WXXI AM News

Rochester sister city in France dedicating square to Susan B. Anthony

Mar 3, 2018

A group of 30 people from Rochester is on their way to France this weekend to celebrate the legacy of Susan B. Anthony.

Rochester's sister city of Rennes, France is dedicating a square in their city to Anthony.

Deborah Hughes, President of the Susan B. Anthony House says people don’t realize Anthony also had a global role in women’s rights, helping establish the International Women’s Council, which also started International Women’s Day.

"It’s a really big deal, Rochester sometimes thinks of Susan B Anthony as our own, and doesn’t realize the international influence she's had, and that she continues to have. She's still an inspiration. Because not only did she believe that everyone in this country should be able to participate in their democracy, she felt that women all around the world should have the rights to education, to health care.”

Travelers boarded a bus to Canada Saturday, and will fly from Toronto to France.

Hughes said they didn’t plan for so many people to be interested, and sold out the trip.

As a member of the Susan B. Anthony House and former city council president, Lois Geiss wanted to help represent our city as well as the house and museum.

"Interestingly enough I think that France and Europe really respect the women's vote is important. If you look, we have women who are Chancellor’s and Prime Minister’s."

Laura Whitbeck and her wife Judy Ames are celebrating their 20th anniversary on the trip. Whitbeck says they were married in the carriage house at the Susan B Anthony Museum six years ago.

"For us, especially with the Rochester connection, Susan B Anthony had a great influence on the opportunities for women in this country, the ability to vote. She was famous in her time which I didn’t really understand until just recently."

Ames says for her, growing up in Rochester, she’s heard about Anthony since she was young.

"It’s a really important part of our history. And the fact that people are still talking about it, some of the things she said, if you look back at her quotes, they're more important today than ever. SO it just seems like a great year to celebrate her."

The square will be dedicated on International Women's Day, which is this Thursday March 8th.

The group is also helping celebrate the 60 year anniversary of being sister cities with Rennes.