Take a break from the doom and gloom to revel in history being made today: Watch as hundreds of people file past camera frame at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York to take a photo op and honor Susan B. Anthony. Her accomplishments helped pave to way to (finally) putting a woman on the primary election ballot for president of the United States. Today, people are visiting to place their “I Voted” stickers on her gravestone, pose for photos, and reflect on her life.
Sixteen-year-old Susie B. collected anti-slavery petitions, and joined the women’s rights movement in 1852 with her friend and fellow badass feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She’s most famous for being arrested for voting while female at the 1872 election: Her trial pushed the suffrage movement forward, as America started to realize how stupid sexism really is.
The judge asked her if she had anything to say for herself, and oh hell yes she did: “Yes, your honor, I have many things to say. My every right, constitutional, civil, political and judicial has been tramped upon. I have not only had no jury of my peers, but I have had no jury at all.”
The judge told her to sit down, to which she replied, “I shall not sit down. I will not lose my only chance to speak.”
At the end of the Civil War, according to historian Ann D. Gordon, “Susan B. Anthony occupied new social and political territory. She was emerging on the national scene as a female leader, something new in American history, and she did so as a single woman in a culture that perceived the spinster as anomalous and unguarded … By the 1880s, she was among the senior political figures in the United States.”
But back to this delightful livestream: By mid-morning. people were waiting in line for up to 75 minutes for a chance to pay their respects to this OG feminist. A little after 11 a.m., Rochester’s mayor Lovely Warren arrived to pay her respects. “We can do it!” someone shouted from the crowd, to which Warren replied, “We will do it!” Warren is the first female and second African-American mayor of the city.
“It is because of the sacrifice Susan B. Anthony made so many years ago that we’re able to do this,” she continued. “It pays tribute to the history that’s right here in Rochester. Not forgetting whose shoulders we stand on.”
— Patrick Thornton (@pwthornton) November 8, 2016
You can even go with Susan’s blessing when you raise a stiff drink to America’s future tonight: While she advocated for temperance, she refused to support Prohibition because it detracted from the women’s rights causes she was fighting for.
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