Foresight. Imagination….both traits of any visionary. America itself was a product of visionaries. It was an idea…a concept…sprung from the minds of men who could see the future because they understood human nature…the desire for freedom…the desire for opportunity.
Since its founding, America has produced its share of visionaries. Nobody could argue that Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs could accurately wear that moniker.
But there is somebody in our nation’s history who more often than not, goes overlooked…under-acknowledged..and frankly, it’s just plain wrong. And that somebody….that visionary was Bainbridge Colby. Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, Colby declared in effect the 19th amendment to the Constitituion on August 26, 1920 only eight days after it was ratified. By doing so, a half-century struggle ended..and women were granted the right to vote.
Like all visionaries, Colby looked at the world like a chess board…seeing moves well in advance….puzzle pieces that fit together even if the pieces had not yet been constructed. He saw a future a mosaic of freedom for women. The suffrage movement was simply the first tile. Only he could see it…a world where women would truly be free.
And now, on August 25, 2013…almost a century after his historic proclamation, Colby’s mosaic is almost complete. What did he see back then that others couldn’t? How did he know? Is vision bred or learned? I can’t answer any of these questions. I’m just a man. Not a visionary. But what I can say is that when Colby instituted the 19th amendment, he started a journey toward what most thought was unattainable, but this weekend, many will attain.
On Sunday Aug. 25, people in cities around the world are invited to stand up for women’s right to go topless in public. Please contact us if you would like to organize an event in your area so we can list your venue on our “Boob Map” 2013. (Please refer to our legal map in our section topless laws to know the topless status in your state and call your DA to know what your city’s is)
It’s all too easy to rest on laurels…what’s harder is to decide to move forward…to be better. We owe this to our founders. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to Bainbridge Colby.
Please check the boob map for a location near you. If your city is not listed, please join me at expedia.com where I am currently making my travel arrangements.
Jon David Kahn is The Minister of Culture for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter.