Rep. Clyde Testifies On Resolution Creating Thomas Paine Day In Ohio
HR 269 would honor Common Sense essayist on his birthday, Jan. 29
February 05, 2016
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State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) gave sponsor testimony before the House Education Committee last week on a resolution honoring Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and one of the leading rebels during the American Revolution. House Resolution 269 (HR 269) would designate Jan. 29 as Thomas Paine Day in Ohio and pay tribute to the renowned essayist and political activist.

“Thomas Paine’s contributions to the birth of our nation are often overlooked,” said Clyde. “By designating his birthday, January 29, as Thomas Paine Day, we can encourage Ohioans to learn more about this remarkable man, his works and the indelible mark he left on American thought and society.”

Paine came to America at the request of Ben Franklin in 1774 and went on to author the seminal work that ultimately tipped the scales toward revolution in the states. Common Sense spoke to average Americans and urged them to join the fight for freedom and the burgeoning American democracy. It remains among the best-selling American works.

Paine also staunchly opposed slavery, pushed for universal human rights and was a fierce advocate for social security for the nation’s poor and elderly.

HR 269 was originally brought to Clyde at the behest of the Kent State political science department.

“My students and I became interested in the fact that while many of our nation’s founders are recognized with statues or monuments, there isn’t much for Thomas Paine,” said Dr. Richard Robyn, a political science professor at Kent State. “Recognition by the Ohio legislature would call attention to the legacy of this important figure in our history.”

Should the measure pass, Ohio would join nine other states in recognizing Thomas Paine Day.

Clyde represents the 75th Ohio House District, serving Kent, Ravenna, Streetsboro, and central and southern Portage County.  

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