The Mystery of a Suffrage Group’s Safe is Revealed

The Mystery of a Suffrage Group’s Safe is Revealed


>>MARY SINGLETARY: This organization was
founded and established by Susan B. Anthony in 1888. I’ve been with this organization
for the last 15 years and the safe has been in this office all this time.>>CATHERINE CERULLI: And when I looked at
the safe, I said, “This is amazing! What is in this safe? What could it be?” And she said,
“We don’t know what’s in it.” And when I asked her why, she explained the financial struggles
of the organization.>>MARY SINGLETARY: It was very expensive
to have the safe opened, and so I had to make a choice – do I want to open the safe, or
do I want to take the money and support our programs?>>CATHERINE CERULLI: No one in the organization
had an institutional memory of the last time it was opened, so it became a real opportunity
to help the organization and to possibly answer some questions.>>MARY SINGLETARY: We’re very fortunate that
the University of Rochester decided that this would be a very historical thing for us to
do in celebration of our 125th anniversary. So, we’re very grateful to them for the support
that they have given us to open this safe today. People have said all sorts of things
that they thought might be in the safe. There may be some very important papers. There may
be some money. There may be some statements made by Susan B. Anthony.>>Pull on the handle.>>And there is stuff in there! [applause]>>Oh my! There is money in there!>>And true to your organization, it looks
like these are international coins.>>MARY SINGLETARY: Yes, I’m absolutely thrilled
and overwhelmed. The only thing I want to make sure is you give me the combination so
that if I want to open it later, I may be able to open it later.>>CATHERINE CERULLI: I think for me, the
journey is a large part of the fun and excitement. The journey of connecting with the National
Council, the journey of coming to New York and getting to meet with people who are like
minded and committed to the movement.>>Letters regarding a loan. [laughs] I hope
you’ve paid it off!>>CATHERINE CERULLI: So for me, it was an
added bonus when we opened the doors and there was something in there.>>The Susan B. Anthony gavel, given to Susan
B. Anthony at the first International Council of Women in 1888. The original gavel is a
symbol of strength and forward thinking of the eary advocates of women’s rights.>>It may not go all the way back to 1888,
but it goes back far enough to give us a good insight as to how we were established and
the goals and focus of where we should be going.>>CATHERINE CERULLI: Regardless of what’s
in the safe or what’s not in the safe, this is an opportunity to remind people that we
have a long way to go, and I think the safe is symbolic of a wake up call for us to really
think about where we need to go.>>Salut!>>A production of the University of Rochester.
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