Today, Feb. 15 is Susan B. Anthony Day, in commemoration of the birth of Susan B. Anthony on this date in 1820 in Adams, Mass.
Most of us remember Anthony for one reason that she was on a dollar coin. However, the reason her visage went into coinage is the far more interesting story her fight for a woman's right to vote.
Brought up in a Quaker family, Anthony was raised with an inherent sense of social justice and quality.
After teaching for 15 years, she became involved in the temperance movement, and in 1852 she joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the women's rights movement.
Anthony traveled aross the country, campaigning for the abolition of slavery, women's right to their own property and wages and for women's labor organziation.
In 1900, she persuaded the University of Rochester to admit women. She remained an active reformer until her death March 13, 1906.
Anthony was an anti-slavery firebrand, arranging meetings and making speeches for the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1856. Her cohorts were of a caliber no less than Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. In 1863 Anthony and Stanton organized the Women's National Loyal League to petition for the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery.
In 1853 Anthony campaigned for women to be admitted to the professions and for better pay for women teachers she started in the teaching profession herself for $110 a year.
In 1859 Anthony spoke before the state teachers' convention at Troy, N.Y. and at the Massachusetts teachers' convention, arguing for coeduation and claiming there was no difference between the minds of men and women. She also campaigned for the right of children of ex-slaves to attend public schools.
She was also active in the labor movement, lobbying for an eight-hour work day and equal pay for equal work. She helped form the Workingwomen's Associations in 1868.
As a member of a Quaker family, Anthony was a natural for the temperance movement, and she joined the Daughters of Temperance, a group of women who drew attention to the effects of drunkenness on families. In the 1860s Anthony and Stanton founded the Women's State Temperance Society.
She was probably test known as a suffragist. In 1866 Anthony and Stanton founded the American Equal Rights Association. In the 1870s Anthony campaigned for women's suffrage on speaking tours throughout the West.
In 1892 Anthony became president of the National American Women Suffrage Association. Then, in 1904, at the age of 84, she presided over the International Council of Women in Berlin. She died just two years later in 1906 at her home in Rochester, N.Y. American women were finally granted the right to vote with passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, also known as the Susan B. Athony Amendment.
Anthony's accomplishments advanced the cause of not just women but men who were finally able to relate to women on an equal plane.
By having men and women act truly as partners, they were finally able to work together to overcome prejudice, racism and other inequalities that had plagued humankind from time immemorial.
Anthony, like Sacajawea, certainly deserved to have her image struck on the dollar coin.
But what she accomplished was pure gold.