Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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February 15th
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820, in an age when women in the U.S. and the rest of the world were considered inferior to men. Most colleges weren’t open to women. Many  restaurants had signs saying “No Females Allowed.” Husbands by law controlled their wives’ property and any money they might earn. Women could not hold most jobs and public offices, or even vote.

Anthony spent most of her life trying to right those injustices. She founded women’s rights groups and wrote books, pamphlets, and articles. She crossed the country again and again to give speeches in town halls, schoolhouses, barns, sawmills, log cabins – anyplace where people would listen. Crowds sometimes shouted her down or pelted her with rotten eggs. Newspapers called her names. Mobs burned her effigies. But Anthony would not give up.

On Election Day 1872, she showed up at a poll in Rochester, New York, and cast a vote for president. Two weeks later, a marshall knocked on her door with a warrant for her arrest. At trial the judge prohibited her from speaking on her own behalf and ordered the jury to find her guilty of voting illegally. The court fined Anthony $100. “I will never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty,” she replied. And she didn’t.

Anthony died in 1906. Fourteen years later, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution finally gave women the right to vote.

Today the U.S. is a world leader in women’s rights. In no other country do women enjoy more freedom and opportunity. And in the struggle for equal rights, no name deserves more honor than that of Susan B. Anthony.

American History Parade
1764
St. Louis, Missouri, is founded as a French fur-trading post.

1799
Pennsylvania authorizes the first printed election ballots in the United States.

1820
Women’s suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony is born in Adams, Massachusetts.

1898
The USS Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, touching off the Spanish-American War.

1933
President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt narrowly escapes an assassination attempt in Miami.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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