Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs is founded August 22-23, 1896.

  • By Karen J. Blair
  • Posted 9/28/2009
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 9169

On August  22-23, 1896, the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs is founded when 22 women’s clubs respond to the invitation of Tacoma’s Nesika and Aloha clubs to convene, write a constitution, and  create a state-wide federation of clubs to share reports on group projects in literature, art, music, science, and current events.

A Club of Clubs

News of the success of the Everett Book Club in securing a public library for the city inspired clubwomen of other communities to emulate their colleagues. At the organizational meeting, the Aloha Club shared its work in supporting the Ferry Museum of Tacoma. The first federation president, Tacoma math teacher and Woman’s Christian Temperance Union leader Amy Stacy of the Aloha Club, introduced a program that included musical interludes by the members of the Seattle Ladies Musical Club. Delegates delivered papers on the subjects of charity, the Red Cross, and the value of joining the General Federation of Women’s Clubs for nationwide alliances.

The first convention of the organization was held in Olympia on June 22-23, 1897. Thirty-three clubs sent delegates. Ever since, the federation has held an annual conference to inform and inspire club delegates about the numerous successful civic projects undertaken in the fields of education, health, and social reform.

The Washington organization hosted national conventions of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in Seattle in 1932, 1977, and 1995. For the first time, in 2010, Washington  state clubs are sending a president to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in Washington, D.C., founded in 1890. 

Sources: Jane Cunningham Croly, The History of the Woman’s Club Movement in America (New York: Henry G. Allen, 1898); “The First Hundred Years, 1886-1996: A Condensed History of the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs,”  Washington Women's History website (www.washingtonwomenshistory.org/themes/clubs/wsfwc).

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