Hey 19!

It is a Steely Dan song, but it also happens to be the number of the amendment that gave women the right to vote 90 years ago. I hope you made your voice heard yesterday.

Way back on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment became official when the Tennessee general assembly ratified it. That vote tipped the number to 36 states in favor, a 3/4th majority. The legend goes it was a Tennessee lawmaker’s mother who urged her son to be a “good boy” and vote in favor of the amendment, and apparently he did, breaking a tie vote.

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Happy Battle of Brooklyn Day!

Battle of Brooklyn

The Battle of Brooklyn wages on in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn. Photo 2008: Catherine Quayle

It was 234 years ago today that the British snuck across the little channel from Staten Island, slipped in through the back door of Brooklyn, and began their assault on New York.

It was a very bad day for the adolescent nation, still giddy from declaring its independence eight weeks earlier and eager to take its shiny, new liberty out for a spin. The British had been amassing ships, some 400, off Staten Island for weeks while the citizens of Manhattan watched, waited and gradually flipped out (but also made creative use of their time by redecorating – a prominent statue of King George III was melted down for musket balls).

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