Today is an important day in the United States as we elect a new president. This has been a hard-fought battle between Trump and Clinton. Most people seem glad that the campaigning is now over.
But November 8 has been an important day in Michigan's history of elections.
It was November 8, 1836 when Michigan citizens were first able to vote for president. Michigan became a state officially on January 26, 1837, however the citizens were allowed to take part in the 1836 Presidential election.
Martin Van Buren won the election in part thanks to the vote of Michigan. He had been the Vice-President under Andrew Jackson.
November 8, 1870 is also an important day in Michigan history because it is the first time that blacks were allowed to vote in a Michigan election. The right to vote or suffrage was guaranteed to African-Americans by the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution. Of course, this was the right to vote for black males. No females of any race were allowed to vote until 1920.
I recently visited Seneca Falls, New York where the first convention on women's rights was held. The convention issued a Declaration of Sentiments calling for rights of women to be increased including the right to vote.
The idea that women should be given the right to vote was a matter of contention at this convention. Frederick Douglass, the African-American social reformer, urged the women to include the right to vote on the convention's Declaration of Sentiments.