On That Day In History…

by Ginger on November 6, 2012

in Day in the Life

When I was a kid, I did that thing where you look up what celebrities shared your birthday, or what cool things happened that day in history. (Being able to claim you shared a birthday with a celebrity was basically like being related to them, their coolness shared with you by virtue of that day. Or something like that, I don’t really know how kid brains create logic.)

I was fairly disappointed. I think at the time the “biggest” “celebrity” who shared my birthday (Aug. 26) was Macaulay Culkin. And there was Mother Theresa, which was kinda cool, but not like, say, Kirk Cameron or anything to 10 year old me. I guess Virgos don’t become big celebrities very often?

Historically, it seemed a little like a bust too. The final destruction of Krakatoa. Some stuff with World War II. And the only one that I thought even vaguely interesting:

1920 – The 19th amendment to United States Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote.*

As a kid, I thought that was cool in a generic “girl power!” kind of way, but I didn’t really grasp what it meant. I mean, I did, in the same abstract way I understood how slavery had ended, and how World War II had happened, and how earthquakes could destroy a city. But I didn’t REALLY.

As I got older, I did. I understood what that meant, and how it changed history, and how it changed the future for women like me. I understood what being able to have a voice in our democracy, in our leaders, in our lawmaking meant. I understood that on that day in 1920, women became full citizens of this country.

I try not to take that for granted. I try not to ever forget that my great-great-grandmother wasn’t allowed to vote. I try not to ever forget that my great-grandmother, a woman I was blessed to have a part of my life until my late 20’s, was in the first generation of women in my family who was allowed to vote. That is not that long ago, that is not that far removed from me and my privilege today.

I take pride in voting, even when I don’t like the political process. I take pride in the fact that I get to do something WITHOUT THINKING TWICE ABOUT IT, that only a couple of generations of women before me was illegal.

Today, as a grown up? I think I share a birthday with one of the coolest moments in history.

*The 19th amendment was ratified on August 18th, and the ratification was certified by the Secretary of State on August 26.

Jesabes November 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

This is really cool!

Hope November 7, 2012 at 5:11 am

I share a birthday with Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who’s really just a poor man’s Macaulay Caulkin. Laaaame. Lilian was born on Julia Child’s 100th birthday which is infinitely cooler.

I read an awesome blog post yesterday about Susan B. Anthony being arrested for voting. It’s so important to remember what our foremothers went through to give us our right to vote!

Elizabeth November 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I share a birthday with Daylight Saving Time. Blech. There are some cool people–Rene Descartes and Cesar Chaves and Al Gore. I’ll keep those!

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