Illinois History Minutes

February 4 Illinois History Minute


Feminist writer and activist Betty Friedan was born in Peoria on this day, February 4th, in 1921. Interviewed on Peoria public TV station WTVP, Friedan said that while there were things about her Peoria childhood she found limiting, there were also benefits. 

FRIEDAN: “The good things that I got from Peoria, was that sense of community, and that sort of American rootedness in a way. And a sense of a larger reality than the sophistication of New York and Los Angeles, which I think is a good part of my effectiveness, politically.” :17  

Friedan wrote “The Feminine Mystique”, widely credited with inspiring a second wave of American feminism. She also co-founded the National Organization for Women … and organized the 1970 Women’s Strike for Equality, with rallies in several cities calling for equality for women in jobs and education.