In order to establish the right to vote for women in the United States in 1920, the suffrage movement required 36 of the 48 states to ratify the proposed amendment that read, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." The campaign carried a sense of urgency, because if suffrage was not solidified before the Presidential elections in November, the movement would likely lose urgency and wither on the vine. After Maryland voted to decline ratification in February, West Virginia and Washington both approved the measure, but after Delaware declined in June, the number of states agreeing to ratification remained at 35. The suffrage campaign knew that the last vote would be the most challenging; eight southern states consistently expressed definite objection to suffrage, and attempts in Connecticut and Vermont, while home to strong pro-suffrage lobbies, were both stymied by anti-suffrage Governors who had stated that they would refuse to call the vote to their floors. The fate of the suffrage campaign therefore hung solely on the vote of one lynchpin state: Tennessee.
For eight years in the early 20th century, a particularly powerful and elusive man-eating leopard haunted the northern Indian village of Rudraprayag at the base of the Himalayas. It developed a taste for humans after eating corpses during the 1918 flu outbreak, in which sheer volume prevented the tradition of cremation from disposing of every dead body; once the disease subsided and the animal could no longer find dead bodies, it took to live humans instead. The leopard found the area around Rudraprayag, with a population of roughly 50,000 people and its position on a major pilgrimage route through the mountains. In a period of almost eight years from its first attack on June 9, 1918 until its last on April 14, 1926, it officially killed roughly 125 people, though the actual number was probably much higher. News of the attacks and the ensuing panic spread as far as London.