Saving the City: Women of the Progressive Era

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By Tom Meyers and Bowery Boys Media. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

EPISODE 295: This is a podcast about kindness and care. About the Progressive Era pioneers who saved the lives of people in need -- from the Lower East Side to Washington Heights, from Hell's Kitchen to Fort Greene.

Within just a few decades – between the 1880s and the 1920s – so much social change occurred within American life, upending so many cultural norms and advancing so many important social issues, that these years became known as the Progressive Era. And at the forefront of many of these changes were women.

In this show, Greg visits two important New York City social landmarks of this era -- Henry Street Settlement, founded by Lillian Wald in the Lower East Side, and the Cabrini Shrine, where Mother Frances X. Cabrini continued her work with New York's Italian American population.

Then he pays a visit to the Brooklyn Historical Society and their exhibition Taking Care of Brooklyn: Stories of Sickness and Health, featuring artifacts from the borough's surprising connection to medical and social innovation -- from settlement houses to the birth control revolution advocated by Margaret Sanger.

If you have ancestors who came through New York City during 1880s through the 1920s, most likely they came into contact with the efforts of some of the women featured in this show. From the White Rose Mission, providing help for young black women, to the life-saving investigations of 'Dr. Joe' aka Sara Josephine Baker, leading the city's fight for improvements to public health.

Greg is joined by several wonderful guests helping to tell this story, including Tanya Bielski-Braham (currently of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh), Beckett Graham (of the History Chicks podcast), Julie Golia (Vice President for Curatorial Affairs and Collections at the Brooklyn Historical Society), Cherie Sprosty (director of liturgy at the Cabrini Shrine) and Katie Vogel (public historian at the Henry Street Settlement).

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