Courtesy of Library of Congress

Rose Schneiderman 1882-1972

Rose Schneiderman made her mark as a prominent labor leader in early twentieth-century America. Born in Poland, she emigrated in 1890 and later experienced the harsh realities of working life in America's big cities as a lining stitcher in a cap factory on New York's Lower East Side. By 1903, she had successfully launched the first women's local of the United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers Union, and she eventually became a national president of the Women's Trade Union League. After the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which resulted in the deaths of over 100 female garment workers, Schneiderman addressed a mass meeting and called for increased workers' rights. A member of FDR's "brain trust" in the 1930s, she was Secretary of the New York Department of Labor and a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union. She also devoted herself to the cause of women's suffrage as a key organizer.