Today is International Women’s Day…

…So I figured it might be interesting to find out why.  So I did.  I chose the United Nations Department of Public Information as a main source.  

International Women’s Day started around the turn of the century.  The Socialist Party of America, that’s right the SOCIALIST Party of America, established it in 1909 by declaration.  It was celebrated on the last Sunday in February until 1913.  The day was known as National Woman’s Day until 1910, when at the Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen, a motion was passed unanimously, by women of 17 countries, to establish an international day to honor women.  To honor them in their quest for women’s rights and to help with that cause.  They failed to select a fixed date for the observance though.  Not going to go there.

The following year, it was decided that the international day would be marked on March 19, but only in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.  I guess they didn’t have it in the United States that year?  The place where it started.

The Russian women, had their first observance the last Sunday in February 1913 in protest of the coming war.   Around the 8th of March women around the world held rallies in support of them.  And here’s where it gets interesting.  The historic Sunday after the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government gave women the right to vote in Russia, was February 23rd on the Julian calendar used in Russia, but on the Gregorian calendar used everywhere else it was …….March 8th.  Russian women were the first to have the right to vote….a communist society.  WTF

I’m making light of an implied indecision on when to hold the observance, but clearly women’s rights around the world is intensely and widely supported by the UN.  In fact, the United Nations charter was the first international agreement to define gender equality as a human right.

You might not know that there were two women who ran for president that couldn’t vote for themselves.  Or anyone else for that matter.  Victoria Claflin Woohull ran on the National Radical Reform ticket in 1872.  Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood ran on the National Equal Rights ticket in 1884 and again in 1888.  Since the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution wasn’t ratified until 1920, women didn’t have the right to vote when those elections were held, but they could run for office.



President Warren Gamaliel Harding.

 The first president effectively elected by women?  Warren G. Harding.  Oh yeah, and the G. is for Gamaliel.  The rumor I always heard was that women voted for him because he was handsome, but it was more likely he had the support of women because he supported women’s suffrage legislation when he was in the Senate.  Long story short, Warren G. Harding is rated as one of, if not the, worst presidents in history.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with women’s votes.  More likely it had to do with the gaggle of crooks, “The Ohio Gang,”  he surrounded himself with.  One good thing he might have done as president, in my opinion, was cancel all the inaguration hoopla, parade and all.  He had a swearing-in ceremony and a White House reception.

In truth, Warren G. Harding was far from the worst president in history, but the scandals of his administration far overshadowed his accomplishments.  He was not impeached, but didn’t serve out his full term.  He collapsed in California in 1923 and became the sixth president to die in office.

So how did we get from International Women’s Day to Warren G. Harding?  Sometimes it’s just the train of thought.  It’s logical for me to go from Internation Women’s Day, to women’s suffrage, to the right to vote, to first election where women voted, to Warren G. Harding.  I could have stopped the train in Wyoming, which was the first state to ratify the Nineteeth Ammendment.  International Women’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world with a central theme of equal rights. 



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