Friday, November 17 we celebrate the birth of Junior League founder and National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee Mary Harriman.
Mary Harriman was a woman ahead of her time, a New York debutante who at the young age of 19 had more than social teas and dances on her mind. The daughter of Union Pacific Railroad titan and financier E. H. Harriman, she used her life of privilege as a platform for social reform. Mary and a college friend saw the potential in their fellow classmates and together with eight additional young women, composed a Statement of Purpose: that each year’s group of young women would be organized to contribute to the community. Eighty young women joined the first year, eager to enrich their own lives by becoming involved in improving social conditions in their city.