League of Women Shoppers

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League of Women Shoppers

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League of Women Shoppers

League of Women Shoppers, Inc.

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League of Women Shoppers, Inc.

League of Woman Shoppers

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League of Woman Shoppers

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1937

active 1937

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2001

active 2001

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Biographical History

Christmas card sold by the League of Women Shoppers, 1942

Twenty socially conscious women who wished to use their power as consumers to obtain justice for workers founded the League of Women Shoppers (LWS) in New York City in June 1935. By 1937, the New York group claimed thousands of members and established branches in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Newark, New Jersey, and Columbus, Ohio. Although the LWS was officially non-partisan and, according to its constitution, "non-political," many members, including Jessie Lloyd O'Connor, Lillian Hellman, and Freda Kirchwey, had ties to other progressive and labor organizations. The official purposes of the League were threefold: to investigate the working conditions in the stores they patronized and the factories that produced the goods they consumed; to educate and organize consumers to support union organizing and to press for better wages and working conditions for workers who produced goods and provided services; and to protect and improve American living standards through both grassroots actions, such as boycotts and buyers' cooperatives, and legal regulation, such as rent and price controls and the protection of wages. In keeping with its unofficial progressive bent and political agenda, the LWS also supported other social justice causes, including civil rights for African-Americans and equal pay for women workers.

The Dies Committee branded the League of Women Shoppers a subversive organization in 1939. Nevertheless, League members continued to participate in a variety of consumer and union organizing campaigns through the early years of the 1940s. When the U.S. became formally involved in World War II, the League expanded its program to include efforts to support rationing and discourage black market sales of goods in short supply. In 1944, League members-whose numbers had decreased significantly from the late 1930s-worked for Franklin Roosevelt's reelection to a fourth term, but by 1945 the LWS engaged in fewer and fewer activities and soon faded out of existence.

From the guide to the League of Women Shoppers Records MS 328., 1937 - 2001, 1937-1944, (Sophia Smith Collection)

Consumer advocacy organization; Labor reform advocacy organization.

Founded in New York City in 1935 and Chicago in 1937. Although officially a non-partisan and (according to its constitution) "non-political" organization, many members had ties to other progressive and labor organizations. The purposes of the LWS were threefold: to investigate the working conditions in stores and factories; to organize consumers to support union organizing and press for better wages and working conditions for workers; and to protect and improve American living standards through grassroots actions such as boycotts and buyers' cooperatives, and legal regulation such as rent and price controls, and the protection of wages. The LWS also supported other social justice causes including civil rights for African-Americans and equal pay for women workers. The LWS was branded a subversive organization by the Dies Committee in 1939. During World War II, the League supported rationing and discouraged black market sales of goods and in 1944, League members worked for Roosevelt's reelection. But the membership decreased steadily in the 1940's and engaged in fewer activities until it eventually faded out of existence by 1945.

From the description of Records, 1937-2001 (bulk 1937-1944). (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 49517343

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https://viaf.org/viaf/141053230

https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no2001100333

https://id.loc.gov/authorities/no2001100333

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Consumers' leagues--United States--History--Sources

Work environment--History--20th century--Sources

Labor unions--History--20th century--Sources

Labor movement--History--20th century--Sources

Consumer education--United States--History--Sources

Labor unions--United States--History--20th century--Sources

Consumers' leagues--History--Sources

Work environment--United States--History--20th century--Sources

Consumer education--History--Sources

Popular fronts--United States--History--20th century

Popular fronts--History--20th century

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United States

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67270687