5 Things You Didn't Know About Susan B. Anthony

Women's suffrage advocate Susan B. Anthony was born on this day in 1820. Her tireless work spanned nearly three-quarters of a century and, along with several other women's rights advocates, paved the way for the 19th Amendment's ratification in the 20th century. Here are five things you didn't know about Susan B. Anthony...


Anthony Was a Strong Advocate of Temperance # Image credit: By Engraved by G.E. Perine & Co., NY - https://archive.org/stream/historyofwomansu01stanuoft#page/n603/mode/2up, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=152518 Temperance is the belief that alcohol is not a part of a productive society, and the temperance movement of the 1800s worked to shut down (or at least severely restrict) alcohol use and sales. Anthony's family had worked with abolitionist and temperance movements since she was a child, and Anthony's first public speaking engagement was at a temperance organization dinner. Anthony and others in the movement wanted to show others how drunkenness and reliance on alcohol damaged families and society.

Her Work With Temperance Influenced Her to Work for Women's Suffrage # Photo credit: By Frances Benjamin Johnston - The World's Work, 1906: https://archive.org/stream/worldswork11gard#page/7362/mode/2up, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2660 Anthony was a member of the Daughters of Temperance. She arrived at a conference run by the sons of Temperance but was refused the opportunity to speak because she was female. That experience led her to the women's suffrage movement because she figured getting women the right to vote would be the only way to convince society. As for that conference, she left and actually called her own conference together.


Anthony Was Arrested for Voting in 1872 Anthony didn't live to see women get the vote, but that didn't stop her from trying to vote anyway. She was arrested for voting illegally in the 1872 election, claiming that the 14th Amendment gave her the right. She fought the charge but was thwarted at most turns; for example, she refused to pay bail, but her lawyer paid it so the case wouldn't go before the Supreme Court, and the judge at the trial actually demanded the jury simply find her guilty. She refused to pay the fine from her sentence, too.

She Was Honored With a Dollar Coin -- That Everyone Confused for a Quarter In the 1970s, Anthony was chosen to be the face of the new dollar coin. This should have been a great moment, but whoever designed the coin wasn't thinking; it was a silver-colored coin that was about the size of a quarter, meaning that people continually confused the two. The coin ended up being rather unpopular, and while it's still in use today (you can often get them among stamp machine change at post offices), the coin is not in regular circulation among stores and the general public.

Anthony's Headstone Is Routinely Covered With "I Voted" Stickers After Elections It's become a tradition to go to the cemetery in Rochester, New York, where Anthony's grave is located to put "I voted" stickers all over the headstone. The act was particularly poignant in 2016 when Hillary Clinton ran for president, and again in 2018, when voter turnout was at a high. The stickers are removed after Election Day is over.

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