A little history lesson

Back in the olden days, you know when I was young, you couldn’t vote until you were 21. It took an amendment to the constitution, the 26th amendment to be exact, to override any state laws to the contrary, to make the legal voting age 18 in 1971.

I was 21 in 1967 and the first presidential election I voted in was in 1968 – Nixon vs. Humphrey. And if I recollect I voted for Pat Paulson, as a write-in candidate.

Also when I was young you were not a ‘legal’ adult until the age of 21. That meant you had no legal standing on your own – your parents/guardians ruled every aspect of your life. You could not sign a legal contract, or for that matter go into debt.

A little research gave me this information, which I did not know – we’re always learning here. It is called the “Age of Majority” and it is determined by each individual state (Oho!)  even today.  A little further research shows that in Alabama and Nebraska the age of majority is 19 and in Mississippi it is 21. The rest of the states have set the age of majority at 18 or “18 or graduation from high school”.  The “or high school graduation” I find interesting.

Another interesting bit of info is that the “Age of Consent” is different from the Age of Majority. You can click the link if you want to know the difference.

The only reason I bring this up is that today, as we left our polling place, we stopped at a Girl Scout Bake Sale table (they were selling homemade muffins and homemade cookies and we bought some muffins and they were VERY tasty. Nothing beats homemade!)

As part of the conversation I said to the young women (they were early teens) that they were lucky because they would be able to vote when they were 18, unlike my husband and I who could not vote until we were 21. The middle-aged Mom, who was with them, was shocked! She never knew that there was a time when 18 wasn’t the legal age for everything. The woman was easily in her mid-40’s – and her reaction made me feel just that much older!

Count your blessings and your privileges and use them wisely, and often!



9 thoughts on “A little history lesson

  1. I know quite a few people who, although are well over the age of majority, they are far from eing adult and most likely incapable of making an informed decision when voting.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Not too long ago women could not vote and many people your age and mine don’t know that fact. Part of the reason the age was lowered was the argument that people could be in the military and die at 18 yet they had no say about what the government could do. Also, I think and I could be wrong, the Democratic party pushed to have the age to 18 as they felt they could gain voters.
    I remember the first time I got to vote was for mcgovern for president. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Babe I don’t know how old you are but I assure you people my age most definitely know about the 19th amendment and the women’s suffrage movement both here and in Great Britain. It is a rather notorious period in modern history, we learned about it in school!


  3. I never knew this either, Grace. Should I be embarrassed? *ha* But maybe I did know it back then but have forgotten I knew it back then. That’s been happening to me a lot lately. All I do know is that I voted when I was 18 years old, in 1974, and have voted ever since then. And to Ann’s comment above… AMEN!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember knowing this information but guess I didn’t realize it changed in the 60s. I’ve been voting since I turned 18 although I don’t recall who I first voted for! As for the age of majority being 18 or graduation from high school, I would’ve obtained the age of majority at 17 because I graduated from high school three months before I turned 18. I was 17 when I started college.

    I’m still figuring out what all happened with yesterday’s election. Some of what I’ve heard looks pretty positive so I do hope change in coming soon. All the divisiveness and hate gives me a belly ache.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found that ‘or graduation from high school’ so interesting – from back in the day when graduating from high school was a rite of passage? It just caught my attention.


  5. Grace, this was interesting: “The rest of the states have set the age of majority at 18 or “18 or graduation from high school”. The “or high school graduation” I find interesting.” My parents had that rule for their four children getting a driver’s license. Drove the others nuts, but I didn’t care.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.