24 December 1853, New York Daily Times, pg. 4:
The Holidays Extended.
The holidays have fairly set in. The shop windows betray it. The advertisements in the papers would make it plain to even a man who had lost his almanac; and last night, the last link that bound the merry season to the common-place days of the year, was broken when the teachers of the Ward Schools announced that from that time on to the 4th of January, would be vacation. In that, reader, note a sign of the times, - how the rights of women begin to be respected. New-Year's day, of course, will be observed on the 2d of January; - that is, on the 2d, all ladies who do not either go out of town or resolutely affirm that they will not see company, are penned up in parlors, and obliged to see whoever chooses to present himself, to wish them a happy New-Year, eat cake, and drink a social cup. If a lady wishes to cross the town, she must do it in the bud of the morning, or be pointed at. She must forego her accustomed walk, and omit the usual ride. The cars, if they run, she must not occupy a seat in, nor is it "proper" for her to be seen on the sidewalk. It is a day trembled about, and shivered over, even by those who fancy the excitement, and expect to enjoy it, after getting fairly into it. As a consequence of this forced confinement, the day after New Year's has come to be the time when, of all the year, ladies most expect to make calls. The incidents of the preceding day always furnish topics to talk about when the call is more one of form than of friendship, and so scores of little engagements can be fulfilled with comfort, and the pocket memorandum-book be cleared of a page or two of long-standing items. Then it is such a good time to unburden one's self of a long chapter of gossip! It is a wonder that from the time that the present way of keeping the 1st of January came into vogue, this very natural mode of refreshing after its weariness, was not adopted. Like every other right, however, that is established, this one was first taken, and afterwards admitted. The Board of Education, - for we presume it must have been their action which led to the result - have the honor of being first officially to recognize the day after New Year's, or the Ladies' Day, as one of the holidays. Let every lady, and all the children, honor the Board.
4 January 1882, New York Tribune, pg. 5, col. 2:
The fact that the day after New Year's is traditionally known as Ladies' Day may have slightly increased the number of calls at the houses of those ladies whose regular reception day it was.
21 December 1902, New York Times, pg. SM15:
The ladies day has decreased in popularity at clubs, and there are many of them who will not have such festivities on any account. Others temper the wind by giving art exhibitions, and this past fortnight has seen the Union League, the Lotos, and the Grolier the sites selected for very interesting exhibitions, to which the lovers of art have thronged. And these are possibly the only occasions on which the fair sex will have a chance to visit the prominent clubs, except the yearly reception at the Players in the Spring and the yearly affair at the Metropolitan on Washington's Biirthday.
30 December 1923, New York Times, pg. SM9:
Ladies' Day, The Players' second annual function, the only time women are admitted, comes on Shakespeare's birthday.
(April 23 - ed.)