28 November

Women voted for first time on this day

So we are drinking a...

Kiwi Bellini

Saudi Arabia finally saw women vote for the first time in 2015, so Vatican City is now the only country where men have voting rights but women don’t (insert your own thoughts on religion here). Now equal voting rights are the norm, it's hard to imagine quite what a moment it was when women first trooped to the electoral boxes to make their mark in a general election on this day in 1893.

It was New Zealand's women who garnered support from male politicians, and won themselves this right, decades before the US or the UK. Defying the doom-laden predictions of anti-suffragists, who imagined these delicate Kiwi flowers being jostled and harassed by drunken men, New Zealand women cast their vote in a general election for the first time ever on this day in 1893. It would be 40 years, however, before New Zealand got its first female MP.

We are toasting those brave New Zealand women, and the men whose support was critical to them, with a Kiwi Bellini.

We also remember the Cocoanut Grove fire

The worst fire in US nightclub history killed almost 500 people at Boston's favourite nightspot, the Cocoanut Grove (yes, it has an 'a' in it) on this day in 1942. Like so many clubs, it was filled beyond capacity, run by mafia and what fire exits there were blocked to stop people entering without paying. It was a Thanksgiving weekend, the local football team had lost, and over 1000 people were crammed into a space meant for less than half that number.

Nobody knows how the fire started but from the first spark to full on conflagration took less than five minutes, and many were crushed in the panicked rush to doors that would not and could not open. In tribute of 492 fun-seekers who died, more than 500 others who survived physically and/or mentally scarred, and the doctors who pioneered burns treatments and post-traumatic stress disorder solutions in the wake of the event, we are drinking a Coconut Daiquiri.

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