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077 What did Susan B. Anthony do?

77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
• Fought for women’s rights
• Fought for civil rights

Sometimes the United States makes special coins (or pieces of money made out of metal) that honor (or give special recognition or importance to) people in American history. Our one-dollar coin has a picture of Susan B. Anthony on it. Susan B. Anthony was famous because she fought for women’s rights, which would allow women to do the same things that men were allowed to do. Specifically, she fought for suffrage (or the right to vote) for women.

Susan B. Anthony was born in 1820. She was part of the temperance movement, which was a group of people who believed that people should drink very little or no alcohol. She wanted to change the laws about selling and using alcohol, but women were not allowed to vote at that time. This frustrated her, or made her feel angry because it was unfair. So she began to fight for women’s right to vote.

Susan often spoke to the public (or the people in a country) about why it was important for women to vote. She also wrote a weekly journal (or magazine) about it. In 1872, she voted in the presidential election even though it was illegal, and she was arrested (or forced to go to jail) for it.

Susan also fought for other civil rights (or things that all people should be allowed to do). She fought against slavery and for the rights of black people. She also fought for other women’s rights, like the right to own property, which included lands or buildings, and women’s right to be paid well for working outside the home.

Susan was successful in getting women the right to vote, but she never knew it. Susan died 14 years before women actually got the right to vote. This happened in 1920, when the 19th Amendment (or change in law) to the U.S. Constitution was made. Susan never got to see the results of her work, but most historians attribute the approval of the 19th Amendment to her work, meaning that they think her work was one of the important reasons why the 19th Amendment was approved.


coin – a piece of money made from metal; a small, round piece of metal that is used as money
* A nickel is a five-cent coin.

to honor (someone or something) – to give special recognition or importance to someone or something
* The author was honored with one of the most prestigious writing awards.

suffrage – the right to vote; the freedom to be allowed to vote
* Which Americans got suffrage first: women or African Americans?

temperance movement – the actions of a group of people who believed that people should drink very little or no alcohol
* During the temperance movement, people tried to get others to stop drinking

to frustrate (someone) – to make someone feel angry because something is not happening the way one wants it to happen
* It frustrated Maurizio when he could not understand what the teacher was saying.

journal – a magazine, usually published by an organization; a publication with many articles in it
* Have you ever read the Journal of the National Grants Management Association?

to be arrested – to be forced to go to jail by the police because one has done something against the law
* The man was arrested for drunk driving.

civil rights – the rights that citizens have to social and political freedom and equality, and having the same opportunities as all other citizens
* Some say that Americans have more civil rights than people in many other countries.

property – land, buildings, and other things that are owned by a person
* They own a house and some other property in Lincoln City.

to attribute (something) to (something) – to say why something happened; to say what the reason is for something
* She attributes her happiness to having a loving her family.