If you don’t really want to watch the news today, I don’t blame you. It’s going to be a run-on sentence of talking heads, messy data, empty punditry, more messy data, “analysis,” man-on-the-street interviews with people who claim they will “storm the White House” while “armed” if their candidate loses, commercials for Aspirin, numbers, numbers, numbers, and — at some point — a new president who hopefully is a woman.
As an alternative — or just a release valve — I suggest watching News 8 WROC’s Facebook Live of Susan B. Anthony’s grave site in my hometown of Rochester, New York. Anthony was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist who played a pivotal role in the achievement of women’s suffrage. Here are some examples of very punk rock things she did in hopes that someday women would be allowed to vote:
- In 1868, Anthony started an abolitionist and feminist newspaper with her best friend and called it The Revolution.
- She attempted to vote in Rochester in 1872 — and got arrested. She was publicly tried and convicted, but refused to pay the $100 fine.
- Anthony set up the World’s Congress of Representative Women at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Five hundred women from 27 different countries gave speeches to over 150,000 spectators, making it the most well-attended political congregation at the Fair.
- She was the first woman to appear on US currency who was not a fictional character.
- Anthony went before Congress every year from 1869 to her death in 1906, asking them to consider an amendment allowing women to vote. When it was finally passed in 1920, it was called the “Susan B. Anthony amendment.”
- “Failure is impossible.”
Update: 8 WROC is now on its third livestream of the grave site.
As of this writing, nearly 10,000 people are tuned into the stream. Repeat: 10,000 people, watching a grave. This is, aside from incredibly relaxing Election Day content, a very interesting use of Facebook Live. I believe it’s the first I’ve seen in which a camera is just trained on a burial site indefinitely. It would be morbid if it weren’t so dang inspiring — there’s been a non-stop stream of women stopping to pin their “I Voted” sticker on the headstone in thanks since the moment I tuned in.
Anthony is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in the historic section of Rochester — it’s very beautiful and famed abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass is also buried there. The cemetery will be open late tonight so that anyone who wants to can give Susan their sticker, lay some flowers at her grave, and take a selfie to commemorate a truly historic day. 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.