WXXI AM News

Susan B Anthony

Imagine cleaning out your attic or basement and accidentally stumbling upon an important piece of history. That's what happened to a couple in Connecticut. When Libbie and George Merrow discovered a crate full of old letters, pamphlets, and photographs in their barn, they were surprised to learn they had uncovered an archive of the suffrage movement. The collection includes letters from Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Isabella Beecher Hooker, a suffragist and the half-sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The University of Rochester acquired the collection -- one that some have called the biggest discovery of its kind in decades. We talk about the significance of the materials, how they impact scholarship, and what we can learn about Susan B. Anthony from her letters. Our guests:

  • Jessica Lacher-Feldman, assistant dean for special collections and preservation, and director of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation at the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries
  • Lori Birrell, special collections librarian for historical manuscripts at the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries
  • Libbie and George Merrow, Connecticut couple who discovered the letters in their barn
  • Deborah Hughes, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House

What would Susan B. Anthony say about the current social and political environment? According to scholars, not “abortion is murder.” That was the final line in a sketch on Saturday Night Live last week, where the ghost of Susan B. Anthony (played by Kate McKinnon) interacts with a group of women visiting the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House. The museum took to social media to respond, tweeting, "For the record #SNL, #SusanBAnthony supported sex education, birth control and family planning. She didn't express an opinion about abortion."

Between the sketch, the Women’s March, Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency, and New York’s Suffrage Centennial, Anthony’s life and work are back in the spotlight. The Susan B. Anthony Museum and House is hosting its annual birthday luncheon next month, but first, we talk to the event's keynote speaker — leading Anthony scholar Ann Dexter Gordon -- about how Anthony’s work connects to current events. Our guests:

  • Deborah Hughes, president and CEO of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House
  • Ann Dexter Gordon, leading authority on Susan B. Anthony, editor of the Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and research professor in the Department of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick

There is a building in Farmington that lost a wall during a windstorm in 2006, and maybe that seemed like no big deal; after all, the building looked old and decrepit. But this was a historic building, the home for debates and discussions on some of the most important subjects in American history: abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, rights for Native Americans. It's called the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse, which is celebrating its bicentennial on October 22 and 23.

Our discussion focuses on the history, the role of the meetinghouse in advancing equality, and the upcoming events. In studio:

  • Dr. Judith Wellman, professor emerita of history at SUNY Oswego and former coordinator of Meetinghouse restoration
  • Lyle Jenks, president of the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse organization
  • Veronica (Ronnie) Reitter, park supervisor/interpreter for Ganondagan State Historic Site
  • Meg Joseph, executive director, Friends of Ganondagan

Tennis great and women's equality advocate Billie Jean King is coming to Rochester to headline the annual Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon. First, she joins us on Connections to talk about the state of equality, her impact, and the ways in which female leaders are inspiring the next generation. Our guests:

Rochester's Voters Block Community along West Main Street is officially open.

The $20 million  project includes 39-mixed use apartment building with a new 1872 Cafe.

Thursday, developers and local officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the place where Susan B Anthony, and 15 other women, voted illegally in 1872.  Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy attended the ceremony saying investing in Rochester's inner city helps residents take pride in where they live.       

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