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An illustration of Alpha Gamma Delta's 11 founders

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF OUR FOUNDERS

In celebration of 117 years of sisterhood, let’s step into the shoes of our founders and experience life in 1904 together. Here are 30 quick facts for the 30th day of May—or should we say, Founders’ Day!

  • Theodore Roosevelt was the United States President.
  • Edward VII was the Head of State and Earl of Minto was Governor General of Canada.
  • The average life expectancy was 47 years old.
  • The average wage was 22 cents an hour, and the average worker made between $200-$400 per year.
  • Coffee cost 15 cents per pound, sugar cost four cents per pound and a dozen eggs cost only 14 cents.
  • If Estelle wanted to make a quick call to Denver, it would cost her 11 dollars for three minutes!
  • One fifth of adults couldn’t read or write and only six percent graduated from high school.
  • The ice cream cone was invented.
  • The first New Year’s Eve celebration happened in Times Square.
  • The United States gained control of the Panama Canal and construction began.
  • Dr. Seuss was born.
  • The Eiffel Tower stood as the world’s tallest structure.
  • The New York subway system opened.
  • The International Alliance of Women was founded.
  • The third modern Olympic Games, and first to be held outside of Europe, was hosted in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • The Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World’s Fair) took place and showcased the electrical plug, wall outlet and electric typewriter.
  • Only eight percent of homes had a telephone.
  • The maximum speed limit was 10 mph.
  • Cy Young, pitcher for the Boston Americans (Boston Red Sox), threw the first “perfect game” against the Philadelphia Athletics (Oakland Athletics).
  • The Boston Americans won the 1904 World Series.
  • The Wright Brothers flew in a loop in their Flyer II.
  • The number one fiction bestseller was The Crossing by Winston Churchill.
  • The T-shirt was invented and was marketed to bachelors who couldn’t sew or replace buttons.
  • Shirtwaist blouses, high neck and puffy sleeves were the style! Along with flared ‘short’ walking length skirts, frills, s-shaped corsets and small straw hats.
  • The popular evening wear material was velvet—gowns of red, blue and green with furs and lace.
  • The fashionable colors were purple and brown.
  • Men wore light colored wool suits, stiff shirts, straw boaters and accessorized with walking sticks.
  • Popular singers and artists included Henry Burr, Arthur Collins, George J. Gaskin, Bill Murray and The Peerless Quartet.
  • Did you know May 30, 1904, was also Decoration Day (Memorial Day)?
  • The American flag only had 45 stars—Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska were not yet states.

As you celebrate Founders’ Day today, remember to take a minute to appreciate when Alpha Gam began. And go treat yourself to an ice cream cone as a thank you to the year 1904!

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