This Day in History: National Organization for Women was Founded

“We, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National Organization for Women, believe that the time has come for a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place within and beyond our national borders.”

—National Organization for Women’s 1966 Statement of Purpose

On June 30, 1966, Betty Friedan wrote three letters on a paper napkin: N O W. She invited fifteen women to her hotel room. Then, Catherine Conroy slid a five-dollar bill onto the table and said, “Put your money down and sign your name.” In that moment, the National Organization for Women became a reality.

As representatives at the Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women, these women were disgruntled by the lack of commitment to the convention’s theme, “Targets for Action.” Inspired by the Civil Rights movement and historic marches such as in Selma, the women founded a parallel effort to ensure the equal treatment of both sexes. They brainstormed an alternate action plan to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on sex, race, color, nationality, and religion.

ERA March, Washington DC

Photograph shows people standing in front of the United States Capitol with a banner reading “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex” and holding flags for various organizations including the National Organization for Women.

July 9, 1979.

(by Bettye Lane)

NOW Through the Years:

October 1966: NOW founding conference

Betty Friedan, best known for her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique, which changed the conversation on traditional gender roles, was chosen as the organization’s first president.

Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan, half-length portrait, facing right / World Telegram & Sun. 1960

(by Fred Palumbo)

August 1967: First picket by NOW members

Activists dressed in vintage clothing to protest the gender segregated help-wanted advertisements in The New York Times.

1973: NOW members organized “Take Back the Night” marches and vigils.

Protestors stimulated the movement against sexual assault and power-based personal violence against women.

July 1978: Biggest-ever march for the Equal Rights Amendment

In 95-degree heat, over 100,000 people decked in purple, white, and gold marched in Washington, D.C. to call for an extension to the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

ERA March July 9, 1978

Feminists make history with biggest-ever march for the Equal Rights Amendment, including NOW’s first president Betty Friedan.

(by Feminist Majority Foundation)

April 2004: March for Women’s Lives

A record 1.15 million people marched in Washington, D.C. to fight for women’s reproductive health care options.

March for Women's Lives

The March for Women’s Lives took place on April 25, 2004.

(by Feminist Majority Foundation)

Today, NOW is the largest organization of women’s rights activists in the United States, using grassroots organizing to push for social change. NOW focuses on advocating for justice and equality in reproductive healthcare and the economy and continues its work to put a stop to violence against women and discrimination based on race and sexual orientation.

The fight to end workplace discrimination is not over. The Administration has shown its support for a number of anti-discrimination actions, including fair housing, employment non-discrimination, and health reform for women. President Obama, with help from organizations like NOW, continues to lead the charge for equal rights no matter who you are, what you look like, or who you love. 

“We have to raise our voices to demand that women get paid fairly.  We’ve got to raise our voices to make sure women can take time off to care for a loved one, and that moms and dads can spend time with a new baby.  We’ve got to raise our voices to make sure that our women maintain and keep their own health care choices.”

—President Obama, October 2014

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What You’re Saying About the Overtime Rule:

In a Huffington Post op-ed, President Obama announced a plan to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016.  

A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. That’s why I’m announcing my plan to extend overtime protections.

— President Obama (@POTUS) June 30, 2015

Check out a fact sheet about the announcement to learn more. 

The proposed overtime rule has people talking. Here’s what they have to say:

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Digital Currencies a Silver Lining in the Dark Cloud of Greece’s Economic Crisis

As the world watches nervously, Greece, under pressure from the European Central Bank, takes the serious step of imposing capital controls: Banks are closed, ATM withdrawals are limited and funds cannot be sent out of the country. Capital controls will be in place at least until July 7 after Sunday’s citizens’ referendum that will ask Greeks if they want to remain in the European Union and accept their creditors’ terms. Will Bitcoin benefit from the current crisis? There’s lots of speculation that the rate of adoption of digital currencies may increase more rapidly as a result of the current crisis in Greece. CNN makes the case noting: “The world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges tell CNNMoney they’ve seen a surge of business […]

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The Fear of Capital Controls May be Spreading from Greece to Italy

