Awakening a Keen Observer

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Yellow Roses

I know this isn't august 26th but I just came upon this article and remembered too the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" is now out in Video!

On August 26, 1920 was the day suffrage for women was ratified. Garrison Keillor on the Writers' Almanac writes it this way...

It was one this day in 1920 that the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, was declared in effect. After the Congress passed the amendment, it had to be ratified by a majority of state legislatures. The state that tipped the balance was Tennessee and the man who cast the deciding vote was the twenty-four year old representative Harry Burn, the youngest man in the state legislature that year. Before the vote, he happened to read his mail, and one of the letters he received was from his mother. It said, "I have been watching to see how you stood but have noticed nothing yet .... Don't forget to be a good boy for suffrage."

At the house, supporters of suffrage sat in the balcony wearing yellow roses. On the house floor, those who opposed suffrage wore red roses. When Burn entered the room, he wore a red rose and the anti-suffrage camp thought they had his vote. But when he was called on to say aye or nay for the ratification of the 19th amendment, he said, "Aye," and the amendment was ratified by a vote of 49 to 47. A witness there that day said, "The women took off their yellow roses and flung them over the balcony, and yellow roses just rained down."

Remember vote, it is a privilege, it is an honor, it is a duty. Wear a yellow rose on voting day, both men and women! Mark the fact that in our democracy racy all votes count. Seek utter fairness in the elections. Do not stand for anything less. Know that it is important. As MTV puts it...Rock the Vote.

God gave us brains and expects us to use them!
Bobbie McGarey
writers almanac can be found... on your local PBS radio station and

there are archives for daily program and those in the past.


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