In March 1868, Jane Cunningham Croly, one of the best-known journalists in New York, applied for a ticket to the New York Press Club dinner in honor of Charles Dickens. Press Club members were horrified at the idea of a woman attending such an important event, and the dinner went on without Croly or any other female journalist in attendance. A month later Croly founded the first women’s organization in America dedicated specifically to raising women’s status and expanding their role in society. (A Boston women’s club was organized at almost the same time.) Croly’s club was called Sorosis, a botanical term referring to plants that flower and bear fruit. The members decided to meet over lunch at Delmonico’s, precisely because the city’s leading restaurant followed the longstanding custom of refusing service to women who were not escorted by men. Later they gathered at other restaurants, including the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Cartoonists ridiculed the club and editorials predicted its quick demise, but Sorosis inspired the creation of a national network of women’s clubs, all working to advance the cause of women.