On Saturday, January 12th, we went to the annual Painesville Founder’s Day Breakfast, which took place at the Holden Center at Lake Erie College. On this occasion, we were celebrating the 100th anniversary of Congress passing the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution. As we all know, the 19th amendment prohibits the denial of the right to vote on the basis of sex. It was ultimately ratified by the necessary number of states in August of 1920.
Mr. Dale Fellows, a history enthusiast, spoke of the historical background of the 19th amendment and the circumstances that lead to its passage after years of struggle. Ms. Jan Clair, who has conducted eight U.S. Presidential elections as Director of the Lake County Board of Elections, then spoke about the history of women holding public office at the local, state, and national level from 1920 to the present. In the course of their presentations, we were interested to learn, for example, that the popular musical anthem Take Me Out to the Ball Game originally had stanzas concerning a woman who wanted to accompany her male friend to a baseball game and cheer for her local team; a practice that was believed to be unladylike when it was composed in 1908. Only the chorus of the song has survived as the part that everyone sings. We also learned that Mississippi initially voted against ratification of the 19th amendment in March, 1920 and only officially ratified it in 1984. Mississippi also only voted to ratify the 13th amendment abolishing slavery in 1995!
This annual breakfast was organized by the Downtown Painesville Organization (which Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC has contributed to) whose mission, as stated by Ms. Maureen Conway, 2019 Board President, is “to build a strong future in a diverse community where everyone is welcome.”
Along these lines, we learned that Painesville kicked off the “Everyone is Welcome” promotion in 2018, in which businesses were encouraged to place a decal on their door welcoming people in the community. For sure, this practice will continue in 2019.