A History Moment

Dorothy Wright-webAs we prepare to celebrate our 80th Anniversary, we are honored to share a “History Moment” on the formative years of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Mrs. Dorothy Wright, who was president of the Philadelphia Club at this time, felt that Jack and Jill had reached a point when consideration of organizing these groups into a national organization was indicated.

The Philadelphia Chapter voted unanimously to call a meeting to bring these groups together into a national body when the formation of such was presented in my program for the year 1945-46. With this support of my chapter and with the encouragement of the clubs established or being formed, invitations were sent to these ten groups for participation in a meeting to be held June 1, 1946, in Philadelphia.”

June 1, 1946, the birth date of the national organization, brought together representatives of eight of the ten groups present – Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Columbus, Baltimore and Boston.

The objectives and aims were set forth and they voted to formulate plans for a national organization, subject to the approval of their respective groups. Committees were set up – Constitution, Time and Place, and Nomination. Plans for incorporating were discussed. After a day of working – planning and discussing – the representatives were guests of the Philadelphia Chapter at a banquet where the new officers were installed – Dorothy B. Wright, President; Emilie Pickens, Vice President; Edna Seay, Secretary-Treasurer; Constance Bruce, Corresponding Secretary; Marion Stubbs, Journalist.

The Second National Convention was held in Columbus, Ohio, April 26, 1947. The convention theme was “The Responsibility of Jack and Jill Mothers.” The convention opened with the full participation of ten chapters. At this meeting the executive committee was authorized to notify chapters as to their responsibilities in sponsoring new groups in accordance with Article Ill, Section 3 of the Bylaws. Five new chapters were granted membership at this convention, namely Chicago, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; Newport News, Virginia; St. Louis, Missouri and Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Constitution and Bylaws were drawn up by Attorney Charlotte Pinkett and Jack and Jill of America was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on August 28, 1947. The objectives set forth were: to create a medium of contact for the children and to provide a constructive educational, recreational and social program for the children and their parents. “The Research for Rheumatic Fever” was selected as the first national project.

Ida Murphy Smith edited the first issue of the official publication of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, Up the Hill, May 1948. Each of the fifteen chapters was represented in this issue through articles and pictures.

Up the Hill-First Edition-1947_Page_01

Source: Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Member Manual