It has become something of a tradition in Rochester, N.Y., to pay tribute on Election Day to the woman who famously fought for women’s right to vote.
So it’s only appropriate that on the day a woman officially became the presidential nominee of a major political party for the first time in U.S. history, Susan B. Anthony would get a little credit.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, who also happens to be the first female leader of her city, left a large thank-you note beside Anthony’s grave on Wednesday, the day after Hillary Clinton’s nomination was sealed, and invited people to come and offer their own words of gratitude.
“We thought you might like to know that for the first time in history, a woman is running for president representing a major party,” says the message on the blown up sign. “144 years ago your illegal vote got you arrested. It took another 48 years for women to finally gain the right to vote. Thank you for paving the way.”
On Nov. 5, 1872, Anthony cast an illegal ballot in that year’s presidential election and was later arrested for it. On Nov. 5, 2013, 141 years later, Warren was elected mayor of Anthony’s hometown.
“My grandmother always taught me it was important to never forget where you came from,” Warren said. “I wanted to make sure Susan B. knew how important she was. She dedicated herself to making sure women would be able to enjoy the same things that men enjoy. Though she was never able to see that day, eventually we got it and because of that and the work she did we have a female mayor in the city of Rochester.”
Since the city put the call out on social media a day ago to come sign the letter, Warren said the board is now almost completely filled with messages for Anthony like: “You made this day possible!!!”
Two friends in Rochester last year started a coordinated effort to get people to leave their “I Voted” stickers on Anthony’s grave on Election Day. After the New York primary in April, about three dozen had done so.
Warren is currently in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, and on Wednesday morning accepted a “Bridge Builder” award from the state party for her anti-poverty initiatives. The “bridge” theme, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, is supposed to contrast Donald Trump’s pledge to build a border wall.
She said she got teary-eyed when Clinton and President Obama, the first woman and the first African American major party presidential nominees, were together on the convention stage Wednesday night. She expects that seeing Clinton give her acceptance speech will be “thrilling” and a little “surreal.”
(Correction: A reference to Rochester as a “town” has been changed to “city.”)
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