Counting Down to the 19th Amendment

Today I’m taking a brief break from all things D-Day to remind the Marginalia of another critical historical anniversary. On June 4, 1919, Congress passed the 19th amendment, which would make it legal for the women in the United States to vote. The amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920. (Thank you, Tennessee!) Please note…

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Yennenga the Svelte–the Mother of the Mossi

I’ll warn you up front, the story of Yennenga the Svelte is going to feel more like a fairy tale than a historical biography. We know her story only from the oral traditions of the Mossi people, which may have some non-historical additions and embellishments. But then again, they may tell the story exactly the…

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Tomyris: One Tough Mother

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in the United States. It’s been packaged as a pastel holiday: all flowers and robins and lace and chocolate. In fact, for many people it’s a more complicated holiday than its commercial rendering would suggest. Many people greet the holiday with a sense of loss that is too new or too…

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