Maud Younger, 1870 – 1936
Like many other dedicated suffragists, Maud Younger came from a very wealthy family, and as a young woman enjoyed a life of ease and elegance. She was born January 10, 1870 and lived in California. On a trip to France she stopped in New York for week’s visit to a settlement house to observe first hand the challenges faced by poor immigrants. She stayed for five years.
To get a better understanding of the needs of working women Maud took a job as a waitress and became a member of the local waitress’ union. When she discovered there was no such union in California she returned to that state and organized one herself. These experiences led to a lifelong advocacy of social reform, and also caught the attention of Alice Paul who convinced her to come and work with her at the Congressional Union, lobbying for a Federal Suffrage Amendment to the Constitution. Maud took on the job enthusiastically, lobbying tirelessly, and joining the picket line outside the White House in 1917.
Maud Younger was nicknamed the “Million Dollar Waitress,” and traveled with her small dog throughout the country campaigning for passage of the 19th Amendment. When that goal was finally achieved, she continued her work for the Women’s Trade Union League, the National Consumers’ League, and the Women’s Bureau. In 1923 she was instrumental in the introduction of the Equal Right Amendment’s to Congress.
Maud Younger could have hidden behind her wealth and lived a life of ease and privilege. Instead, she chose to work for the political and economic freedom of working women everywhere.
Happy Birthday, Maud Younger!