PTA History: 1900-1909

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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  • Charter signed and National Congress incorporated under laws of District of Columbia
  • Advisory Council established with Theodore Roosevelt as chairman (he served until 1919)
  • Plans made to publish The Quarterly Report, containing convention proceedings
  • Legislation suggested for protection of employed children


  • Practical means of securing parent-teacher cooperation discussed at convention
  • Outlines of "duties of committees" on education and legislation adopted
  • National dues of 5 cents per capita authorized


  • Mrs. Frederic Schoff elected president
  • Cooperation begun with public agencies interested in child welfare
  • Organizing local parent-teacher associations advocated as part of Congress work
  • Committee on child labor formed
  • Convention exhibit of model nursery said to be most complete ever assembled


  • Committee on "delinquent, defective, and dependent children" formed
  • Needs of handicapped children studied
  • Resolution urged instruction for probation officers and others working with dependent and delinquent children


  • Mothers' Congress Day at St. Louis Exposition; model playground shown
  • Resolutions advocated more adequate marriage, divorce, and child labor laws
  • Convention address, "The Nation's Boy Problem," by Judge Ben B. Lindsey
  • Booklets published on sex education and state laws on dependent, handicapped, and delinquent children


  • Committee on juvenile court and probation work created, with Judge Lindsey as chairman
  • Education Committee recommended "cooperative associations of parents and teachers of high schools"
  • President Theodore Roosevelt granted National Congress president's request to endorse juvenile court and probation system in his message to U.S. Congress
  • Resolutions endorsed federal aid for kindergartens and elementary schools and recommended salary increase for teachers


  • National convention, scheduled for Los Angeles, postponed because of San Francisco earthquake
  • National Congress of Mothers Magazine (forerunner of Our Children magazine) first issued
  • National president addressed Canadian parliament on juvenile court and probation work
  • Pure Food Bill, supported by National Congress, became law


  • Department of Parent-Teacher Associations formed within National Congress in recognition of importance of parent-teacher cooperation
  • President reported to British parliament on juvenile courts in U.S


  • Importance of parent-teacher partnership recognized in change of name to National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations
  • National Convention included First International Congress on the Welfare of the Child; invitations from the National Congress of Mothers, sent by U.S. State Department, brought representatives from 12 countries on four continents; governors sent representatives; opening speech by President Theodore Roosevelt; formal reception at the White House
  • National Congress supported movement to combat tuberculosis


  • Name of official publication became Child Welfare Magazine
  • Standing committee on child hygiene created and given support by advisory committee of nine physicians
  • Child labor committee to investigate child employment conditions in all states
  • Participation in the Conference on Dependent Children called by President Theodore Roosevelt, the first of the White House Conferences on Children