Yesterday, Bitcoin Magazine reported that Greece had closed its banks and imposed capital controls to prevent financial chaos after the breakdown of bailout talks with its international creditors. The decision came at the end of a weekend that brought Greece closer to “Grexit” – the potential exit from the Eurozone and perhaps the European Union (EU) itself – and confronted Europe with a serious crisis. Today, Jose Pagliery, the author of “Bitcoin – And the Future of Money,” reports on CNN Money that Greeks are rushing to bitcoin. The article includes testimonials from top bitcoin exchanges such as, Bitcurex, and China-based LakeBTC, stating that they are seeing a surge of business and inquiries from Greece. This is, according to […]

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Bitnet Partners with Computop to Offer Bitcoin Payments for Over 3000 Merchants

Bitnet, a bitcoin payments processor and the developer of the largest payment gateway (CyberSource, acquired by VISA) has entered into a strategic partnership with Computop, a leading payment service provider, to allow global merchants to accept bitcoin on Computop Paygate. Since its launch, Bitnet has focused its services to provide an enterprise-grade digital commerce platform with security, reliability and scalability standards demanded by global businesses. Through the Computop and Bitnet partnership, however, the multi-national bitcoin merchant processor is attempting to implement its technologies to allow businesses of any size to accept bitcoin in a simple, safe and secure manner. Bitnet bitcoin processors will be integrated in Computop Paygate, which will allow merchants to expand their businesses globally without cross-border fees. […]

The post Bitnet Partners with Computop to Offer Bitcoin Payments for Over 3000 Merchants appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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BitGo Announces Launch of Solvency Proofs Verified by BitGo

BitGo announced today the release of its latest product offering, Verified by BitGo, a product that provides a real-time view of bitcoin assets owned by a company. Whereas in the past, verification attempts were slow and often had security risk concerns, BitGo hopes that this will be a verification that allows it to publicly share all of its assets. Further, it will be able to cryptographically display that it is in a solvent state. When dealing with brokerages and wallets, knowing that the provider is solvent can go a long way toward making a decision on using a service. This service will enable end users to analyze what the company’s assets are and compare that to its liabilities, even drilling […]

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The American Immigration Equation: Courage + Opportunity > Risk

June marks Immigrant Heritage Month — and people across the country are sharing their American stories. Whether you’ve recently embarked on your first day as an American or want to share how your ancestors came to arrive here, we want to hear from you. Add your voice to the conversation today.

America is a country bound together by its diversity. Almost all of us share the common thread that our families came from somewhere else. Our immigrant families are bound by more than that, however. We also are bound by a common belief that the opportunity available to immigrants who are willing to work hard in this country outweighs the substantial risk involved in pulling up stakes and restarting life in a new country. But the equation doesn’t work if you only weigh opportunity versus risk. The secret factor that tips the scale and propels people to take on such risk for such a tenuous shot at opportunity is courage. Each immigration story — whether it be from 1692, 1910, or 2015 — was built on the foundation of courage.

I see that courage at play in my own family. My heritage stems from the islands of Sicily, Italy (Bisognano/ Raffa) and Ireland (McEachern/O’Brien). On August 23, 1914 in Queenstown, Ireland, at the age of 19, my great grandmother Bridget Clougherty boarded the S.S. Franconia bound for Boston, labeled as a laborer. She boarded this ship 19 days after the declaration of war by the United Kingdom in what would become World War I. She had the courage to leave most of her family behind and risk losing the stability that had defined her life in the small village of Clifton, Ireland in order to realize the opportunity she envisioned in the new world across the Atlantic.

The O’Brien/Cloughterty on the porch of their Quincy, MA home. (Circa. 1945)

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Greece Shows Importance of Gold as Europeans Buy Coins and Bars

– Demand for physical gold from Europeans surges – Greek ATMs limit withdrawals to €60 per day – Greeks panic buy food, fuel and medicine – European elites threaten Greece with expulsion – Gold not subject to capital controls or “bail-ins”   Demand for gold coins and bars from European investors has increased significantly in […]

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