The First Lady begins the third day of her tour in Troy, New York, where
she will visit the Kate Mullany Home, a blue painted brick duplex with
three apartments in each area.
Historical Significance: The Kate Mullany House has recently been
National Historic Landmark and is also part of a proposed National Parks
Service Labor Historic Study.
Mullany was an early president of first long-lasting (8 years, non-strike
specific) all-female union (Collar Laundry Union) which managed to
achieve almost parity with mens wages. She was also the first female
officer of a national union though she was unable to serve because
another officer was from New York and the union couldn't have two from
the same state. Her 25% wage increase from a successful strike helped her
family buy the house.
Troy is also the home of the Emma Willard School, previously known as the
Troy Female Seminary, but named after its founder, Emma Hart Willard in
1895. The school was founded by Emma Hart Willard in Troy,
New York, in 1821. It was the first American educational
institution to provide young women with an education comparable to that
of college-educated young men. At the time of the seminary's founding,
women were barred from colleges. The seminary's first class consisted of
90 girls from across the United States who enrolled in mathematics,
science, history, foreign language, and literature courses. Willard
herself not only served as an instructor but even wrote some of the
school's textbooks. Troy Female Seminary soon gained a reputation as an
In memory of its founder, the seminary changed its name to the Emma
Willard School in 1895. Since 1910, when the school moved to a new
location in Troy, the school has erected additional buildings. It has
continued in its mission of providing high-quality education to young women.
Troy is also the home of the national icon "Uncle Sam." In the early
1800s, Sam Wilson, a meatpacker and Army beef contractor in War of 1812,
had a meat stamp that said "U.S. Beef" which was jokingly interpreted as
"Uncle Sam's Beef." Thus the character of Uncle Sam was born. There is
an aluminum statue of Uncle Sam in Troy.