June 1, 1906
For some time I've been thinking about mentioning some fascinating Finnish history that I've been reading at Virtual Finland**. Guest writer Hank at Finland for Thought beat me to it with the following:
"1.6.1906 was a significant date in the Grand Duchy of Finland.
His Excellency, Nicholas the Second, by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, Prince of Estonia, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth had ratifed one of Europe's if not the World's most modern Parliamentary systems of the time. Finland changed from the most ancient four-chambered estate diet with a 10% population allowed to vote to a unicameral parliament with universal suffrage - women were first time in the world allowed to run for parliament as well as vote. (New Zealand had allowed voting for women 1893 but not to stand for election originally). The voting age as eligibility to run for office was 24 in the 1907 elections ( it was lowered to 21 in 1944, 20 in 1969 and 18 years in 1972.) The first Finnish Parliament had 19 women voted for office, 9,5% of members."
Today (yesterday in Finland) the Finnish Parliament celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary in a special session also attended by a large number of international guests. Read more... And if you are interested, there's lots to read at the first link** above.
What amazes me is that this was able to take place while Finland was under Russian control. I wonder how many Finns, especially bloggers, are aware of this special event? Is my pride showing?
** Sadly Virtual Finland no longer exists.