Object of the Month, March 2014
“T-shirt: NOW Walkathon”
by curator Philip Mohr
The Des Plaines History Center is commemorating Women’s History Month with a shirt from the Des Plaines-Park Ridge Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). The year 1982 was a special time for NOW in Illinois. This was the tenth and final year they pushed for the Illinois state legislature to ratify the national Equal Rights Amendment. It must have seemed like a now-or-never moment for equal-rights feminists in Illinois. The June 30, 1982, deadline passed without the amendment’s ratification.
The Des Plaines-Park Ridge NOW carried on its work. They hosted a ten kilometer “Spirited Walk for Women’s Rights” starting at Lake Opeka and “through Des Plaines”. It was held on October 31 (Halloween), which allowed a play on the word spirit. The day also included speeches in support of the NOW agenda. Proceeds from the walk went toward the chapter’s expenses: their newsletters, events, training, and public activism.
Unfortunately, we do not have much information about the turnout for the walkathon or any pictures from the event. The History Center is fortunate to have this shirt as well as some administrative records and newsletters from the local NOW chapter. On the left is the letter mailed with Walkathon pledge cards (click to enlarge). If you have more information on the Des Plaines-Park Ridge NOW or on this walkathon, please contact the Des Plaines History Center at 847-391-5399 or email@example.com.