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Susan B. Anthony: ‘the woman who dared’

Social reformer and women's suffrage movement leader Susan B. Anthony.
Social reformer and women's suffrage movement leader Susan B. Anthony.AP

March is Women’s History Month, so let us pay homage to Massachusetts’ native Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906). Anthony was born in Adams before moving at age 25 to Rochester, N.Y., where she lived until her death. Nicknamed “the woman who dared,” Anthony devoted her life to race and gender equality. Even now, visitors to her grave leave their “I Voted” stickers on Election Day.

Here are some facts about the icon of the women’s suffrage movement.

▪ Anthony was the first non-fictional woman to be depicted on US currency. Her portrait was on the dollar coin from 1979-1981 and again in 1999.

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▪ The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which granted women the right to vote, was named the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.

▪ Anthony was arrested in Rochester voting in the 1872 Presidential election and refused to pay the $100 fine and court costs. “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty,” she said.

▪ Anthony joined a teacher’s union after discovering her male coworkers were paid four times her monthly salary.

▪ Anthony was a member of an activist Quaker family who pushed for the abolition of slavery. Her family hosted antislavery Quakers at their farm once a week who were joined on occasion by activists such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.

▪ Anthony was burned and hanged in effigy for speaking in favor of the abolition of slavery.

▪ Anthony published a feminist newspaper called the Revolution alongside activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and went on to be the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association.

▪ Anthony pushed for property rights for married women and women’s right to divorce alongside suffrage for women.

▪ Anthony played a key role in the creation of the International Council of Women and helped organize the World’s Congress of Representative Women at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

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Famous quotes:

▪ “No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.”

▪ “Independence is happiness.”

▪ “I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”

▪ “There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.”

▪ “You would better educate ten women into the practice of liberal principles than to organize a thousand on a platform of intolerance and bigotry.”

▪ “Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.”

Information from National Geographic and the National Park Service was included in this report.