One hundred and thirty-seven years ago, today, was May 21, 1880. Three newspapers (two from Kansas and one from Louisiana) covered three timely subjects–two of which surprised me deeply. One–Leap Year–I knew about and had become comfortable with. But wait until you see the other two. Technology in 1880 was far more advanced than I realized…you might be equally surprised.
InÂ my recent post about The Proper (and safe) Way to Terminate a Victorian American Courtship because we all know the threat of a suit of Breach of Promise was too great, a quote by the Reverend George W. Hudson in his 1883 book sounded rather scandalous. The good reverend actually said “making love”–and he didn’t mean in a sexual way. It’s essential to note that the term had a very different meaning in the 19th Century and early 20th Century than it does now.
If you recall seeing the 2010 movie, LEAP YEAR, starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, then you know a great deal of fun can be poked at the long-held European tradition of ladies taking a turn, roughly once every four years, in the dominant role of pursuer in a romantic relationship.
According to an article titled LEAP YEAR, and subtitled: Ladies’ law in Leap Year–Bachelors’ Penalty, as published in The Weekly Kansas Chief newspaper on 21 January, 1892, “A lady has the privilege in leap year of suggesting marriage between herself and a bachelor acquaintance.