18 August 2020 22:36
Donald Trump has announced he will pardon Susan B Anthony, who was arrested in 1872 for voting, in violation of laws permitting only men to do so. The act of executive clemency was announced at a White House ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the US constitution, which expanded the right to vote to women. "Signing a full and complete pardon for Susan B Anthony," Trump said. The selection of Anthony for a posthumous pardon could be meant to address Trump's yawning popularity gap among women voters. One of history's best-known suffragists, Anthony became the first woman to appear on US currency when dollars with her likeness were minted in 1979.
"As the highest-ranking woman elected official in New York and on behalf of Susan B Anthony's legacy we demand Trump rescind his pardon," tweeted Kathy Hochul, the state's lieutenant governor. Anthony was a resident of New York state for much of her life. Members of the Susan B Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, were at the White House on Tuesday. In conversation with the Guardian in 2018, meanwhile, David Blight, a Pulitzer-winning biographer of Frederick Douglass, noted the "brutal racism" Anthony and other campaigners displayed when black men won the vote in 1870. Given this centennial, we decided to ask Rochester Beacon readers whether our community should do more to honor one of Rochester's most important historical figures.
After all, if the United States decided to build a Mt. Rushmore honoring the most important civil rights leaders of the past 150 years, there is a decent chance that two of the faces on that mountain would belong to long-time Rochester residents. Her name should be known to lovers of democracy worldwide, and I'm so proud that she voted in Rochester. Embed women's importance to American society by convening a permanent conclave of ALL women holding ANY elective offices in Monroe County (from judges to village and town boards, county legislatures and city council), and task this group with setting and implementing goals such as setting Rochester and Monroe County as national leaders in: 1. raising an endowment to support high school field trips from around the U.S. for students of all genders to visit both Rochester and Seneca Falls to experience and learn the history of Upstate NY's role in achieving women's rights in America. US President Donald Trump on Tuesday posthumously pardoned Susan B Anthony, a leader in the women's suffrage movement, who was arrested for voting in 1872 in violation of laws permitting only men to vote.
Anthony is best known for her role in the movement to secure voting rights for women, but she was also a strong anti-slavery and voting rights pioneer. Trump's pardon, which he said he will issue later on Tuesday, comes 100 years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which ensured women the right to vote. It is also known as the Susan B Anthony Amendment. Trump is facing a tough fight for re-election in November and has tried in recent weeks to appeal to women voters, especially those in the suburbs. But during the White House event commemorating the event, Trump blasted former first lady Michelle Obama's speech a night earlier at the Democratic National Convention saying it was "extremely divisive". Former first lady Michelle Obama in her DNC speech called Donald Trump 'the wrong president for our country' [Democratic National Convention via AP] Anthony was arrested for voting in her hometown of Rochester, New York. The 19th Amendment says: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Congress passed it in 1919, and the amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920. Visiting Anthony's gravesite in Rochester on election day has become a popular ritual in recent years. The pardon also comes amid an outcry over US Postal Service (USPS) disruptions that Democrats say endanger the voting rights of millions of Americans who would vote by mail in November amid the pandemic. Trump has denied asking for the mail to be delayed even as he levelled fresh criticism on mail-in voting. Meanwhile, the USPS announced that it would honour the centennial anniversary with a new stamp titled, 19th Amendment: Women Vote. She died before women secured the right to vote, but she found a way to vote anyway, 50 years before the 19th Amendment passed. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced he will pardon the defiant suffragist on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Anthony is perhaps the best-known leader of the women's suffrage movement. Anthony proudly cast her vote in the 1872 election in Rochester, New York, though it was still illegal for women to vote at the time. Her answers satisfied the official, so she was allowed to vote, according to the National Archives. Over a week later, Anthony and 14 other women who voted with her in New York were arrested and charged with voting unlawfully. Before her trial, Anthony traveled around 29 towns and gave her stump speech, "Is it a crime for a US citizen to vote?" By all accounts, Anthony wore her acts of rebellion as badges of honor that furthered her goal of women's suffrage. Kathleen Hochul asked Trump to rescind the pardon "on behalf of Susan B. "She was proud of her arrest to draw attention to the cause for women's rights, and never paid her fine," Hochul tweeted Tuesday. Anthony refused to submit to the men who convicted her. At the end of her two-day trial, which she called the "greatest judicial outrage history has ever recorded," Anthony was ordered to pay a fine of $100--of which she told the judge who sentenced her she'd "never pay a dollar," according to Library of Congress archives The 19th Amendment eventually passed in 1920, 14 years after Anthony's death at 86. Voting wasn't accessible to all women even after the amendment was passed, though. The women's suffrage movement as helmed by Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton excluded Black women as the White leaders distanced themselves from Black activists. Black women and women of color marched for suffrage but often weren't included by the White leaders of the movement. As a result, Black women faced additional challenges to voting even after the 19th Amendment passed. Obstacles to voting for Black Americans persisted in the century after Anthony's trial, too.