Cities all over the world are celebrating Mother Teresa’s birthday today, and New York is no exception, with blue and white lights planned for Times Square, the Intrepid, Borough Hall in Brooklyn, and other city locales. Notably not included in the list of landmarks honoring the Nobel-Prize-winning nun is the Empire State Building, whose owners refused to light up in her memory based on a rule that they do not honor religious individuals.
City Council members have publicly supported the city’s most famous building lighting up blue and white, and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has been especially outspoken in his request that the landmark celebrate the humanitarian nun’s 100th birthday. In fact, Donohue is holding a rally outside the Empire State Building tonight in protest of Malkin Holding’s decision to shun Mother Teresa. In a video on the Catholic League’s website, Donohue says, “We are going to be there to rally against the decision made by Anthony Malkin…to deny Mother Teresa the same tribute that they have given to the Ninja Turtles, to the Communist Chinese, and to Mariah Carey.”
Well, it does sound a little ridiculous when he says it like that, but we checked to make sure that the Ninja Turtles didn’t beat out Mother Teresa tonight — and they didn’t. Nor did National Cherry Popsicle Day or National Dog Day. Tonight, the lights will be red, white, and blue to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, a worthy cause for celebration.
But wait, didn’t everyone, including Google and Runnin’ Scared, celebrate that last week? Well, yes, because the 19th Amendment has two birthdays. On August 18, it earned Tennessee’s ratification, giving it the two-thirds majority it needed to become a law. The package containing the record of the state’s action reached the nation’s capital by train on August 26th, when the amendment was signed into law, according to History.com. Just so you know!
But regardless of what’s more “important” — the birthday of Mother Teresa or the second birthday of womens’ right to vote — we have another question altogether: Would Mother Teresa have even wanted a Catholic-led rally on her birthday? Or would she have preferred to stay home and celebrate with friends and a delicious ice cream cake? I guess we’ll never know.
Happy Birthday, Mother Teresa and the 19th Amendment!