If you’re a reader of CITY Newspaper, you may have seen a familiar face this afternoon. Anthony Museum President & CEO, Deborah Hughes, recently sat down with CITY’s Christine Carrie Fien to discuss the co-opting of Susan B. Anthony’s name by organizations in ways incompatible with who the great reformer was and the causes for which she stood.
Mark your calendar: The United Way’s 2014 #ROCtheDay is December 2nd!
Between now and November 14th, you can spread the word by entering the “Ready to ROC” photo & video contest. Four winners will be randomly chosen to receive an extra $500 for the organization of their choice.
Rochester, NY – Our local community is proud of its internationally famous woman’s rights champion: Susan B. Anthony. Visitors come from around the world to visit her National Historic Landmark in this city, which was her home and headquarters for forty years and is now the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House.
At the time of her death in 1906, one reporter commented, “The death of Susan B. Anthony removes the greatest woman that this country has produced. That may seem to be an extravagant statement, but history will sustain it.” (Chattanooga, Tennessee News) Even in her generation, she won the respect of those who disagreed with her politics. The Brooklyn, NY, Eagle described woman’s suffrage as “one of the world’s lost causes”, but said of Anthony, “Anyone who met her or heard her on the platform was won by her honesty and sincerity and by her pungent common sense.”
“She was a human being, not a saint,” admits Deborah L. Hughes, President & CEO of the Anthony Museum, “but even her adversaries respected her character and courage. She is a role model for anyone who wants to live an ethical life of meaning and purpose.”
The recent activities of the Susan B. Anthony List, a 501(c)(4) organization, and its affiliated political action committee, the SBA List Candidate Fund, have raised concerns for the Anthony Museum & those dedicated to protecting the legacy of the great reformer.
The List’s assertions about Susan B. Anthony’s position on abortion are historically inaccurate. “We can make room for a different interpretation of history, and we certainly support political engagement,” says Hughes, “but their tactics repeatedly cross a line that is outrageous and inconsistent with who Susan B. Anthony was. Her good character is being defamed by their actions. People are outraged by their actions, causing harm to Anthony’s name and the mission of our Museum.”
The most recent example is an election mailer that voters in Iowa received this week. The outside of the mailer looks like an official announcement of a disease outbreak, “PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT: CHILDREN IN YOUR AREA ARE VULNERABLE TO A PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT THAT CONTINUES UNCONTROLLED. . .” Inside, it diagnoses that public health threat as the Democratic Senatorial candidate.
When contacted by press about the mailing, Mallory Quigley, spokesperson for The List, wrote in an email, “Abortion is a very serious public health risk both for the child whose life is ended and the mother who may suffer health complications. Voters deserve to know where their candidates stand on this life and death issue.”
The Anthony Museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting Susan B. Anthony’s life & work in a historically accurate and responsible manner. Unfortunately, the confusion that results from the actions of The List and its affiliates is not new. Hughes has continually addressed the matter, including in a 2012 interview with Lauren Feeney of BillMoyers.com.
“Depending on how you feel about the political issue, you might say The List and this mailer are ‘brilliant’ or ‘horrific.’ That isn’t our issue,” says Hughes. “Our concern is that a national political lobbying group is using Susan B. Anthony’s good name for their benefit, and they are damaging her reputation in the process.”
Rochester, NY – The Susan B. Anthony Historic Preservation District will play host to several activities celebrating Election Day on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014:
Stop by the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House at 17 Madison Street (open 11am – 5pm), to pay tribute to Susan B. Anthony and the pioneers who made it possible for us to vote! Add your on camera “Thank you, Susan B!” to our video collection and tell us what the right to vote means to you. While you’re here, enter a drawing for a limited edition “Ms. Anthony” Purse with a Purpose, part of the Abigail Riggs Collection.
Relax over lunch at the 1872 Café (open 6:30am – 3pm), located at 431 West Main Street – on the spot where Susan B. Anthony and 14 other women made history by voting in that year’s presidential election. The Café will be offering new menu items and drawings throughout the day. Prizes include 1872 Café travel mugs, guest passes to the Anthony Museum, and a complimentary lunch for two at the Café.
While you’re in the neighborhood, take a stroll through Susan B. Anthony Square Park, redesigned at the turn of the century by the Olmsted brothers, and home to “Let’s Have Tea”, an interactive statue of Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass by local artist, Pepsy Kettavong.
Rochester, NY – The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House has been awarded a 2014 Museum Conservation Treatment Grant by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, in association with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). The $1,856.84 grant will be used to conserve a cross-stitch sampler created by Susan B. Anthony over a three-year period beginning in 1831. Conservation work will be completed by Sarah Stevens of Zephyr Preservation Studios.
Deborah L. Hughes, President & CEO of the Anthony Museum, noted, “Susan B. Anthony had this sampler prominently displayed in her office when she was in her eighties, so we know that it was important to her. It is precious today because it connects us personally to young Susan and her family. This was her handiwork, long before she was the Great Reformer. We are most grateful for this conservation grant from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network, and we are pleased that Sarah C. Stevens will be the conservator for this important project”.
Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s grant programs recognize “excellent stewardship of New York State’s cultural heritage”, according to its Executive Director, Priscilla Brendler, and are highly competitive. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House sincerely thanks the Greater Hudson Heritage Network for this generous grant.
Bernice Ende will travel through Rochester on Thursday, September 4th, making stops at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and Mt. Hope Cemetery. Ms. Ende, a retired teacher, is currently on a 2 ½ year, 8,000 mile horseback trek across the United States and Canada to commemorate Montana’s suffrage centennial.
Ms. Ende will pay her respects and give prepared remarks at Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in Mt. Hope Cemetery, section C, at approximately 11:15 am. She will be available to media for a limited time following her remarks. Ms. Ende will then proceed to the Susan B. Anthony neighborhood, arriving at the Anthony Museum on horseback by 1:30 pm, where she will also be available to the press. At 3:00 pm, Ms. Ende will present “1914 to 2014: 100 years of woman suffrage in Montana” in the Carriage House. The public is invited to attend this exclusive engagement.
The 2014 Susan B. Anthony Festival will take place on Sunday, August 17, from noon to 5pm in the Susan B. Anthony Park between Madison & King Streets. This annual event celebrates the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women throughout the country the right to vote. The amendment is better known as the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment”.
Live music & entertainment will be provided throughout the afternoon in the Park. Local artists include 6-time Grammy nominee and 2012 Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester “Artist of the Year”, Chet Catallo & the Cats, who will perform at 3pm. Also performing are Cammy Enharo, the Raging Grannies, and the Spiritus Christi Choir. Food vendors and unique artisans will also be on hand.
Free walking tours of this 19th century Historic Preservation District will also be offered, beginning in the Park. Tours of the Anthony House will be available at a discounted cost for the event.
This event is presented by the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association and the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Deborah L. Hughes, President & CEO of the Anthony Museum, said, “Susan B. Anthony worked all her life to give women a voice. Considering the events of the past year, her work is as relevant today as it was when she was living.”
Dawn Noto, President of the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association, said, “We are very excited for the annual Susan B. Anthony Festival. Our Historic Preservation District is looking fantastic and this festival gives us an opportunity to share the collaborative work this community has done.”