The 1900s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Headline Makers

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The 1900s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Headline Makers

Jane Addams
Evangeline Cory Booth
W. E. B. Du Bois
Mary Baker Eddy
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Emma Goldman
Carry Nation
Louis Comfort Tiffany

Jane Addams (1860–1935) In the late 1880s, Jane Addams visited Toynbee Hall, an early settlement house in Europe where she discovered a group of educated men and women living in an urban slum in order to assist their poor neighbors. Returning to her native Chicago, she established Hull House in 1889 as a similar place where artists and educators could settle to improve social conditions. Addams spent the rest of her life running Hull House and trying to further improve labor conditions, women's suffrage, and the peace movement.

Evangeline Cory Booth (1865–1950) Evangeline Cory Booth was born the year her father began the East London Revivial Society. The organization was later called the Christian Mission and subsequently known as the Salvation Army. Booth devoted her life to the Salvation Army. She would take the Army and its mission to help the poor and spread Christian principles throughout the world. Startled by the poverty she saw when she arrived in New York, she began bread lines and organized efforts to feed children. Booth became a powerful orator who championed the causes of women's rights and the drive toward prohibition. In 1934 she was elected general of the Salvation Army, a position she held until she retired in 1939.

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most influential African American thinkers of the twentieth century. Educated at Fisk and Harvard Universities, Du Bois strongly criticized Booker T. Washington's segregationist beliefs. He believed prejudice could be eliminated through sociological methods. He proposed that "The Talented Tenth" of the black population should receive a university education and lift up their peers with the knowledge they had gained. Active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for decades, Du Bois spoke publicly on the need for free African nations and greater equality for blacks in the United States.

Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy was a sickly child and frequently plagued by illness into adulthood. In 1866, she founded the Christian Science movement, which states that only the mind is real while the body and its frailties are merely illusions and can be cured through mental effort. She spread her message through The Christian Science Journal (now The Christian Science Monitor), starting in 1883. Eddy remained leader of the "Church of Christ, Science" from its incorporation in 1879 until her death in 1910.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) After her marriage and the birth of her daughter in 1885, feminist writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman grew depressed and complained that she had lost her freedom. In 1887, she separated from her husband and began a career as a writer, advocating women's economic and sexual rights. "The Yellow Wallpaper," her horror story about a woman slipping into insanity, received much praise when it was published in 1892. Later Gilman was scorned for her decision to send her daughter to live with her former husband. After a long battle against cancer, she committed suicide in 1935.

Emma Goldman (1869–1940) Immigrant Emma Goldman embraced socialist and anarchist ideas, which advocated the overthrow of the capitalist system. She became a political revolutionary, criticizing much of modern American society. In 1892, Goldman was imprisoned for attempting to kill industrialist Henry Clay Frick. She said marriage must be abolished, as it enslaves women, and proclaimed women must be sexually free. Goldman spread her ideas through her journal Mother Earth, which began publication in 1906. In 1917, she was jailed for interfering with the military draft. Deported in 1919, Goldman spent the remainder of her life in Europe.

Carry Nation (1846–1911) Carry Nation remains the twentieth century's greatest opponent of alcoholic beverages. Her hatred of liquor grew from her first husband's death from alcoholism. She launched a national crusade against alcohol. She began by holding prayer vigils in saloons, but when that proved ineffective she became more radical in her methods. Beginning in the 1890s, she attacked several taverns with rocks, bricks, and her infamous hatchet. Nation was often arrested following her efforts, and she supported her cause financially by selling souvenir hatchets. She died in 1911, several months after being beaten by a female saloon owner.

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of famed jeweler Charles Tiffany, was one of the nation's leading interior decorators. In 1883, he decorated several rooms in the White House. Tiffany believed that glass was an essential element in creating an elegant living space. In 1878, he formed the Tiffany Glass Company, which developed a technique where color could be added to glass without stain. The resulting pieces were known for their shimmering beauty. At the 1900 Paris Exposition, Tiffany was recognized as the master of the "art nouveau" style.

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The 1900s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Headline Makers

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The 1900s Lifestyles and Social Trends: Headline Makers