Pollyanna explores this date in history

Lyda here. How about a little “This Date in History” today?

Ya’ll may remember this one: 7 years ago today, Al Gore won the popular vote for president, but lost the electoral vote. In 1876, the same thing happened to Samuel J. Tilden (Rutherford B. Hayes became president instead).

Also 7 years ago today, Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate, the first former First Lady ever elected to public office. Hello, this is not a plug for her run for president, I’m just reporting this fact so I can include this sidebar.

Sidebar: This official government webpage about First Ladies does not focus on their public works, or contributions to society, or their political influence – but on their china patterns.

Abigail Adams, wife of one president and mother to another, pushed for expanded rights for women and African Americans; critics thought she had too much influence over her husband and called her “Her Majesty.” 

Eleanor Roosevelt, chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century, “blazed paths for women and led the battle for social justice.” 

Edith Wilson is known as the “Secret President” for taking over during Woodrow Wilson’s serious illness. That link leads to an official White House website article tries to downplay it all – pretty funny.

Is it just me, or is it bizarre to concentrate on these women’s china? You can even buy replicas. Weird.

But I digress…

On this day in 1973, New Jersey became the first state to allow girls into Little League. The case was contested all the way to the Supreme Court, who upheld the decision to let girls play ball. This was only 34 years ago. 

All the way to the Supreme Court just to keep us from getting our hands on their balls.

Yes, I included that story just so I could use that line.

‘Cause I am 12.

But I digress again…

On this day in 1916, Jeannette Rankin (Republican, Montana) was elected as the first woman in the House of Representatives – in the first federal election in which Montana women could vote. She was the only one in Congress to vote against U.S. participation in both WWI and WWII.

The linked article says, “During the Vietnam War, she led the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, numbering 5,000, in a protest march on Wash­ington in January 1968.” When she died in 1973 – at 93 years old – she was thinking about running for a House seat again to protest the Vietnam War. At 93, ya’ll.

Next time someone bitches about how hard it is to get to the polls on election day, you tell them about Jeannette.

This webpage on Women in Congress says, “Ninety of the 244 women who have served in Congress are current Members—74 in the House and 16 in the Senate. In total there have been 209 women Representatives, 28 Senators, and seven women who have served in both chambers.”

As of June 1998, 11,545 individuals have served in the House of Representatives, and 1,221 in the Senate.

A bit out of balance, isn’t it?

On this day in 1673, Anne Hutchinson was banished from the Massachuesetts Bay colony. She was tried and convicted of sedition. Because she challenged the leaders and championed religious freedom.

She challenged the idea that women should obey men at all times. She spoke up for what she believed. She stepped beyond the bounds of what women were supposed to do.

They called her a heretic and a traitor. We might call her a patriot. We might even use the dreaded “F” word. (Feminist.)

Stupid woman, you go away now.

Imagine how those guys would have felt about Jeannette. Or Hillary.



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