“Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events.”
from the website http://www.internationalwomensday.com
My grandmother was born in 1906. She grew up during the difficult years of women’s sufferage, two World Wars and the Great Depression. Her family lived in New York City when she was young and she told stories of the livery stables her father owned. She would ride with him to deliver blocks of ice to the first iceboxes in New York’s famous walkups, carrying heavy ice blocks up flights of stairs to well populated apartments in the heat of summer and the cold of winter. After graduating from high school, she went to work in New York’s garment district, working as a secretary and bookkeeper for a hat maker. These were tough times and getting ahead meant working hard and sticking with it.
Fast forward to today’s International Women’s Day and we’re in similar times. Our global economic situation forces women to be creative, think and act strategically to get ahead, and to never quit. It is only the determination of women that has continued to move society forward, providing children, families and communities the support, leadership and action to accomplish great things.
In my grandmother’s things, I found the following treasure… I share it here in hopes that you, dear reader, will share it with others.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sign,
When care is pressing you down a bit ~
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow ~
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is ‘nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out ~
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, ~
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
*** image thanks to http://vintageholidaycrafts.com/free-vintage-clip-art-people-around-the-world/ ***