In this letter from 1944 Mrs. Roosevelt responded to one of her critics, Addie Frizielle, who worried about the desegregation of restrooms and forced social interaction between the races in the government’s movement toward racial equality in some spheres.
In the late nineteenth century, Anne Brown Adams, a daughter of the abolitionist John Brown, lamented that the “struggle for a married woman’s rights will be a longer and a harder fought battle than any other that the world has ever known.”
Lowell, Massachusetts, named in honor of Francis Cabot Lowell, was founded in the early 1820s as a planned town for the manufacture of textiles. It introduced a new system of integrated manufacturing to the United States and established new patterns of employment and urban development that were soon replicated around New England and elsewhere.
By 1840, the factories in Lowell employed at some estimates more than 8,000 textile workers, commonly known as mill girls or factory girls. These “operatives”—so-called because they operated...