A Woman to Know: Helen Hulick

If he puts me in jail I hope it will help to free women forever from anti-slackism. — Helen Hulick

(image via UCLA Archives)

When kindergarten teacher Helen Hulick showed up to L.A. court in 1938, to testify in a burglary case, she wore pants. The judge, scandalized by her outfit, ordered her to leave the courthouse and return to the next day "garb acceptable to courtroom procedure."

As The Los Angeles Times reported, he railed at Helen in court: "If you insist on wearing slacks again you will be prevented from testifying because that would hinder the administration of justice ... Be prepared to be punished according to law for contempt of court."

The next day's headline was simple: "Teacher defies court; wears slacks; jailed."

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