Progressive Era Timeline
19-20 July 1848
A group of women, including Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, organize a convention to discuss women's rights in Seneca Falls, New York. The convention was attended by nearly three hundred men and women including abolitionists Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass. During the convention a Declaration of Sentiments was presented to attendees which framed the major issues and goals for the woman's movement.
10 January 1858
Lucy Cobb Institute, a secondary school for young women in Athens, Georgia, opens its doors.
Jane Cunningham Croly, along with twelve other women,
form the first woman's club, Sorosis, upon their exclusion from a banquet dinner honoring Charles Dickens.
30 May 1868
The New England Woman's Club holds its first official
meeting. The club is composed of Boston's most prominent philanthropists and reformers including Caroline Severance and Julia Ward Howe.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organize the
National Woman Suffrage Association, an organization aimed at securing voting rights for women by means of a Congressional amendment to the Constitution.
The American Woman Suffrage Association is formed by Julia Ward Howe and Lucy Stone. The American Woman Suffrage Association differed from the National Woman Suffrage Association in its emphasis on securing women's voting rights through state legislation.
10 December 1869
Wyoming becomes the first United States territory to pass a law enfranchising women.
The Woman's Club movement spreads westward. Clubs such as the Indianapolis Woman's Club, which formed in 1875, and the Chicago Woman's Club, which formed the following year, begin to dot the urban centers of the Western and Midwestern landscape.
The Women's Christian Temperance Union is formally organized in Cleveland, Ohio.
A woman suffrage amendment, written by Susan B. Anthony, is first presented to Congress.
The woman's club movement reaches the South. Women's clubs begin appearing in urban cities and towns in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
Active social reformer and club woman Jane Addams founds Hull House, a social settlement in the heart of Chicago, Illinois.
23-25 April 1890
Jane Cunningham Croly initiates the founding of the General Federation of Women's Clubs by extending an invitation to woman's clubs throughout the county to attend a celebratory convention in New York City. Sixty-three clubs responded to Croly's invitation and attended the convention on April 23-25. There, the General Federation of Women's Clubs was formed.
Twelve women from Athens, Georgia organize the first garden
club in the United States, by forming the Ladies' Garden Club.
17 April 1895
The State Normal School in Athens, Georgia, established by a legislative act in 1891, opens for its first full school year. The
Normal School was established by a legislative act in 1891.
However, due to inadequate funding and poor administration the school only managed to remain in operation during the summer months.
The National Association of Colored Women is formed by leaders
in the black woman's club movement including Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Anna Julia Cooper.
Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs is officially chartered when the Elberton Georgia Sorosis and Atlanta Woman's Clubs organize a meeting of women's clubs from across the state to discuss the possibility of federation.
31 May 1897
The Georgia Library Club, predecessor to the Georgia Library Association, is formed by the Young Men's Library of Atlanta and the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs. Miss Anne Wallace, an Atlanta clubwoman, is made the organization's first president.
16 December 1897
The Georgia state legislature approves an act to establish the State Library Commission. The Commission, which consists of five members, was largely influenced by the work of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs.
November 1900 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
General Federation of Women's Clubs unanimously passes a resolution at the organization's Fifth Biennial Conference to fight against child labor on a state and national level.
1 November 1901
The Southern Education Board, an organization whose mission was to reform rural educational institutions throughout the South, is organized.
The National Woman's Trade Union League is established to champion improved working conditions and better wages for women.
May 1904 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
The Traveling Library Committee of the General Federation of Women's Clubs reports that clubwomen have established 4,655 libraries throughout thirty-four states.
Florence Kelley and Lillian Wald found the National Child Labor Committee for the purpose of lobbying for legislative action towards the regulation of child labor.
May-June 1906 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
The General Federation of Women's Clubs endorses the promotion of a nationwide campaign for compulsory education.
30 June 1906
Theodore Roosevelt signs two acts into law: the Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act. The Pure Food and Drug Act prohibited the interstate commerce of adulterated food and drugs; the Meat Inspection Act called for the regular inspection of meatpacking plants.
