The young women of Miami High School gathered in the auditorium on April 4, 1919, for a vocational hour to bear "a number of Miami's most brilliant and successful women [impart] a taste of what is to be accomplished by choosing the fitting vocation and getting a right start." The Rev. Mrs. Mecca Marie Varney (1873-1959), the organizer of the event, was well known in Miami with clout to draw the adept speakers together. Hailing from Iowa, the evangelical minister was a national leader in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and a lecturer on the Chautauqua Circuit. Earning widespread acclaim as one of the "great women speakers of the day," she delivered a powerful message of "science, sociology and mother love." And now in the wake of World War I, Varney's consistent theme "to champion the cause of women on a big and beautiful plane ... free from mannishness and rant" took on further focus. Varney held that it was most important for young mothers of tomorrow to be furnished with the tools to take an active part in the country's post war reconstruction work. "Young American girls need certain training that up to this time had been entirely overlooked in their education," she noted.

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