This Leading Suffragist Inspired the Nickname of the 19th Amendment
Who: Susan B. Anthony, leader in the women’s rights and suffrage movements in the United States and abolitionist; February 15, 1820–March 13, 1906
Why She Dazzles: Susan was inspired by her Quaker belief that everyone is created equal under God. This belief ultimately made her an American icon as she became one of the most influential figures in the women’s movement. The 19th Amendment, which allows women the right to vote, was known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to honor her work on behalf of women's rights. She later became the first woman to appear on a circulating United States coin, and these Susan B. Anthony coins remain in circulation today.
Why You Need to Know Her Today: Susan traveled the country giving hundreds of speeches in support of woman suffrage. In 1872, Susan was arrested for voting, which is an American privilege that we often take for granted today. She was tried and fined $100 for her crime. It wasn’t until August 1920 that the 19th Amendment was ratified and adopted by Congress, guaranteeing women the right to vote. Unfortunately, Susan passed away before she could see her dream become a reality, but women carry on her legacy by exercising their right to vote.
What She Would Say—Because She Said It Then: “Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”
Where She May Like to Instagram: Rochester, New York, specifically her house, now known as the Susan B. Anthony House, which was also the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. It was here where she was arrested for illegally casting a ballot in the 1872 presidential election. The house remains open today and offers tours and programs in an effort to inspire and empower visitors to make change.
What the Ladies Rocked Then: It’s worth mentioning that Susan famously always wore a plain black dress, likely because black was part of her New England Quaker roots. Inspired by the British suffragettes, the National Woman’s Party in the U.S. adopted a set of three colors to symbolize their movement: purple, white, and gold. Each color stood for loyalty, purity, and light, respectively. The colors appeared in flags, posters, buttons, pins, and sashes.
How You Can Rock It Now: Honor Susan B. Anthony by using your right to vote at the polls. Wear your purple, white, and gold to connect to her legacy and represent the colors worn by the National Woman’s Party in the U.S. The organization described the meaning of these colors in a newsletter in 1913: “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.”
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