On August 26, 1920, the headline of a special to the New York Times read: Colby Proclaims Woman Suffrage.  The story notes that Secretary Bainbridge Colby of Tennessee skipped breakfast, but he confessed, “I must say that I had time to partake of about one and one-half cups of coffee before I signed the proclamation.”

It’s only fitting that coffee rather than champagne preceded the nineteenth amendment becoming part of the constitution of the United States.  Although it would be many years after the ink from Colby’s signature had dried before Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and founding member of the National Women’s Political Caucus suggested that it is a woman’s right, “to make policy not coffee.”

Good thing Secretary Colby didn’t have decaf or on August 26th women might be celebrating How Do You Take It? Day instead.


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