|WHAT FAMOUS AMERICAN TOLD A COURTROOM JUDGE:
"I SHALL NOT SIT DOWN"?
If you don't recognize who spoke these words more than 100 years ago, you're not alone.
Susan B. Anthony stood tall and made history with a famous speech on June 19, 1873 at the Ontario County courthouse not far from Rochester, New York. She laid out her position in the case where she’d been arrested for “illegal voting.”
What spirit she had. I may love history's details, but what's more interesting to me is the SPIRIT underlying actions and events. This is the secret I referred to: Susan's spirit.
I'm sending this update to you because you care about the suffrage movement. Because if we don't honor Susan's spirit, courage and audacity, June 19th won't go down in history.
Every student in classrooms across the nation should know about June 19, 1873. Sadly, they don’t. And in small and large ways over over the next year, I plan to spread the word about the importance of June 19th.
Remember how Susan must have felt when standing tall and telling Judge Ward Hunt:
Miss Anthony—"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."
Court—"Sit down Miss Anthony. I cannot allow you to argue the question."
Miss Anthony—"I shall not sit down. I will not lose my only chance to speak."
By remembering Susan’s pioneering efforts and carrying on her work, we're honoring her spirit that comes through during her trial, her letters, her writings, her actions. We can apply some of this same spirit to situations in our lives today while we're spreading the word about June 19th in our homes, schools and communities.
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
By acknowledging June 19, 1873 and Susan’s famous speech, we’re generating public support for state suffrage centennials now and in the future. We’re also getting the news out about the upcoming 2020 national suffrage celebration when American women will have been voting for 100 years.
THINK ABOUT IT . . .
Let's spread the word about June 19th and other important suffrage history anniversaries and holidays to a new generation of girls and boys. Hasn’t the time come for making a connection between the voting issues of today and the struggles of the past?
Isn’t it time for us to be inspired and energized by the spirit of those in our nation's past who struggled for equality and freedom? How can we better appreciate the history of more than half of the people in our nation today?
By setting aside June 19th, we’ll be on our way to honoring yet another fabulous story from American history. So many other stories need to be shared.
If you'd like to work with me on this effort, send me an email. We'll find a way to make June 19th a recognizable observance. Get in touch with me at:
Watch the video on Vimeo about Susan B. Anthony and June 19th. Find out more about Susan B. Anthony’s trial. So much information is available by searching online for "Susan B. Anthony's 1873 trial."
Mention June 19th to a local teacher and suggest the date as a teaching opportunity. Tap on the shoulder of someone in your network or community and ask them to observe June 19th in some special way, individually or with others. Honor Susan B. Anthony and others who spoke their truth and stood up to be counted.
FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW . . .
Let's make June 19th a national observance!
- Celebrate by yourself by setting aside a plate of sweets and pouring a cup of tea to celebrate on June 19th;
- Invite a few friends to join you at home or at a coffee shop;
- Organize a fundraiser or other gathering for your advocacy or community group; or if you’re a teacher, write June 19th into your lesson plans;
- Send out a notice about June 19th to your contacts by email, Facebook or Twitter and tell them about this special occasion; or
- Share a quote from Susan B. Anthony’s speech on June 19, 1873 on social media.
Follow my musings about this topic. Find out, for example on suffragewagon.org, how I'm planning a party close to June 19th with Susan's trial speech as the main program. I'll be a highlight by presenting Susan's speech!
Let's have some fun!
Love, Marguerite Kearns
P.S. If you're in the vicinity of the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, make sure you visit there in Rochester, NY. It's a remarkable place that celebrates and honors Susan's spirit.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
A platform with writings about myself, my family, suffrage history and news
An opportunity to find out about visiting the "Cradle" of the U.S. women's rights movement
Where information's available about the Big Picture of suffrage observances, features, and celebrations