[2015] Vania Pena: Jane Addams

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by Jabercrombie
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Social Studies
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Historical biographies

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[2015] Vania Pena: Jane Addams

Jane Addams

Jane Addams is best known as the founder of Hull House, a place that provided aid to poor working-class families in Chicago. These centers are often called "settlement houses." Born into a wealthy family, Addams was one of a small number of women in her generation to graduate from college. Her commitment to improving the lives of those around her led to her work for social reform and world peace.

As founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr, the main purpose of Hull House was to provide social and educational opportunities for working class people within the urban Chicago neighborhood, many of whom were recent immigrants to Chicago’s Near West Side.The objective of Hull House, as stated in its 1889 charter, was: “To provide a center for a higher civic and social life; to institute and maintain educational and philanthropic enterprises, and to investigate and improve the conditions in the industrial districts of Chicago.”

Biography

Hull House

In 1889, Addams and Starr opened one of the first settlements in both the United States and North America, and the first in the city of Chicago: Hull House, which was named after the building's original owner. The house provided services for the immigrant and poor population living in the Chicago area. Over the years, the organization grew to include more than 10 buildings and extended its services to include child care, educational courses, an art gallery, a public kitchen and several other social programs.

Accomplisments

Born & Raised

Born Laura Jane Addams on September 6, 1860, in Cedarville, Illinois. The eighth of nine children born to a state senator and businessman, Addams lived a life of privilege. She graduated from the Rockford Female Seminary in Illinois in 1881. Jane Addams's health began to seriously decline after a heart attack in 1926. She died on May 21, 1935, at the age of 74, in Chicago, Illinois.

In addition to her work at the Hull House, Addams began serving on Chicago's Board of Education in 1905. Five years later, in 1910, she became the first female president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections. She went on to establish the National Federation of Settlements the following year, holding that organization's top post for more than two decades thereafter.Addams served as president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom from 1919 to 1929. For her efforts, she shared the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize with Nicholas Murray Butler, an educator and presidential advisor.


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