Saturday, March 1, 2014

Women's History: 1914 to 2014

Good to know there's now a women's history walk in downtown Manhattan.

From Margaret Sanger to Susan B. Anthony--find out where in this city great moments for women's history occurred.

Here's a portion of the audio tour that tells about Margaret Sanger's indictment in 1914 in Federal Court in NYC for mailing information on birth control:

"Here in the grandiose building that once housed both the US Post Office and the federal courts, Margaret Sanger, who became the founder of Planned Parenthood, was first indicted and arraigned. 

Born in 1879 in Corning, NY, the sixth child of eleven who survived, Sanger watched her mother die of exhaustion, tuberculosis, and cervical cancer.  As a nurse on the lower East Side, Sanger met women who were suicidal, so desperate were they to stop childbearing. 

In March, 1914, she launched into the US mails her publication The Woman Rebel, pledging to give birth control information.  

She was arraigned in the Federal Court at this site for mailing such a 'vile, obscene, filthy, and indecent' publication in violation of the postal code covering contraceptive information and a fistful of other transgressions.

When she was summoned to stand trial in October, 1914, it became clear that she would be sent to jail."

She fled to Canada, "returning in 1916 to face the charges.  This time the government backed off."

You can do the tour online or in real life.

The Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls is inspiring but not easy to get to.

It's a lot easier to get to these sites in New York City and relive key moments in the struggle for women's rights--or at least do the online tour. 

All of us who have ever used contraception owe thanks to Margaret Sanger for her courageous work in 1914, one hundred years ago.  

We also owe thanks to Women's eNews for researching and setting up this video/audio tour.

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