Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Let's Talk About the Right of Citizens of the United States to Vote Not Being Denied or Abridged on the Basis of Sex, Baby

It was 84 years ago today. The place was Nashville, Tennessee. The date was August 18, 1920. Under conditions of stifling heat, oppressive humidity (and, as always, the pressure was immense at 32.28 millibars), the General Assembly of the Volunteer State met in special session to consider a matter which would alter the course of American history.

After a full day of fiery speeches, acrimonious debate, and a delightfully catered lunch, they voted, and by a one vote margin became the 36th state of the Union to ratify the 19th Amendment to the United Sates Constitution:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


The decisive vote was cast by one Harry T. Burn (R-Niota). The first term congressmen, at 22-years-old, was the youngest member of the Assembly. He initially voted "aye" to table the measure (which would have ended debate and effectively killed ratification). This motion ended in a tie. Then, immediately following, during a hurriedly organized vote on ratification, he changed his stance and voted "aye" for it to pass. And so it did, thanks to him, at 49 - 47.

In the Tennessee Assembly House, according to reports:

Pandemonium prevailed. Women were screaming, weeping, singing. They threw their arms about each other and danced in the jam-packed aisles. Suffragist legislators tore off their yellow boutonnieres and threw them in the air to meet the gentle rain of yellow rose petals floating down from the galleries above!

Later when asked why he changed his stance on the measure, Harry T. Burn said:

"I know that a mother's advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification."

With that reasoning, Tennessee became the final piece needed to achieve a 3/4 majority of ratifying states. One week later, on August 26, US Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification, and the face of the American electorate changed forever.

And, according to Vox Day (read this and keep scrolling up), sent our nation into a death spiral of tyrannical encroachment from which it will never escape. We're not sure how Vox is celebrating today's anniversary. We hope to see some commentary later today. But before publishing anything, we advise him to consult with his mother first.

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