Monday, January 9, 2012

This Day in History January 10, 1870

I was intrigued to find out that on this date in 1870, the lady pictured above was born.  And you might think--what does that have to do with me?  Who is she?  Her name was Maud Younger, and she was important in women's history.

She was born in San Francisco, CA to a wealthy family.  This meant that she was educated in the finest schools and traveled abroad somewhat regularly.

Amazingly, in spite of her wealth, she was not the typical socialite.  When she was around 30, she visited New York and saw first hand settlements of poor immigrants workers.  She even stayed in one of the settlement houses so she could witness the work of social reformers first hand.  She only planned on staying a week, but she ended up staying five years.  She then became a working woman (a waitress) and championed the suffrage movement and trade unions.

In 1911, she continued her efforts by organizing a woman's suffrage movement and a successful lobby for an 8-hour workday.  In 1913, she worked tirelessly with the Congressional Woman of Suffrage and became a well-known orator on women's issues.  She was even arrested while petitioning Wilson's White House.  After the nineteenth amendment (which gave women the right to vote), she devoted the rest of her life to the ERA (which has never materialized).

I am always indebted to strong women such as these.  I know that I wouldn't be where I am right now without women who worked tirelessly for women's rights.  Thank you, Maud Younger!

For more information, I invite you to check out these sites:


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