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COLLECTION Identifier: 82-M43--85-M151

Papers of Margaret Louise Murray Blizard, 1929-1985


Correspondence, printed material, photographs, etc., of Margaret Louise Murray Blizard, public health official, Democratic Party worker, and lawyer.


  • Creation: 1929-1985


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Margaret Louise Murray Blizard is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


10 linear feet ((10 cartons) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 3 oversize folders, and 1 folio volume)

This collection of personal and professional papers is divided into the following three series:

I. Personal papers, 1-71. Photographs, resumes, clippings, correspondence with family and friends, and records of school and college.

II. Employment, 72-122. Files relating to her employment as a public health official and related assignments, including the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. Also included are the records of the discrimination case filed against the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

III. Civic, political, and other voluntary activities, 123-301. Includes records of activities in health organizations, Democratic Party politics, women's clubs, legal associations, and DACOWITS.

Printed material about women in Massachusetts has been removed and filed where appropriate in the Schlesinger Library vertical files. Printed material about national and state politicians and about public health issues has been given to the John F. Kennedy Library, Countway Library and other appropriate libraries.


Margaret Louise Murray Blizard, public health official, Democratic Party worker, and lawyer was the daughter of John H. and Mary C. Murray, and grew up in an Irish-Catholic family in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston. She attended Our Lady of Lourdes School and was graduated from Boston Girls' High School in 1936.

She prepared for teaching at Teachers' College of the City of Boston (later Boston Normal, and then Boston State), earning a B.S. Ed. in 1940 and an Ed. M. in 1941. She taught biology and chemistry in Boston public schools in 1942 and then joined an experimental public health program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she earned an M.P.H. in 1943. In 1946 she married Frederick W. Blizard; their three daughters, Janet, Carol, and Christine were born in 1947, 1955, and 1957. Blizard earned her J.D. from Suffolk University in 1963.

In the public health field, Blizard was Education Coordinator in the Boston Health Department, 1943-1945, 1946-1947, Director of Health Education for the Cambridge Tuberculosis and Health Association, 1945-1946, Coordinator of the Massachusetts Chest X-Ray Program in 1949, and Chief Coordinator of Health Education for Massachusetts, 1950-1956. She was Administrative and Legal Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Health until her retirement in 1981 (?).

When Blizard was denied promotion to the post of Deputy Commissioner in 1972, she filed a charge of discrimination based on sex and age with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination. As a result her office was changed, she lost her secretary, her assignments were altered, and she was excluded from staff meetings and day to day contact with fellow staff members. In November l972 Blizard filed a second charge of discrimination with the Equal Economic Opportunity Commission which in July l974 issued a determination finding probable cause. Blizard filed suit in 1975 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and lost her case in 1977. She won an appeal in 1978 but lost a second appeal in 1979. In 1981 she was reassigned out of the Commissioner's office, and retired shortly afterwards.

As part of her duties for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Blizard was involved in labor relations, in mental health, in studying a National Health Insurance proposal, and in serving on the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women.

In a volunteer capacity, Blizard was active in many health organizations and associations: she was fellow, American Public Health Association (1950-1985); director, Massachusetts Public Health Association; president, Massachusetts Health Council, 1970-1971; trustee, Norwood Hospital, 1967-1978; trustee, Medfield State Hospital, 1963-1967; president, Medfield Foundation for Mental Health Research, 1967-1969; honorary director of the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation, and national and state director for the Epilepsy Foundation of America Inc.

As a lawyer Blizard was associated with Kathleen Ryan Dacey, l963-1964, served as legal counsel for the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, 1964-1968, and belonged to many state legal associations including, the Massachusetts Government Lawyers Association, for which she served as director, 1973-1977.

Blizard was active in the Democratic Party in the town of Norwood, and at the state and national level. Besides being a member of the League of Women Voters in Norwood, 1957-1962, she was elected to the Democratic Town Committee of Norwood, 1960 and 1964. She ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate, 1956, and served as vice-president, then president, of Democratic Women on Wheels, 1959-1961. She was elected Democratic State Committeewoman, 1964 and l968, national convention alternate (1964) and delegate (1968), and delegate to the state conventions in 1964, 1966, and 1970. She participated in numerous campaigns, especially as state chairman of "Women for Humphrey." She was appointed a member the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), 1966-1968, and lobbied for the elimination discrimination in the promotion of women in the armed forces.

Blizard was honored for her community and political service on numerous occasions. She was named "Woman Doer" by the Massachusetts Federation of Democratic Women, 1967, given the "Distinguished Citizen" award by Norwood LWV, 1968, named woman of the year by the Norwood Business and Professional Woman's Club, 1976, and given the Women of Achievement Award by the Massachusetts State Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs in 1977.

Blizard died of cancer in 1985.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 82-M43, 83-M82, 84-M158, 85-M1, 85-M151

This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by Margaret Louise Murray Blizard and her family beginning in March l982.


  1. Carton 1: 5-36
  2. Carton 2: 37-71
  3. Carton 3: 72-105v
  4. Carton 4: 106v-138
  5. Carton 5: 139-167
  6. Carton 6: 168-198
  7. Carton 7: 199-233
  8. Carton 8: 234-253m
  9. Carton 9: 254m-260
  10. Carton 10: 261-275
  11. Carton 11: 276-301

Preliminary index of correspondents

  1. Burke, James 174
  2. Dacey, Kathleen Ryan 42
  3. Danovitch, Alan 197
  4. Donohue, Maurice A. 198
  5. Dukakis, Michael A. 186, 242
  6. Galbraith, John Kenneth 228
  7. Heckler, Margaret (O'Shaugnessy) 209
  8. Hicks, Louise Day 241
  9. Humphrey, Horatio 179, 200, 224-226
  10. Kennedy, Edward Moore 180
  11. Kennedy, Joan (Bennett) 180
  12. Kennedy , John Fitzgerald 147, 171
  13. Kennedy, Robert Francis 202, 208
  14. King, Edward Joseph 245
  15. Louchheim, Kathleen (Scofield) 162, 170
  16. McCarthy, Eugene 232-235
  17. McGovern, George, 228, 237
  18. Muskie, Edward Sixtus 226, 241
  19. Peabody, Endicott 176, 199, 240
  20. Stevenson, Adlai Ewing 159

Processing Information

Processed: November 1986

By: Jane S. Knowles

Blizard, Margaret Louise Murray, 1919-1985. Papers of Margaret Louise Murray Blizard, 1929-1985: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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