Washington — President Trump announced Tuesday he is posthumously pardoning Susan B. Anthony, a leader of the women's suffrage movement who was arrested for illegally voting in 1872.
Mr. Trump announced the full pardon for Anthony during the signing of a proclamation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote.
"She was never pardoned. Did you know that?" the president said during remarks at the event. "What took so long?"
Anthony was arrested after voting in the 1872 presidential election in her hometown of Rochester, New York, and charged with "knowingly, wrongfully and unlawfully" voting. She was convicted and ordered to pay a $100 fine.
The White House said in a statement the grant of clemency "recognizes and pays tribute to the advocacy, perseverance, and leadership of a truly remarkable woman and an American hero."
"Susan B. Anthony is an American icon who has inspired millions of women across the nation through her advocacy and accomplishments, and the generations of Americans who have devoted themselves to the work of perfecting our union are forever indebted to her example and legacy," the White House said. "The decision to posthumously pardon Susan B. Anthony removes a conviction for exercising a fundamental American right and one that we as citizens will lawfully employ this November."
The president on Monday teased to reporters that he would be pardoning someone "very, very important" but did not say who. He did, however, say it would not be Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents, or Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
Mr. Trump's grant of clemency to Anthony comes as he struggles to gain support from women voters. Aof registered voters released Sunday found that 56% of women said they would vote for Joe Biden, while 39% said they would back the president. A of registered voters in May found 53% of women said they would vote for Biden, compared to 37% who would cast their ballot for Mr. Trump.
Biden is set to accept the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday with a speech that will close out the Democratic National Convention, which began Monday with speeches from Senator Bernie Sanders, a group of four Republicans who are bucking their party to support Biden and former first lady Michelle Obama, among others.
Obama, who delivered the keynote address, lambasted Mr. Trump in her speech, saying he "cannot meet this moment" and is unfit to serve a second term.
When asked to respond to Obama's speech, Mr. Trump said she was "over her head" and called the remarks "divisive."