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The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 15, 1913, FINAL EDITION, Image 6

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-03-15/ed-2/seq-6/

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DEPARTMENT STORE GIRLS DEMAND CHANCE:
TO FIGHT THEIR OWN BATTLES
WHEREVS, The evidence givenduring the past two weeks ,
before the senate committee of Illinois, investigating white slavery
and its causes, has strikingly emphasized low wages as the
greatest single cause of vice;
THEREFORE, BE JJ RESOLVED, That this meeting respect
fully urge the' clergymen of Chicago and vicinity of all denomina
tions to make, on Pafm Sunday (being the last Sunday in Lent), an
appeal to their 'congregations asking them to support a minimum
wage law for women and also to encourage the organization of
women as an indispensable means of raising their industrial 5
standard. The cry of- the working women of Chicago to the
churches.
.There never was a more significant
meeting held in Chicago than that of
the underpaid working women held
last night in Musicians' hall, 175 West
Washington street.
And it wasn't' so much because of
any one thing that 'was said at the
meeting. It was because of the spirit
of the women who listened.
The meetink was called a- mass
meeting. But it had beeit- arranged
on a few days' notice, and the big de
partment store and factory owners
had f ought any spreading of the news
of the meeting among their em
ployes viciously.
Yet long before the hour set for the'
urst speaking, Musicians' hall was
crowded to the doors with women
workers. y
Young girls, mere children, with
fresh complexions and shining eyes;
old women, bowed with toil, their
eyes dulled with the long years of it;
small women and big women; well
dressed women and shabby women.
Biit all of them with the same look
on their faces a look of weariness,
with .hope and the sense of their own
chance' to fight for themselves, shin
ing through it.
And the meeting' was not what
anyone expected.
" It had been thought the women
would get together; that they would
(limidly pass resolutions begging the
legislature to help them: appealing' to
the MEN of Illinois to do something
for their sisters an ordinary sortOf
here-we-are'-let-somebody - else - dor.
the-rest meeting. '"'
But it wasn't anything like that
at all. j
They blgan by singing songs, arid
all of the 800 of them stood on their
foot to join in the choruses. And
they finished by standing up together
and singing "My Country, "Tis of
Thee." And you could see in their
faces that they were thinking more
of their country than ever they had
done before, and more of what their
fight would mean "for their country
than what it might .mean for their
own individual selves.
And through the words of every
speaker rang the courage ofwomea
who had prepared themselves' and
were ready to fight, and to fight
hard. 1
There wasn't any begging for help.
True, they passed one 'resolution
that might read that way. But if
you read that resolution, addressed
to the churches of Chicago, & second
time you will see that it just asks the,
churches td asft.the men of. Illinois
to keep'their hands off and give the
wrimnn o rTi n n rn tn. flrt Qrm nf Vi in rr fnw
rthemselves, a chance to organize, a
chance to fight.
That's really all these tired, look
ing women -with the new hope in
their faces, asked a chance to fight
their' own battles, a .chance to or-

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