Lillian D Wald

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Lillian D Wald



Born: Lillian Wald was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on 10th March, 1867

She became interested in nursing when her sister was ill and attended by a private duty nurse.  She enrolled in the New York Hospital Training School for Nurses, received her basic training, and went on to graduate studies.  One of her assignments was to design a community-based plan of care for poor New York City immigrant families.  From this assignment sprung her life's work the Henry Street Settlement in New York City in 1893.

The Settlement expanded its range of services to meet the needs of the local community. This included nursing, the establishment of clubs, a savings bank, a library and vocational training for young people. By 1903 Wald was organizing 18 district nursing service centres that overall treated 4,500 patients in New York. Over the next few years Wald promoted the idea of building public playgrounds and cultural institutions in working class areas.

Wald was an active campaigner for civil rights and insisted that all Henry Street classes were racially integrated. In 1909 helped to establish the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. She also took part in the protests against the film Birth of a Nation that celebrated the Ku Klux Klan and its belief in white supremacy.

A committed pacifist, Wald and Fanny Garrison Villard led a parade of 1200 women down Fifth Avenue in New York on 29th August, 1914 to protest against the First World War. Wald was also a member of the Woman's Peace Party (WPP) and after the war helped establish the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

After the war Wald campaigned for socialist candidates and was closely associated with left-wing radicals such as Emma Goldman. As a result she became a target of the Red Scare campaign that took place in 1919.

Wald wrote several books about her activities including House on Henry Street (1915) and Windows on Henry Street (1934). Lillian Wald died in Westport, Connecticut, on 1st September, 1940.

Died: 1940

  • Henry Street Settlement – Places Where Women Made History, Lillian Wald (1867-1940), nurse, social worker

  • Jewish Women Lillian Wald - Jewish Women. Lillian Wald (note the horse pulled trolley behind her), Lillian Wald. by Jacob B. Krain.

  • JWA Exhibit 1998 - Jewish Women's Archive. Multimedia exhibit on Lillian Wald, includes  an online search engine of archival finding aids.

  • Lillian D Wald Gravesite - On Lillian Wald's headstone is a the Far East-inspired insignia she had designed for the Henry Street Settlement to signify "we are all one family".

  • Lillian Wald - (1867-1940). by Seymour "Sy" Brody. Lillian D. Wald was the founder of the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service and of the Henry Street Settlement.

  • Manage Your Healthcare: About VNS: Our History: Lillian Wald - About VNS > Our History > Lillian Wald. Lillian D. Wald was born on March 10, 1867.

  • Profiles in Caring: Lillian D.Wald - Biography of the founder of the Henry Street Settlement, the forerunner of the Visiting Nurse Society of New York.

  • The Hall of Fame Inductees: Lillian D. Wald - 1976 Inductee. Lillian D. Wald, 1867-1940. Champion of the urban poor, Lillian D. Wald was a visionary leader and outstanding humanitarian.

  • Wald, Lillian D. - Lillian Wald was born on March 10, 1867, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Last Modified: Thursday May 20, 2010


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