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This Month in History: February

February 9, 1972 – The Greater Pittsburgh Area NOW chapter proclaimed “Public Accommodations Week” to protest “men only” bars and dining rooms to conduct of business.Wilma Scott Heide and members of the Greater Pittsburgh Area NOW chapter integrated the “men only” section of Stouffer’s Grille in downtown Pittsburgh.

February 6-9, 1979 –Pittsburgh NOW members rode buses to Springfield, IL to lobby legislators to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

February 17, 1972 – Molly Rush and others start the Thomas Merton Center, a peace and justice organization, to protest the continuation of the war in Viet Nam.


February 18, 1923: Alma Speed Fox was Executive Director of the local NAACP during the height of the civil rights movement. She was an active member of Pittsburgh NOW chapters and served on the board of national NOW.  She co-managed the Pittsburgh office for Shirley Chisholm’s campaign for President on the democratic ticket in the 1972 primary election.

February 26, 1921 (1985): Wilma Scott Heide founded the Greater Pittsburgh Area NOW chapter and co-founded the Women’s Political Caucus.  She successfully lobbied to have anti-discrimination laws in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania amended to include sex as a protected category, which was the basis for the legal case against the Pittsburgh Press’ policy of publishing sex-segregated want ads.  She served as the third President of NOW, 1971-1974.

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