Anna T. Jeanes, a wealthy Quaker from Philadelphia, establishes the Anna T. Jeanes Foundation with a one million dollar endowment. The Jeanes Foundation is devoted to improving rural African American schools and communities in the South.
7 December 1907 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
The American Red Cross begins its annual sale of Christmas Seals as a means of funding the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis in the United States. During the first year of the program the Red Cross raised $3,000.00. By the time the program ended in 1919 the annual sale of Christmas Seals totaled funds over 3.8 million dollars.
12 July 1909
The Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs opens Tallulah Falls Industrial Training School in northern Georgia. The school, which was the brainchild of Mary Ann Lipscomb and the Athens Woman's Club, opened with an enrollment of twenty-one children.
25 June 1910
Congress passes the Mann Act, otherwise known as the White Slave Traffic Act, which forbade the transportation of women from state to state for illegal purposes.
12 March 1912 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
Juliette Gordon Low, a Savannah, Georgia native, registers the first troop of American Girl Guides who will later become the Girl Scouts.
9 April 1912 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
President Taft signs into law a bill creating the United States Children's Bureau. Julia Lathrop, prominent reformer and active member of the Chicago Woman's Club, was appointed as its first chief, becoming the first woman to head a federal agency in the United States.
June 1914 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
The Twelfth Biennial Conference of the General Federation of Women's Clubs is held in Chicago, Illinois. After much debate and opposition, notably from southern delegates under the direction of Georgia's own Mrs. Z. I. Fitzpatrick, the General Federation of Women's Clubs decides to endorse suffrage.
1-4 August 1914
The First World War begins. Germany declares war on Russia and invades Belgium. The invasion prompts Great Britain to declare war on Germany.
January 1915 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
Woman's Peace Party is founded by Jane Addams, Sophonisba Breckinridge, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Howard Shaw, and Mrs. Booker T. Washington.
1 September 1916
The Keating-Owen Act is passed by Congress. The act raises the
minimum age of workers to fourteen, enforces an eight hour workday, and bans the interstate commerce of goods made by children. In 1918, the Keating-Owen Act is declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
16 October 1916 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
Margaret Sanger opens the country's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York.
6 April 1917 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
The United States officially enters the First World War by declaring war on Germany.
24 April 1917 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
Congress passes the Liberty Loan Act authorizing the Secretary of
the Treasury to issue two million dollars in war bonds at an interest rate of 3.5 percent. By the close of the war the Department of Treasury collected twenty-one billion dollars.
17 December 1917
Congress passes the Eighteenth Amendment which prohibits the
manufacture, transportation, or sale of alcohol.
The first wave of the influenza pandemic of 1918 reaches the
United States when Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas reports the first known outbreak on American soil. The pandemic, which targeted men and women between the ages of twenty and forty, was responsible for the death of over 600,000 Americans.
The General Federation of Women's Clubs creates the Overseas Service Unit. Working with the YMCA, the Overseas Service Unit sends one hundred women to Europe to assist wounded soldiers during the First World War.
4 June 1919 [View the meeting minutes for this month] [View the meeting summary for this month]
Congress approves and passes the Nineteenth Amendment. The
amendment is sent to the states for ratification.
24 July 1919
Georgia becomes the first state to reject the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
5 June 1920
The Women's Bureau is founded as a branch of the United States Labor Department. The Women's Bureau is formed with the purpose to provide government oversight and improve working conditions for wage-earning women.
18 August 1920
The Nineteenth Amendment, or the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, is ratified.
The Sheppard-Towner Act, an act providing funding for maternity and pediatric clinics around the country, is passed.
The General Federation of Women's Clubs creates the Indian
Welfare Committee to work for the enfranchisement of Native Americans, improvement of educational and health facilities, and the preservation of Native American culture.
21 November 1922
Rebecca Latimer Felton, an outspoken reformer and prominent
Georgian, was sworn into office as a United States senator. Though Felton's term only lasted twenty-four hours, she became the first woman to occupy a seat in the United States Senate.
10 December 1931
Jane Addams is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in the Peace Movement.