Spring 2020...simple pleasures." Spring photos and vintage postcards were included in that post.
Above is a photo of the Parthenon. It is located in the center of Nashville Centennial Park and was built in late 19th century for the 1897 Centennial Exposition. A number of elaborate but temporary structures, including the Parthenon, were built for the enjoyment of the 1.8 million visitors to the Exposition. Historians preserved the Parthenon because it was the only perfect replica of the original in Greece. It is not made of marble but of plaster imitating the materials used in Athens. An 1897 calendar was published showing a different exposition building each month. (Click on collage to enlarge.)
Lake Watauga fronts the Parthenon. It was named in honor of the first Tennessee settlers who were known as the Watauga or Cumberland settlers. At the bottom right of the collage above, the month of August shows a picture of a replica of Venice's Rialto Bridge. During the celebrations, gondolas were a feature with native gondoliers from Venice, Italy. Below is an information panel in the park and a postcard circa 1907.
The center calendar page, above, for the month of April, featured the Woman's Building at the exposition. It was designed by Mrs. Sarah Ward-Conley. The mission of the building was to promote higher education and to enlarge the sphere of woman's activity and influence. The interior rooms, decorated by Tennessee women from many parts of the state, showed different time periods. The rooms were in inviting colors, Tiffany stained glass, mural decorations, elegant furnishing, fresh flowers, silk draperies and a library made of black walnut. There was a log cabin in the back and a modern kitchen in the front of the building to show the progression of women labor. Feminist events were scheduled there such as a Business Women's Day, Suffrage Convocation, Women's Press Day and more to show the new roles of women in society. Below are the Woman's Building, interior rooms and the library (courtesy Tennessee Archives.)
In May of 1914, 1915 and 1916 supporters of women's suffrage paraded from downtown Nashville to Centennial Park on foot, cars, buggies and on horseback. Speeches were given on the steps of the Parthenon. Participants were encouraged to wear white cotton garments. In 1920, Tennessee was the last state of the then 48 states in the union to vote on the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. There was intense pro- and anti- suffrage activity in Nashville. On August 18, 1920, there was a showdown in the Tennessee General Assembly and the 19th Amendment was ratified by a single legislator yes vote. Young legislator Harry T. Burn changed his vote in support of the ratification to break a tie in the TN House of Representatives (he had received a note of encouragement from his mama) - just one vote. This year, on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the !9th Amendment, on August 18, 2020, the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument was unveiled in its permanent spot next to the Parthenon. It has been sculpted by renowned Nashville artist Alan LeQuire and it features five women who were actually in Nashville during the ratification effort. Below are Tennessee suffragettes marching in May 1916, the day of the ratification in Nashville and the new monument in Centennial Park.
Of course President Trump does not want to concede, but he has lost the vote. His spineless acolytes in his administration and the Senate enable his temper tantrums and his unfounded declaration of voter frauds. But European leaders, such as France, the UK, Spain, Germany, Ireland, etc. have already sent congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
So far in addition to 40 countries in Europe, leaders from 48 countries in Africa, 31 countries in Asia (including Israel) 6 in Central America, 14 countries in North America (including Canada and the Caribbean) 5 in Oceania, 11 in South America have been trying to convey their congratulations to the new incoming administration.
Unfortunately, the current administration has been blocking these good wishes to reach the President-elect. It is typical of the vindictiveness of the White House and was to be expected. Mr. Trump needs to accept his loss with grace and dignity.
With many family members and friends in other countries I like to read the foreign press, in English and French. I find that they are up to date, are not hindered with right-wing and left-wing lobbyists and are usually neutral and accurate with no vested interest. For example I read in the Indian press that the Dalai Lama wrote to President-elect Joe Biden "I hope you will be able to contribute to shaping a more peaceful world in which people suffering poverty and injustice find relief. The need to address these issues, as well as climate change, is indeed pressing."
In a Dutch newspaper I saw that Prime Minister Mark Rutte had issued his congratulation on November 7th - "On behalf of the Dutch cabinet I would like to congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with their election victory after a close race. I am looking forward to continue the strong bond between our countries, and hope to speak with them about these matters soon." The Netherlands usually does not make much comment on US politics so I was surprised to read Trade Minister Sigrid Kaag's remarks: "At long last. Values matter, integrity matters. Leadership matters. The country can start its healing process into its future."
Switzerland, another country that usually is neutral and does not comment much on the US, had the Editor of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung saying: "The win shows that the majority of Americans are fed up with the lies and chaos in the White House." She added that it will take years to clean up the heap of rubble caused by Donald Trump, and address the damage he has done to the reputation of the US with his authoritarianism and demagoguery. In another Swiss newspaper, Le Temps, Valerie de Graffenried wrote that by seeking to discredit the electoral process, the outgoing president once again demonstrated his contempt for democratic institutions.
The people of the world were reacting as if the US had overthrown a dictator, and that America's reputation had been saved and democracy was back. Here in the US, large city streets saw people dancing with enthusiasm (photos below courtesy the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.) Donald Trump had insulted allies like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling him "very dishonest," French President Emmanuel Macron as "foolish," saying after a call with then-Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "it was the worst call by far" and calling Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen "nasty" when she rejected his idea of buying Greenland. These leaders are not going to forget these affronts soon, I bet and now they can in turn say what they think.
Turtles were relaxing in the sun, as well.
As I was leaving a small wedding party was coming toward me on the pathway with two little girl attendants behind.
The park was not crowded and I had found empty benches and chairs to rest and even a swing. When the virus has been contained I'll have to return and visit the interior museum in the Parthenon. I resumed my stroll toward the car. I had enjoyed the tranquility and peace in this park oasis.
Giving a last glimpse toward the Parthenon I wished I had been there a hundred years ago, rallying with the suffragettes on it steps and listening to their ardent speeches against misogyny and for justice and equality. (However, the fight is not over yet - Saudi Arabian women still don't have the right to vote.) Below, a picture of my grandmother with her suffragette group in Paris, France (she is in the second row, center, with a feather on her hat.)
The Parthenon steps are silent now but here are some of the suffragette's words to enjoy -
"Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it." and "I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows." - Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906, American activist and pioneer crusader for women's suffrage movement.
"The best protection any woman can have ... courage." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1840-1887, American author, lecturer and leader in the woman's right movement.