Saturday, May 18, 2013

Today -100: May 18, 1913: Of peace & disarmament, and women state senators

A Franco-German Peace and Disarmament Conference was just held. German nationalist newspapers made fun of it.

The NYT Magazine profiles State Sen. Helen Ring Robinson of Colorado, the only female state senator in the United States. (The Times says she is also the first, but the Times is wrong, that would be Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon of Utah, who served two terms in the 1890s and was in a polygamous marriage.) Robinson compares legislatin’ to housework (she told her fellow senators that prisoners could be fed for just 35¢ a day because she fed her poor husband for that), and talks about how she used her skills as a former English teacher to correct the grammar in bills, and how the male senators were all afraid that she would abolish the custom of smoking cigars in the senate, but she totally didn’t.

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