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it's international women's day so what
better day to talk about historic
Chicago women than today. I want to focus on a
period of time between 1830 to the early
nineteen hundreds where women were very
limited both legally and socially in what
they could do or achieve. Fortunately
there are many women who saw these
restrictions as challenges to be
overcome and they fought tirelessly not
only in Chicago but across America for
social reform so who are these women
that ultimately shape chicago for the
better
well there's no better place to start
than Hull house. it was opened in 1889
by jane addams and Ellen Gates starr as
the settlement house on the west side of
Chicago for the previous 40 years
Chicago population grew from slightly
under 30,000 to over 1 million and this
was all due to immigrants. In 1870 almost half
of our population was immigrant and
this was bigger than any other American
city at the time. Hull house was opened in
an area which is densely populated with
immigrants they were living in poverty
sanitation was non-existent and there
was very little help available.
Hull house focused on improving social
conditions for these people provided
education, nurseries, medical help and so
much more
Hull house was the birthplace of Social
Work and Jane Addams was his mother she
crusaded for the needs of the less
fortunate convincing other women to join
her cause and promoted social reform she
helped America address and focus on
issues that were concerned to mothers
such as the needs of children, local
public health and world peace in 1920
she co-founded the ACLU and in 1931 she
was the first American female to be
awarded the nobel peace prize. Women came
from all over America to study social
reform at the Hull house. Women like
Ellen gates starr who campaign to reform
child labor Laws and industrial working
conditions. Florence Kelley worked against
sweatshops campaigning for eight hour
work days and women and children's work
right. Alice Hamilton pioneered healthy
working conditions, changing laws and
general practice to improve the health
of worker. Edith Abbott helped draft
the Social Security Act. Eleanor Clarke Slagle
was the founder of occupational
therapy
these are just some of the notable
residents of the Hull House
and if you go to the location today on
Halstead you can tour the Jane Addams
Hull House museum here. At the same time
chicago's very own Saint. Francis Xavier Cabrini
was working here helping
immigrants in our city. Her mission was to
help Italian immigrants who are
desperately in need of spiritual and
educational support. Mother Cabrini opened
assumption school the first italian
school in the city followed by columbus
hospital on Chicago's lakefront and
another hospital on the west side. She
lived, worked and died in Chicago making an
incredible difference too many lives in
this city especially for italian
immigrants you can go and visit her
shrine at 2520 N. Lakeview Avenue
there you can even visit the room which
she died in it has been preserved for
all those to see and yes Cabrini street
is also named after her! We have seen
numerous trailblazing women here in
Chicago some of them that come to mind
include Myra Bradwell who was the first
woman lawyer in Illinois. Bradwell passed
the Illinois Law exam in 1869 but was
denied access to the bar she fought for
the rights for women to practice law in
Illinois eventually in 1873 a law was
passed allowing women to practice law
in the state
interestingly under the new Law
Bradwell would have had to reapply to be
accepted into the bar
however she never did had she should
have been accepted
although she no longer pursued it
because she felt like she had already
won when she won the right for other
women to practice law in the state of
illinois. The chicago police department saw
Marie Connolly Owens become the first
female police officer in 1891 and was
followed by grace wilson in 1918 as the
first female african-american police
officer
although debated Owens and Wilson were
the first women in the country to
achieve their positions.
Marion Mahony Griffin was the first woman to be
licensed to practice architecture in the
state of Illinois she worked as a drafter
of the most famous architect in the
nation
Frank Lloyd Wright where she received
very little recognition for her work in a
male-dominated industry. Opinions of what
she achieved while working at Wrights
office often vary widely but no one
disputes the fact that she had an
amazing talent she married fellow
architect Walter Burley Griffin who is
well known for winning the design plan
Australia's capital city, Canberra although
it was her draft work that won over the
judges. Social constructs of the time kept
women out of business, finance and other
male-dominated professions so they open
club and charities these were run so
successfully that made men second-guess
their belief that financial and
organizational skills were unique unto
their own gender. The Women's Club
movement work to improve social welfare
for children and mothers that promoted
civic improvement and philanthropic work
working together they made huge
achievement members of the Chicago
Women's Club effort resulted in
establishing the first juvenile court in
the United States. Ida B. Wells
established the Alpha suffrage club in
Chicago believed to be the first of its
kind of African American suffragettes
they worked for political reform in
Chicago, educated voters, canvassing
door-to-door and succeeded in
registering 3,000 women in Chicago 2nd
Ward. Their efforts resulted in the
election of chicago's first
african-american alderman Oscar dePriest
in 1915. Philanthropy made a
profound difference in chicago and many
of that cultural institute would not be
the same without their women patrons to
this day Bertha Palmers large donations of
paintings constitute the core of the art
institutes infamous impressionist
holding. Mary Sturges donated 50 thousand
dollars in 1894 to establish the field
museum the fourth largest donation
received that year. Blackstone library
which is built in 1904 is the first
branch library in the city and it's
still open today it was built completely
through the donations of Isabella
Blackstone and have only started to
scratch the surface of all the patrons
to the arts that are out there
I can't help but feel that I just
completely glossed over the numerous
achievements and examples of women in
chicago the goal of this video wasn't to
provide a complete resource into these
amazing women
it was the spark your own interest in their
stories and to help i provided numerous
resources in the description below
do you know Bertha Palmer invented the
brownie! That's right
Chicago invented the brownie i love this
city
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Famous Women in Chicago's History

155 Folder Collection
published on March 15, 2017
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