Frances Willard, a teacher and lecturer, grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. She was influential in the early women’s movement and was president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) from 1879 until her death in 1898. Under her leadership, the WCTU became a prestigious world organization with a membership of 2 million women.
Originally part of court statutes to observe these days and was enacted for the schools on June 27, 1923, from the 1923 Laws of Wisconsin, Chapter 307, section 20.
“There is a Janesville group of women in 1873 who are furious. And they marched—literally marched—on City Hall, down the streets of Janesville. Women didn’t do this sort of thing,” McBride said in the public television special.
“Women are becoming aware of what the Janesville women did, why they did it and, more important, how they did it,” she said, including writing petitions and calling meetings. “Those were things women were not supposed to know how to do at the time.”
“We (women) were waiting for a white guy to get it, thank you,” she said. “When you look at the reason for it, it’s so maddening. I think Janesville deserves more credit.”
Frances Willard was one of the 35 “famous” Americans honored in a postage stamp series in 1940.