HISTORY BITS

     G’mornin’ y’all. Close friends know that I’m a history buff. I wholeheartedly agree with Spanish-American philosopher and author, George (Jorge) Santayana. The relevant quote for me is “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

     I get a daily email from History.com, and regularly share what I call a “history bit” with my daughters. For them, it is often music-related. Today, however, I shared two somber bits, that I’ll share with you here. One hundred years ago on this date, Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. That’s right, folks, after 243 years of being a nation, or to use more contemporary language, after 243 years of being disenfranchised, women were finally “granted” the right to vote. Even that wasn’t immediate. The Amendment was then sent to the states for ratification, which took another year (8.18.1920). Our rights, in general, were hard-won, and I urge everyone not to take any of them for granted.

     The second history bit is that today is the anniversary of the massacre in Beijing, China’s,  Tiananmen Square (1989). I remember this almost as vividly as I remember the American Freedom Riders in the 60s. The Chinese government opened fire on pro-democracy citizens – mostly students and workers – protesting in the streets. Thousands were either arrested or gunned down, making world news at the time.

     I will close this with only a bit of admonition. Our rights, as previously stated, matter, and most important for me, are the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the Constitution. There are many places in this mixed-up world where citizens do not even have the basic right to practice their religious beliefs, or to defend themselves against intrusive government actions. And this, my friends, is only one reason why knowing history is important. Please take this as it is intended – food for thought, and have a joyful day. Grace and peace, y’all!!

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