A New Movement for a National Celebration of Susan B. Anthony

Feb 9, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – A new proposal in Congress would designate the third Monday in February – which is currently designated to celebrate George Washington’s birthday and President’s Day – as a day to also celebrate Susan B. Anthony, the founder and leader of the women’s rights movement in America (text of bill). The legislation (H.R. 856) was introduced by long-time women’s rights champion Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), along with Congressional Women’s Caucus co-chair Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23) and Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-11).

The United States currently has no national holiday celebrating the birthday of a woman. Susan B. Anthony is remembered for creating the first women’s movement in the United States and leading that movement for more than 50 years, and her work is a prime reason for the passage of the 19th amendment, which was passed in 1919 and guaranteed women the right to vote.

“There are many woman who helped shape this country, and Susan B. Anthony is at the top of that list,” said Maloney. “It’s a shame that in the 21st century we still have not honored any women with national holidays. For empowering half the population, Susan B. Anthony is deserving and should be recognized for her leadership.”

“Today more women serve in public office and hold leadership positions that had previously been held solely by men,” said Capps. “As we celebrate these significant achievements we must also recognize the contributions of the women leaders who came before us and the opportunities that they gave us.  Susan B. Anthony was one of those remarkable women leaders.  I can't think of a better person to honor to remind us of the importance of gender equality in the political arena.”

Born in 1820, Susan B. Anthony attended her first women’s rights convention in Syracuse in 1852, where she joined the fight to get women the right to vote. She appeared before every Congress from 1869 to 1906 to ask for passage of a suffrage amendment, and she served as the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association from 1892 until 1900.           

Before her death on March 13, 1906, Susan B. Anthony’s last public words were, “Failure is impossible.”