Georgia History

Georgia History 

This year marks the first time that the GFWC Annual Convention has returned to Atlanta since 1994. In November of 1895, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Board of Directors traveled to Atlanta for the first time for the Southern States Cotton Exposition. There, members met with the Women’s Board of Managers of the Cotton States and the Georgia Woman’s Press Club. The meeting helped to set the stage for the founding of the Georgia Federation, which would officially establish itself on October 26, 1896.

The clubwomen of the Georgia Federation wasted no time in making a lasting impact on their state, their Federation, and their country. Soon after federating, Georgia clubwomen helped to form one of GFWC’s first traveling libraries. The collection of books was available for free and traveled between Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina via the Seaboard Air Line Railway.

Georgia clubwomen were also fierce advocates for education. Under the direction of their State President, and future GFWC International President, Rebecca Douglas Lowe, GFWC Georgia advocated for compulsory school attendance, free kindergartens, and admittance for women into Georgia’s universities. Notably, Georgia clubwomen also opened and ran the Tallulah Falls Industrial School in 1909. The idea for the school blossomed in reaction to a state survey, which found that 32% of school age children in Georgia did not have a school to attend. Today, the school still operates as the Tallulah Falls School.

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