Susan B. Anthony was born to a family of rebels on February 15, 1820. They were a Quaker family who thrived on social equality for all. At the age of 17, she collected anti-slavery petitions. In 1852, she and her friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the New York Women’s State Temperance Society. This was done in retaliation for the refusal of letting her speak at a temperance conference because she was a woman. In 1856, Anthony became the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society and in 1863, she and Stanton founded the Women’s Loyal National League. In 1866, the pair initiated the American Equal Rights Association which campaigned for equal rights for both African Americans and all women. In 1869, they created the National Woman Suffrage Association and on this day in 1872, Anthony was arrested for attempting to vote in her hometown of Rochester, New York and was fined $100 for doing so. She refused to pay the fine and the authorities declined to take further action against her. In 1878, Anthony and Stanton presented Congress with an amendment giving women the right to vote. It became the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. In 1979, the United States honored Anthony by allowing her image to appear on the one dollar U.S. coin.
First American Woman to Travel in Space
On this day in 1983, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel into space aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Her six day adventure included operating the shuttle’s robot arm, a feature that she helped create while here on earth. Ride was one of 3,000 applicants who applied for the role back in 1978. Ride however was not the first woman in space. That title goes to cosmonaut Valentina V. Tereshkova from the Soviet Union who went up into the stars on June 16, 1963.