It is widely known that the citizens of Vermont tend to be socially-involved, politically-active and environmentally-sound, but do you realize just how many major contributions, both social and political, that this state has made to the United States. Check out these 8 amazing movements and advancements that planted the seeds of change in our very own Green Mountain State.
The first stamp was produced in Brattleboro, VT in 1846, which may not seem all that major at first glance, but without these sticky little bits of paper, the United States Post Office would not be what it is today.
2. Social Security Checks
Ida M. Fuller of Ludlow, VT received the very first social security check in the amount of $22.54 on January 31, 1940. Although the system is flawed, millions of Americans depend on social security to survive after retirement.
3. Legalization of Gay Marriage
The passage of the Vermont civil union bill in 2000 was a watershed moment for the US LGBTQ community. VT’s recognition of the rights of civil partners to have all the same benefits as married straight couples opened the door for other states to follow suit and eventually led to important federal changes in equality for same sex partners.
4. Abolition of Slavery
In one of the most important political and humanitarian actions in the history of this country, Vermont became the first state to abolish slavery from their constitution in 1777. At the time, taking such a stand was a drastic and risky step considering the violence and contention surrounding the issue.
5. Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Enhanced Food
Today any food that contains genetically modified ingredients(GMs) or organisms(GMOs) must be labeled as such. We have Vermont to thank for this monumental win against the major food distributors in 2014.
6. Banned Fracking
At first fracking sounded like a great way for the US to extract natural gas from the ground and become more independent from middle eastern countries, but then the many deadly side effects of the process were revealed. In 2012 Vermont signed a bill making it the first U.S. state to ban this dangerous and controversial practice.
7. Publicly Funded Education
Another major contribution from Vermont’s 1777 constitution is that it made it the first state to mandate public funding for universal education, which as we know, caught on like wildfire throughout the rest of the country.
8. Birthplace of ROTC
Norwich Military Academy in Northfield, VT was the first private military college in the nation and the birthplace of ROTC, which develops leadership skills and helps countless students get into college.