Women had to fight for the vote
American women who had long been denied the right to vote were given that sacred responsibility on Aug. 26, 1920 when the 19th Amendment giving women the responsibility and right to vote became law. It reads as follows:
''Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
The 19th Amendment established the right of women to vote on a nationwide basis and indirectly established the right of women to hold public office. Prior to its adoption, some Western states did allow women to vote. Wyoming, in 1869, was the first.
As we remember and reflect on the passage of the 19th Amendment, let us not forget those bold individuals who worked for years to make it a reality. The following women deserve special recognition: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.
Susan B. Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton when Ms. Anthony was 30. The two formed one of the most productive partnerships in American social history. It must be said that these two courageous and bold women led one of the major social movements of the 19th century, culminating in passage of the 19th Amendment. Together with others they shook up state legislatures, assailed bastions of male supremacy and more.
These two bold ladies were responsible for organizing the National Woman's Suffrage Association in 1869. Although neither Ms. Stanton nor Ms. Anthony lived to see passage of the 19th Amendment, without their work it would have taken much longer for women to gain the right to vote.
Susan B. Anthony outlived her associate and continued her call for the right of women to vote. Indefatigable almost to her dying day, Susan B. Anthony went wherever she was asked to spread her message that the 19th Amendment must pass.
Let us remember with gratitude all of those citizens who played a major role in passage of the 19th Amendment. However, we dare not forget the special debt owed to Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton for their valiant struggle to see to it that American women would have the right to vote.
John A. Micklos
President Clinton's announcement and his administration's commitment to curbing tobacco use by children is very encouraging. This courageous approach is particularly important for Maryland, in light of recent statistics showing that one in three minors smokes.
FDA regulation makes sense because nicotine is a drug. More frightening, it is a gateway drug. Kids who become addicted to nicotine are more likely to smoke marijuana, abuse alcohol and use other drugs. Cigarette smoking is a dangerous threat to both the immediate and the future health of our young people.
Everyone must join together to protect our children. The president's announcement promises that the federal government will do its part. In our state, the American Lung Association of Maryland, along with other volunteer and professional health organizations, has made smoking prevention a top priority.
We urge parents, educators, public officials -- everyone who cares about kids -- to support the president's courageous initiative and to support smoking prevention programs in our own communities.
G. Jeremiah Ryan
The writer is president of the American Lung Association of Maryland.
Let the ''painful cuts'' begin. City schools simply cannot afford a $27 million deficit as indicated in your lead story of Aug. 23.
May I suggest a few ''painful cuts'' that could be made, hopefully in the order listed?
1. The immediate retraction of the outrageous increase in the superintendent's income. (A sizable decrease, voluntarily given of course, would very much be in order.)
2. The immediate discontinuance of the plush (and totally unnecessary) position held by the superintendent's wife.
3. The discontinuance of the failed system of Education Alternatives Inc. (for which, in spite of its failure, yet another year's contract has been granted) making far better use of those funds in providing properly for qualified teachers and principals within our system.
4. Closing down many of the ineffective and inefficient administrative departments, resulting in teachers being able to teach instead of wasting so much time in the red tape of educational bureaucracy.
5. Providing for an elected school board in place of the purely politically appointed and self-aggrandizing group now in existence.
This, it seems to me, would be a good start toward a better educational system in Baltimore.
One word of caution, however. Whatever ''painful cuts'' are made, do not tamper with the so-called ''unexpectedly large raises for teachers and school aides'' as you reported.
Not having the benefit of any raises for so long, cost-of-living or otherwise, I am certain that the 5-percent promised them is hardly considered ''unexpectedly large.''