Sunday, April 21, 2013
GFWC Federation Day commemorates the official birthday of the Federation. On April 24, 1890, members of 63 women's clubs from throughout the United States came together to form the General Federation of Women's Clubs at a ratification convention in New York City.
Each year, GFWC clubs celebrate this important day in their local communities, states, and across the nation. Projects and activities focus on publicizing GFWC clubs and the work that members do in their communities; recruiting new members by raising awareness about the benefits of belonging to GFWC; supporting volunteer activities with collaborating organizations; and fulfilling GFWC's mission to enhance the lives of others through volunteer service.
In recent years, Federation Day has fallen within Volunteers in Action Week, and GFWC encourages members and clubs to extend their celebration activities to include an entire week of outreach and service.
History of Federation Day
In celebration of its twenty-first anniversary in 1889, the Sorosis Club of New York City (founded by “Jennie June” Croly) proposed a conference of women’s clubs to pursue the cause of federation. That conference was held in New York City on March 20, 1889, with the goal of preparing a constitution for ratification the following year; sixty-one clubs attended.
Sorosis President Ella Dietz Clymer closed her address at the March conference with the words, “We look for unity, but unity in diversity.”
Clubs that had already applied for membership in the new General Federation of Women’s Clubs were invited to the ratification convention, which was held at the Scottish Rite Hall in New York City, April 23-25, 1890; sixty-three delegates from seventeen states attended. After some discussion and amendments, the constitution was ratified on April 24, 1890, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs was born