Sunday, June 11, 2006

forgotten Jane Addams

My grandmother took my Dad to Hull House to meet her when he was a boy. My Dad took me to the Hull House museum when Circle Campus first opened. She's a living image for me. The Trib writes today about the GA designating Dec 11 as a day in her honor in Illinois because she's at risk of being forgotten.

It's good to see someone from my alma mater Grinnell keeping her history alive. The left has a nasty habit of forgetting the left e.g. A. J. Muste and the pacifists of the 1930s. It's important history.
Jane Addams--the hard-headed radical reformer who left her imprint on the world a century ago--is fading into the fog of the past.

It was with that in mind that the Illinois General Assembly this spring passed a new state law designating Dec. 10 as a commemorative day in her honor. On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and a host of dignitaries and schoolchildren will gather at the Hull House Museum to celebrate the recent signing of the bill by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

But the modest gesture of establishing a Jane Addams Day isn't likely to do much toward bringing Addams back into public prominence.

"There are things about Jane Addams that are very much at odds with our political climate," said Victoria Bissell Brown, a Grinnell College history professor and author of "The Education of Jane Addams."

Described in her New York Times obituary as "perhaps the world's best-known and best-loved woman" in 1935, the public today has all but forgotten her, particularly outside Chicago.

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