JUNE 25, 1881–JULY 8, 1928
Crystal Eastman was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts, in 1881. She was a lawyer, reformer, feminist, and peace activist. The daughter of progressive ministers, she was well-educated, earning degrees from Vassar, Columbia, and New York University.
Eastman made some of her most lasting contributions to the labor movement. In 1910, she published a report called “Work Accidents and the Law.” Her work on the subject helped lead to New York’s adoption of workers’ compensation laws, which stipulate that if someone is injured at work, the employer must help pay for medical treatment and the wages lost as a result of not being able to work. Eastman also formed the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage with Alice Paul and Lucy Burns after leading an unsuccessful state suffrage campaign in Wisconsin. In 1919 she organized the First Feminist Congress, and in 1921 she co-wrote the Equal Rights Amendment with Alice Paul.
Eastman was a dedicated member of the anti-war movement, cofounding the Woman’s Peace Party and working for the American Union Against Militarism. She and her brother Max co-owned and edited a socialist newspaper called the Liberator, and she also wrote articles for feminist journals. She died in 1928 at age 47.
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