Within walking distance of the Mayflower Steps memorial in Plymouth, England, a celebration will take place at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day that’s unrelated to the Pilgrims and their famous voyage but just as significant, especially for the people of Danville.
A statue of Danvillian Nancy Langhorne Astor will be unveiled in front of the Lord Mayor’s house commemorating her 1919 election to the House of Commons. At age 40, she became the first woman to take a seat in the British House of Commons at a time when most women in the United States, including Danvillians, didn’t have the right to vote.
Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones issued a proclamation in honor of her election that was read at a recent City Council meeting.
Whereas, knowing our history helps us understand where we came from, how the past has formed us, and how we can shape the future; and
Whereas, Nancy Langhorne Astor was born at her parents’ home on Main Street in Danville, Virginia, USA, on May 19, 1879; and
Whereas, Nancy Langhorne Astor made a significant contribution to international history when she became the first woman to serve as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons beginning in 1919 at a time when most women in the United States could not vote; and
Whereas, Nancy Langhorne Astor represented Plymouth Sutton in the House of Commons for twenty-six years, supporting welfare reforms, equal voting rights, the development and expansion of nursery schools for children’s education, and the recruitment of women into the civil service, the police force and the House of Lords; and
Whereas, Nancy Langhorne Astor was known for her many charitable activities which included setting up a hospital for soldiers on her property during World War I and World War II; and
Whereas, Nancy Langhorne Astor represented Plymouth Sutton as a Member of Parliament and Lady Mayoress during the Second World War, her life and work were closely identified with Plymouth and she was made an honorary Freeman of the City of Plymouth in 1959, an honor given to “persons of distinction and any persons who have rendered eminent services to the Borough”.
Whereas, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of her election to Parliament;
Now, Therefore, I, Alonzo L. Jones, Mayor of the City of Danville, Virginia, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 2019, as the 100th Anniversary of Lady Astor’s Election to Parliament and send greetings to the Mayor of Plymouth, England, and its citizens and join in celebrating the accomplishments of our native daughter.