International Women's Day

Ida (Mrs. Daniel) Cobb participated actively in the Ossoli Club at the Highland Park Club and the Highland Park Woman's Club.  The Cobb family home stands at the corner of Dale and Laurel.  In The History of the Ossoli Club of Highland Park : Its Founders and presidents, 1894-1920 she wrote, “Previous to the year 1894, Reading Clubs afforded the only mental stimulus in Highland Park and little coteries of women with similar tastes would meet and discuss the subjects of the day...until we decided Highland Park could no longer afford to be without a woman’s club."  (Photo:  young Cobb at reigned as Queen of the Carnival in the City of New Orleans where she lived in her youth.  (Visual Photograph collection).

International Woman's Day American origins officially date to February 28, 1909. More than 15,000 women marched in New York City.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Leonora O'Reilly, Priscilla Hackstaff, and Anita Block were among the speakers, according to multiple sources. 

One hundred years ago, the National Woman's Party had been picketing in Washington D.C. since early January The women continued their protest for 6 months; participation notably peaking on Woodrow Wilson's inauguration Day, March 4.  According to the Smithsonian Center for History and New Media, President Wilson failed to acknowledge the "Grand Picket" as his car drove past more than 1000 women. 

Today is also the centennial of International Woman's Day.   On March 8  (February 23 on the Julian calendar) working women and housewives protested bread shortages peacefully in the Russian capital, Petrograd (Saint Petersburg, Russia) That day, the Duma Committee for Municipal Affairs voted for women to be eligible for Town Councils, according to the New York Times Tsar Nicholas II abdicated mid-month and prime minister of the fledgling Provisional Government, Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov, promised women the right to vote within days of his appointment. 

 In 1921, Soviet Chairman Vladimir Lenin declared March 8, International Woman's Day.  The United Nations, founded in 1945, would follow suit in the late 1970s as observed around the world today 

Women of Highland Park, Illinois continued to embrace clubs and participation in the public sphere as these events unfolded.