Scaff, Marilee

Longtime Community Activist and member of the League of Women Voters; City of Claremont






Field Value
ID 14
Title An oral history with Marilee Scaff
Date 2016-03-10
OH ID OH 5841
Citation Marilee Scaff interviewed by Abby Waldrop, March 10, 2016, Claremont, California, Oral History #5841, transcript, Womens, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:03 UTC
Location Claremont, CA
Language English
Subjects Work → Migrant Workers → Southern Pacific Railroad
Counties → Los Angeles → Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) → Teacher(s)
Women in the Workplace → Higher Education → Women's Colleges
Military → World War II
Historic Events → Seneca Falls Convention, 1848
Historic Events → Seneca Falls Convention, 1848
Colleges → University of Texas
Work → Gendered Work
Colleges → University of Texas
Colleges → University of Chicago
Locations → Chengdu, China
Locations → Chengdu, China
Religion → Congregational Church
Religion → Islam → Muslim
Locations → Mindanao, Philippines
Ideology → Communism → Communist Party in the Philippines
War → World War II → Pearl Harbor
Military → World War II
Religion → Protestant Church
Colleges → Silliman University
Colleges → Pomona College
Locations → Manila, Philippines
Ideology → Communism → Communist Party in the Philippines
Colleges → University of Santo Tomas
War → World War II → Los Baños Internment Camp
Colleges → Pitzer College
Historic Events → Great Depression
Historic Periods → 1930s
Women's Movement
Women in the Workplace
Women in the Workplace → Secretarial College
Education → Women's Studies
Work → Unemployment
Recreation and Leisure → Girl Scouts of the USA
City Council → Claremont City Council
Colleges → California State University, Fresno
Community Organizations → League of Women Voters (LWV)
Police and Law Enforcement → Juvenile(s)
Activism → Non-profit(s) → Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
Colleges → California State University, Fresno
Health, Medicine, and Awareness → Affordable Care Act
Law and Public Policy → Affordable Care Act, 2010
Locations → La Verne, California
Colleges → California State University, Fresno
Environmentalism → Southern California Water
Police and Law Enforcement → Prisons
Environmentalism → Thompson Creek Feasibility Study
Community Organizations → Friends of Locally Owned Water (FLOW)
Community Organizations → Western Environmental, Incorporated (WEI)
Community Organizations → Western Environmental, Incorporated (WEI)
Law and Public Policy → Welfare
Activism → Anti-poverty
Family → Child Care
Family → Childhood Experiences
Family → Grandparents
Family → Siblings
Locations → Yuma, Arizona
Constitution → Bill 1070, Arizona
Women's Rights → Right to Vote
Locations → San Marcos, Texas
Colleges → University of Texas


An oral history of Marilee Scaff, longtime member of the League of Women Voters and community activist. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding Scaffs’s time with the League. Specifically, this interview talks about Scaff’s family moving to Yuma, Arizona, in the early days of statehood; shares why her mother was such a strong influence on her life; explains why she dates the feminist movement back to the nineteenth century; shares an early memory of the end of World War I; talks about childhood gender expectations; describes her educational background; talks about why she and her husband were sent to the Philippines as teachers under the mission board of the congregational church; shares about her World War II experience in Philippines including when her oldest child was born and what it was like hiding in the jungle for two years; explains why they finally surrendered to the Japanese and experience in prison camps in Santo Tomas and Los Baños; shares memories of liberation and returning to the United States; describes how she and her husband analyzed individuals respond to extreme stress during the postwar period and what she learned from her wartime experience; shares how Second Wave Feminism misread woman’s role in society; recalls memories of the Depression; shares first impressions of Claremont, California; explains why she joined the League of Women Voters (LOWV)in the 1940s; talks about issues the League has worked on over the years including: healthcare, water rights, revising the state program for higher education in California, and the future of the Thompson Creek Spreading Grounds adjacent to Claremont Wilderness Park; explains the current issue of water rights between the city of Claremont and Golden State Water Co.; importance of the League working on public issues; experience as president of county LOWV; poverty in L.A. county/study of child and adolescent welfare in Pomona Valley; how she balanced home, professional, and activist activities; talks about the struggle to find reliable childcare as working mother; how she stays motivated with LOWV; and finally, talks about the differences in how men and women lead.


Field Value
File Name 5841_P07.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 70089
Description> Marilee Scaff during her oral history interview, 2016.
Field Value
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Content Type image/jpeg
Size 132451
Description> Marilee Scaff with interviewer, 2016.