Good Housekeeping Celebrates 125th Anniversary

By By Iris Dorbian/Special to min

At a time when so many beloved magazine brands (i.e., Gourmet) are either struggling or closing shop, Good Housekeeping is defying expectations with its remarkable longevity—125 years. To honor this milestone anniversary, the Hearst publication presented a one-night-only performance entitled “Shine On” at midtown Manhattan’s City Center stage that not only paid tribute to Good Housekeeping but also to the achievements made by extraordinary women in the past 125 years.

Hosted by actress/model Brooke Shields, the event played up the wide-ranging iconography of women, such as “goddesses,” “visionaries” and “hell-raisers,” by unspooling short filmed tributes to celebrated individuals whose accomplishments and aura make them suitable candidates for one of these archetypes. Yet these icons weren’t only glimpsed in short films at the City Center: They also made their presence known onstage, much to the delighted roar of the audience.

Among the luminous women being honored were domestic doyenne Martha Stewart, who made the crowd gasp when she glided across the stage to the podium in glittery gold lamé pants, and the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, who belted out her signature tune, “Respect.” Multiple Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep eloquently recited suffragette Susan B. Anthony’s defiant response to the public after being arrested for illegal voting in 1873 (47 years would pass before the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote). Teenybopper idol Hillary Duff and reality TV star/singer Jessica Simpson also made appearances.

Proceeds from “Shine On” will be going to benefit the National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C., an edifice that has yet to be built. According to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who also spoke, legislation for the museum has passed in the House of Representatives; it is currently waiting to be signed in the Senate.

L to R: Rosemary Ellis, editor in chief of Good Housekeeping, Marlee Matlin, Michael Clinton, publishing director of Hearst Magazines, and Cathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines