By Michelle Cohen, Wed, March 8, 2023
(1917) Picketing in all sorts of weather. N.Y. Day Picket. United States Washington D.C. New York, 1917, [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
International Women’s Day, and what later became Women’s History Month, originated in New York City over 100 years ago. On February 28, 1909, “Women’s Day,” was celebrated as the one-year anniversary of the city’s garment industry strike led by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. The Socialist Party of America chose the day to honor the women who bravely protested miserable labor conditions. American socialist and feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman addressed a New York crowd, saying: “It is true that a woman’s duty is centered in her home and motherhood but home should mean the whole country and not be confined to three or four rooms of a city or a state.” At the time, women still couldn’t vote.
By Aaron Ginsburg, Thu, March 2, 2023
Photo courtesy of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Every March, Americans celebrate Women’s History Month to honor the countless achievements and contributions of women nationwide. New York City, where the month-long celebration originated, has plenty of special events and happenings for those looking to show their appreciation to the women of the world. Ahead, here are some ways you can celebrate Women’s History Month in NYC, from learning about the influential women behind Central Park’s most iconic attractions to listening to music by trailblazing women composers at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
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By Michelle Cohen, Tue, March 8, 2022
Photo courtesy of the Locker Room
March is Women’s History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of American women–and March 8 is International Women’s Day. The origins of the month-long celebration–and the suffrage movement itself, have their roots in New York City, and the city is a great place to learn more about the women who shaped the world as we know it. Top local arts and culture organizations are offering lectures, festivals, tours, and art exhibits in the five boroughs, all month long. More reason to celebrate and mark your calendar: Most hosts have returned to in-person events.
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By Lucie Levine, Thu, March 25, 2021
“Mourners from the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local 25 and the United Hebrew Trades of New York march in the streets after the Triangle fire” 1911. Reproduction. The National Archives, via Wikimedia Commons
Around 4:30 p.m. on March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the eighth floor of the Asch Building at Washington Place and Greene Streets, just as the young employees of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, who occupied the building’s top three floors, were preparing to leave for the day. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire killed 146 people, nearly all of them Jewish and Italian immigrant women and girls who toiled in the city’s garment industry. Triangle stood out as the deadliest workplace tragedy in New York City before 9/11. It served as a bellwether in the American labor movement, galvanizing Americans in all walks of life to join the fight for industrial reform. It also highlighted the extraordinary grit and bravery of the women workers and reformers – members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and the Women’s Trade Union League – who fought and died for fairer and safer working conditions in New York and around the country.
Find out the whole history
By Devin Gannon, Wed, March 10, 2021
Photo of Augusta Braxton Baker courtesy of NYPL Digital Collections
Every March the nation celebrates the contributions and achievements of women in the United States. With the origins of Women’s History Month, along with the suffrage movement itself, rooted in New York, the city is one of the best places to pay tribute to and learn more about the many trailblazing women who shaped the world as we know it. Although the pandemic has changed how we commemorate Women’s History Month, many local organizations and groups are hosting virtual lectures, tours, and art exhibits, from a two-day online festival hosted by the Apollo Theater to a feminist tour of Harlem. Plus, the city’s official tourism organization, NYC & Company, has put together an itinerary full of women-owned businesses and cultural sites related to women’s history across the five boroughs to visit, found here.
By Devin Gannon, Mon, March 1, 2021
Screenshot of Women’s History Tour map; Courtesy of Village Preservation
On the first day of Women’s History Month, a preservation group is renewing calls to landmark nearly two dozen sites related to women’s history in New York City. Village Preservation on Monday kicked off a campaign effort urging the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate several buildings located south of Union Square that have a connection to trailblazing women, organizations, or historic events. It’s part of the group’s broader effort to protect nearly 200 buildings in the area which is slated for new development.
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By Devin Gannon, Fri, October 23, 2020
Pre-election parade for suffrage in NYC, in which 20,000 women marched. 1915. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress
This August marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave some women the right to vote. In New York, a hotbed of suffragist activity in the mid 19th- and early 20th-century, women won the vote a few years earlier in 1917. While New York women were on the frontlines of the suffrage movement early on, one event served as a major turning point in winning the vote. On October 23, 1915, tens of thousands of New Yorkers dressed in all white took to Fifth Avenue, marching roughly three miles from Washington Square to 59th Street. It was the largest suffrage parade to date, with city officials at the time estimating between 25,000 and 60,000 participants.
By Devin Gannon, Wed, March 4, 2020
What better place to celebrate women than in New York? The state hosted the country’s first women’s rights convention in 1848, Union Square held the first large-scale suffrage parade in 1908, and New Yorkers came up with the idea to honor women for one month every year. This Women’s History Month, which marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, honor the trailblazing New Yorkers who forged the paths for feminists today with lectures, art exhibits, and bites from women-owned vendors. Ahead, find our favorite events, from a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the Museum of Modern Art to a trolley tour of Woodlawn Cemetery.
By Lucie Levine, Mon, March 11, 2019
“Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, half-length portrait, standing with statue of soldiers,” 1920, via, The Library of Congress
When the first Armory Show came to New York City in 1913, it marked the dawn of Modernism in America, displaying work by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, and Duchamp for the very first time. Not only did female art patrons provide 80 percent of the funding for the show, but since that time, women have continued to be the central champions of American modern and contemporary art. It was Abby Aldrich Rockefeller who founded MoMA; Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney the Whitney; Hilla von Rebay the Guggenheim; Aileen Osborn Webb the Museum of Art and Design; and Marcia Tucker the New Museum. Read on to meet the modern women who founded virtually all of New York City’s most prestigious modern and contemporary art museums.
More Modern Women
By Ben Kharakh, Fri, March 8, 2019
Women from all over the world unite at the Apollo Theater, photo by Shahar Azran, courtesy of the Apollo Theater
Women’s History Month comes but once a year in March, so until Women’s Day every day, we’ll have to make the most of what the city of New York has to offer. And that’s quite a lot considering all the art, culture, and history of the Big Apple. Here’s a list of what you can do to commemorate women’s indelible contributions to human flourishing, while also reflecting on how you can contribute to achieving equality, from art exhibits to comedy shows to seminars on female entrepreneurship.
Check out our 11 event picks