It Happened Today: The Weaker Sex Rows While Cinderella’s Night Songs Tour and Dawn Staley Arrive

A look back at Philly history

Surprise, surprise: our boathouses so famously lined up in a row were once all boys clubs. That changed May 4, 1938, when 28 women (including several wives of oarsmen) met in the Pennsylvania Barge Club to found the Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club. Their reason, according to minutes from that first meeting: “Because of the growing interest in girls’ rowing, and the fact that none of the Clubs along Boat House Row would permit the weaker sex to use their equipment, a small group of girls had conceived the idea of forming a girls’ rowing club, the first in the City of Philadelphia.” For $60 a month, the PGRC rented out the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society’s boathouse, #14. There they remain today, our nation’s oldest extant all-female rowing club. Their colors are navy and white.

Other notable happenings: Glam-hair band Cinderella visit their hometown on their “Night Songs” tour (May 4, 1987) and filmed part of the concert for MTV’s August 1987 home video release of the acclaimed Night Songs: The Videos. And birthdays: Olympic triple-gold medalist, former Temple women’s basketball coach, current University of South Carolina women’s head coach, Dawn Michelle Staley (born May 4, 1970, in North Philadelphia) and the Flyers’ current superstar, left winger James van Riemsdyk (born May 4, 1989).