This Day in History

July 4, 1876: Suffragists Crash Centennial Celebration at Independence Hall

Time Periods: Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1876, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899
Themes: Voting Rights, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Laws & Citizen Rights, Organizing, Women's History
People’s History of Fourth of July: Beyond 1776 - On July 4, 1876, suffragists crash the Centennial Celebration at Independence Hall to present the “Declaration of the Rights of Women” | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Four of five women who delivered the declaration: (L-R) Matilda Joslyn Gage, Lillie Devereux Blake, Susan B. Anthony, and Phoebe Couzins.

On July 4, 1876, 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, members of the National Woman Suffrage Association crashed the Centennial Celebration at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to present the “Declaration of the Rights of Women.”

The declaration was signed by noted suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Read more about this at event at Ms. Magazine and read the full document at the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Papers Project.

Explore an earlier period of the women’s suffrage movement in “Seneca Falls, 1848: Women Organize for Equality,” a role play that allows students to examine issues of race and class when exploring both the accomplishments and limitations of the Seneca Falls Convention.