Monday, December 10, 2007

Today is Jane Addams Day

Today is the first annual observance of Jane Addams Day in her native Illinois. It was 76 years ago today that Addams, the famed social reformer, became the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Addams, who has long been one of The Rascal's favorite historical personages, was born in 1860 in Cedarville, a few miles north of my own native Freeport. She attended what later became Rockford College (and earned the school's first academic degree), founded Hull House, the famed social settlement in Chicago, and forged a career in social reform that is unparalleled in our nation's history.

She is widely recognized as the godmother of modern social work, was instrumental in the establishment of juvenile courts, child-labor laws, public health reforms, the 8-hour workday and countless other advances. She also was a founding member of both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among other organizations.

In 1998, Life magazine empaneled a group of historians to rank the 100 most influential people in the world over the past 1,000 years. Addams was ranked 66th, higher than any other American woman.

Jane Addams died in 1935 at the age of 74 and is buried in a family plot in Cedarville.


Anonymous said...

As usual, Rascal, you're wrong. Addams was not the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She was the first AMERICAN woman.


The Rascal said...

You're right. The first woman to win the Peace Prize was Baroness Bertha von Suttner in 1905.

number said...

I agree with you about these. Well someday Ill create a blog to compete you! lolz.