Today marks the 56th anniversary of the formation of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
In 1966, inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, Betty Friedan and a group of women organized to found a parallel effort to ensure equal treatment of men and women. What started as a small group of fifteen women, NOW has since grown into a mighty organization of about 500,000 contributing members within hundreds of chapters across all 50 states.
Since their founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.
Here at Florida State University, researchers can peruse the original records of the Tallahassee Chapter of NOW, both in-person and online. Included in this collection are official NOW correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, reports, budgets, newsletters, and other records which chronicle the development and activities of Tallahassee NOW from its founding in 1971 until 1997.
National Organization for Women flyer advertising a march on the unratified Florida Capitol in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.
These documents were donated to Special Collections and Archives by the FSU Women’s Studies department and are now stored at the Claude Pepper Library. Digital copies of this material can be found online in DigiNole, FSU’s digital repository.
Records from other Florida chapters including Broward, Dade, Pinellas, and other counties and cities can also be found in this collection. More information about the NOW papers can be found in its finding aid.
NOW in Florida: Newsletter of the National Organization for Women
While the NOW records in Special Collections contains material up to 1997, you can find more information on the current Tallahassee NOW chapter at their website: https://now.org/chapter/tallahassee-now/