s Alice Tully Hall. For about three extremely surreal hours, I rubbed elbows with legendary Makers like Gloria Steinem and Martha Stewart, and was thrilled to see young stars like Allison Williams supporting the cause.
I’ve gathered the highlights from the night here.
I arrived at least 45 minutes before showtime, and the place was PACKED. I could barely get through to coat check.
But everyone went nuts for Gloria Steinem. The founder of the revolutionary Ms. magazine, Steinem almost single-handedly brought the women's liberation movement into the mainstream during the 70s.
When a group of girls next to me started squealing, it took me a minute to realise they'd spotted Katie Couric making an entrance.
Martha Stewart skipped the red carpet but was around mingling later. She looked amazing and chic in her camel ensemble.
Armstrong gave a brief speech, but it was the hand-written letter from an elementary school student he brought along that stole the show.
Finally, it was showtime. I had a great seat in the orchestra section (one row in front of Allison Williams!).
The crowd roared during Roberta Gibb's story. She crashed the Boston Marathon back in 1966, becoming the first female ever to participate.
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