Women of Valor



Lillian Wald, 1867 - 1940

1867 Born on March 10, in Cincinnati, Ohio
1891 Graduates New York Hospital Training School as a nurse
1893 Coins term "public health nurse" for nurses who worked outside hospitals in poor and middle-class communities.
1895 Founds Henry Street Settlement House
1900 Convinces NYC Board of Education to hire first special education instructor for children with mental disabilities and physical handicaps.
1903 Helps found Women's Trade Union League.

Eighteen district nursing service centers now treating 4500 patients a year.
1908 Travels 1286 miles in 14 days to investigate working conditions among immigrant laborers at highway and canal project camps.
1909 Henry Street partners with Metropolitan Life to provide quality health care to employed workers.
1910 Six-month tour of Hawaii, Japan, China, Russia to talk about her ideas and methods, and to learn about other cultures.
1912 Visits striking mill workings in Lawrence, MA, and offers Henry Street's support.

Federal Children's Burean, for which she had been advocating since 1905, established.
1915 Wald joins NAACP coalition to protest release of The Birth of a Nation

Elected president of American Union Against Militarism and lobbies President Wilson to keep US out of war.

Publishes The House on Hentry Street. In this year alone, 100 nurses care for more than 26,575 patients and make more than 227,000 home visits.

Campaigns for women's suffrage, even as she fights anti-immigrant fears of suffragists, until right is passed in 1917.
1918 Organizes volunteers to fight Spanish flu outbreak, notes that epidemic demonstrates "the desperate need for trained nurses."
1919 Represents Federal Children's Bureau at Red Cross conference in Cannes, France; then the 2nd Int'l Conf. on Women for Peace, Zurich, Switzerland where she co-founds Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
1924 Visits USSR.
1933 After suffering stroke, retires to her "house on the pond" in Westport, CT.
1940 Dies on Sept 1, 1940.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Lillian Wald - Timeline." (Viewed on April 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/wald/timeline>.