Birthday of Susan B. Anthony

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In 1820 on this day, Susan B. Anthony was born. Her parents were focused on her education and by age 19 she was a teacher herself. By 1846 she was headmistress of the Female department at Canajoharie Academy. Male headmasters earned four times the female wage, and this inspired her to fight for equivalent wages at the Academy. From a young age, she had been very involved with the temperance and abolitionist movements in New York, collecting two boxes full of signed petitions against slavery at age 16. In 1850 she read about the National Women’s Rights Convention (NWRC) in the newspaper and became involved with Women’s Rights as well, befriending other prominent feminists such as Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She made her first public speech for women’s rights in 1852 at the NWRC and spoke at every subsequent convention, even becoming convention president in 1858. In 1856 she began working for the American Anti-Slavery Society, which overlapped with her women’s rights work. She famously stated in 1859, “Where, under our Declaration of Independence, does the Saxon man get his power to deprive all women and Negroes of their inalienable rights?” In 1868 she began publishing The Revolution, a weekly dedicated to promoting minorities’ rights to suffrage as well as related progressive issues such as equal pay for equal work and more liberal divorce laws. In 1869 she left the American Equal Rights Association over the 15th Amendment, which allowed for black men to vote but not women. After this fall out, she worked almost exclusively for women’s rights, and with Cady Stanton in 1869 she founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association, which was a group that was central to the achievement of women’s suffrage. She died in 1906, 14 years before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. She was honored by being the first non fictional woman to appear on a US coin for circulation, the Susan B. Anthony dollar.

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