Historical Figure & Event

Susan B. Anthony voted on this date in 1872, leading to her arrest.

November 05
Calendar Activity Type
Historical Figure & Event
Also on
November 05

Event Description

On November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony cast a ballot in the presidential election, though women at the time were prohibited from doing so. Two weeks later, she was arrested, and the following year, she was found guilty of illegal voting. It would take another 50 years until the Nineteenth Amendment, passed in 1920, would grant women nationwide the right to vote.

Classroom Activity

Two of the most important lessons that we can draw from Susan B. Anthony's experiences are to understand the effects of prejudice and to appreciate the courage of acting on one's convictions.

So, on this day, grant special privileges to an arbitrarily designated group in your classroom: people wearing, say, the color red, or blondes, or people whose names start with S. These privileges could include a treat, a special hall pass, etc. You should not let anyone in on why you have singled this group out. Let the privileges-and the complaining about them-continue for a while. Then, ask students to write about how they felt during the simulation. Ask them to focus on the fairness of your actions in singling out this group for special treatment.

The next step is to ask students to consider exactly what they might be willing to do to change an unjust law. Remind them that Anthony and other women's rights activists went to jail to protest an injustice. Have students write about what they might feel strongly enough about to protest and what actions are justified in order to change that injustice.


This article describes Anthony's trial. Interestingly, she was not allowed to testify in her own defense because of her gender, and the judge entered the guilty verdict without allowing the jury to deliberate.

This site honors Americans who have "gone the extra mile" by volunteering their time and effort to the cause of improving the lives of others. This site tries to pass on the spirit of volunteerism and commitment.

The American Memory Project includes this timeline of important events in the history of the women's suffrage movement.

This online companion to the Ken Burns documentary of the same name uses text, audio, and images to explore the women's suffrage movement, focusing on Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Related Resources