NOW was established on June 30, 1966 in Washington, D.C., by people attending the Third National Conference of the Commission on the Status of Women. Among NOW’s 28 founders was its first president, Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique(1963). Another founder, the late Rev. Pauli Murray, the first African-American woman Episcopal priest, co-authored NOW’s original Statement of Purpose which begins:
The purpose of NOW is to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men.
Read more about NOW’s history on the History of NOW page.