A dynamic leader and passionate reformer, American suffragist Carrie Lane Chapman Catt (1859–1947) was born on this day in Ripon, Wisconsin and became a suffragist at age 13 when she learned, horrified, that her Dad could, but her Mom could not, vote in the 1872 presidential election.
She was outraged at the injustice.
As she got older, she worked as a high school principal and newspaper reporter and once said: "No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion."
Catt became a successful public lecturer and sought to secure women’s equality and right to vote. "Woman suffrage," she said, "is a long story of hard work and heartache, crowned by victory." In 1900, she succeeded Susan B. Anthony as the third president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
As founder of the League of Women Voters, she led the fight to pressure Congress to give women the right to vote with tireless citizen education and advocacy. With her astute leadership and grassroot support, the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.
Featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1926, Catt was a long-time friend of Eleanor Roosevelt and skillful political strategist who celebrated world peace activism and helped establish the League of Nations and the United Nations.
"The struggle for the vote was an effort to bring men to feel less superior and women to feel less inferior," she said.
Dedicate Yourself to Goodness.