Nearly a century after women earned the right to vote, we may have a woman president. Voters who cast their ballots for the first female presidential candidate from a major party flocked to the grave site of Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, New York, to show their appreciation for Anthony's activism in earning the right to vote. Anthony, who co-founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, famously tried to vote in the 1872 presidential election and was arrested. She refused to pay the $100 fine but passed away before women gained the right to vote in 1920.
As a result of her activism, the 19th Amendment finally enabled women to vote, though additional restrictions on voting made suffrage difficult or impossible for black women for many more decades. In honor of Anthony and many other suffragettes, including the incredible Ida B. Wells, whose name was trending on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, female voters are celebrating their participation in the democratic process with the hashtag #DedicateYourVoteToAWoman.
The biggest of these tributes, though, is the line at Anthony's gravesite in Rochester, which will be open late tonight to accommodate more voters. The livestream of the gravesite is available online, showing an enormous line to the grave, parents bringing their young daughters, and a sign placed by the city to commemorate Anthony's history of struggle.
WROC Rochester is updating live from the cemetery. As of Tuesday afternoon, the grave was covered in stickers, flowers, and flags. Mothers posed with their daughters behind the headstone, and the live responses were a steady stream of "likes" and "loves." It's undeniably emotional — Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Verge wrote: "Having watched this stream for 30 minutes so far I can tell you that a lot of people are bringing their young daughters and I am fully, happily, and cathartically sobbing."
The line to visit the grave is longer than the lines at many polls, as former New York Times columnist Sarah Maslin Nir documented on Twitter:
The crowd is so large that the city of Rochester placed metal barriers to corral voters while they wait for their chance to take a picture with Anthony's tombstone:
If you don't live in Rochester but want to thank a suffragette for her work, Ida B. Wells has a virtual grave where voters have been leaving messages and virtual flowers. You can even visit Wells' grave in person if you live in Chicago, where she is buried at Oak Woods Cemetery. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is buried in the Bronx, New York, and abolitionist and suffragette Sojourner Truth is buried in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Even if you can't make it to a gravesite, though, the video from Anthony's cemetery is truly moving. The outpouring of enthusiasm for her work today reflects the absolute importance of protecting voting rights for all.
Image: Wikimedia Commons (1)