8 Intriguing Facts About Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony Day: 8 Intriguing Facts about This Renowned Rights Leader
If you can think of a woman who boldly changed the course of American history, Susan B. Anthony may be one of the first to enter your mind. Mostly known for her significant role in the women’s suffrage movement, Anthony tirelessly fought for equality among all Americans regardless of sex.
Her relentless efforts and commitment to push female empowerment eventually led lawmakers to amend the U.S. Constitution with their approval of the “Anthony Amendment” in 1920, giving women the right to vote.
Since Anthony is considered one of America’s most distinguished civil rights leaders, it makes sense that a day was created to commemorate her life and her numerous contributions to our country. Every 15th of February, Americans gather to celebrate Susan B. Anthony Day, which marked her birthday. The idea was introduced by Representative Carolyn Maloney in 2011. It was known as the Susan B. Anthony Birthday Act.
Although a legal observance in some states including Florida, Wisconsin, New York, and California, Susan B. Anthony Day is not a public holiday. On this day, public memorial services are held at her grave in Rochester, New York. Civil rights leaders offer tributes to remind people of her great achievements.
Intriguing Facts about Susan B. Anthony
Everybody knows that Anthony played a key role in the introduction of the 19th Amendment in our Constitution. However, did you know that she also advocated the rights of unborn babies? Here are some other facets of Anthony’s life and legacy that are worth learning about:
- She is the only woman to have her image on the U.S. currency, particularly on the silver dollar.
- She was a teacher for 10 years. It was during that time when she began clamoring for female teachers to receive pay increases. She also pointed out that women deserved more career opportunities.
- She was born into a family of Quaker abolitionists. It was known that her family held anti-slavery meetings every Sunday at their farm.
- She believed that bicycles gave women a sense of independence. For Anthony, bicycles were more than just transportation devices, noting that these allowed women to leave their homes without needing their husbands to take them out.
- She was part German. Her paternal ancestors migrated from England to America in 1634.
- She was jailed for illegal voting. Along with 15 other women, Anthony boldly voted in the 1872 presidential election, which led to her arrest. She was fined $100, which she refused to pay.
- She was the co-founder of the New York Women’s State Temperance Society. When she wasn’t allowed to speak at a temperance meeting, she and another notable women’s rights leader (and also her best friend), Elizabeth Stanton, teamed up to form a women’s temperance group. Stanton was also denied permission to speak at an international anti-slavery meeting.
- She wanted to prove a point when she cut her hair short and dressed differently than most women. As with many other suffragists and activists, Anthony believed that women can present themselves whatever way they wanted to, without having to wear corsets and heavy underskirts. However, her plan backfired when she was publicly mocked for her new appearance, forcing her to revert back to her old look after only a year.
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