National Museum of American History Accepts Red Hat Society Donation

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WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will receive a donation from the Red Hat Society, a women’s social organization that fosters a sense of joy and sisterhood. The gift includes a bright red fedora, the hat that initiated the founding of the Red Hat Society, and a purple-feather boa. Both accessories were owned by Sue Ellen Cooper, the founder and “Exalted Queen Mother” of the society; she donated them to the organization in 2002. In the fall of 1997, Cooper purchased the old red fedora from a thrift shop in Tucson, Ariz., drawn by its low price and elegance. A year later, she presented the hat, along with a poem by Jenny Joseph titled “Warning,” to a friend celebrating her 55th birthday. The poem, which reads “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me,” verbalized the message Cooper intended for her friend, that growing older should