Margaret Chase Smith won her first seat in the House of Representatives in a special election after her husband, Clyde Smith, died in 1940. One week later, she was already fighting to serve as more than a placeholder when she went up against four male rivals for the primary nomination to retain her seat. She won that battle, and served four terms in the House. Smith moved on to the Senate in 1949 as the first woman elected to both houses of Congress. At that time, Smith was the only woman in the Senate. Although other women were appointed or elected to fill vacancies resulting from deaths, it was another decade before another woman was elected to the Senate and served a full term.
“Senator Margaret Chase Smith” Local Identifier: 306-PS-50-2756 (NAID: 6802716)
As a senator, Smith quickly claimed the national spotlight when she publicly condemned McCarthyism on June 1, 1950. In her “Declaration of Conscience” speech, Smith decried the baseless accusations that were being lobbed about the Senate and defended “basic principles of Americanism” such as “the right to criticize” and “the right to hold unpopular beliefs.” Smith also disparaged the Truman administration and called instead for unity in issues of national security. The speech led many to speculate that she could be a vice-presidential candidate.
A day in the life of Senator Margaret Chase Smith as she considered whether to run for president.
When Margaret Chase Smith decided to run for president in 1964, it was with apparent reluctance. Her principles dictated that she not miss time on the job as a senator, nor would she accept donations for her campaign. In addition, she planned to staff her campaign with only volunteers and would not run ads on television or radio. Clearly this was not a winning strategy, and so Smith’s run for president was largely symbolic. Despite that, Smith won nearly thirty percent of the vote in Illinois, one of two states where she actively campaigned. She also won votes in Massachusetts, Oregon, and Texas, where she had no campaign presence. At the national convention in July, Smith became the first woman to have her name put forth for the nomination of a major party, and garnered the votes of 26 delegates.
The lead story in this Universal newsreel shows Senator Smith announcing her run for president at the Women’s National Press Club on January 27, 1964.
Barry Goldwater ultimately won the Republican nomination in 1964, and was defeated by Lyndon Baines Johnson in a landslide. Margaret Chase Smith continued to serve in the Senate until her defeat in the 1972 election. In total, Smith served more than 32 years in Congress.
Before being elected to the New York State legislature in 1964 (only the second African-American woman to serve in that body), Shirley Chisholm spent nearly two decades in early childhood education. That experience drove much of her political career as she fought for the creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), federal funds to support childcare, and defending the national school lunch program from a veto by President Gerald Ford.
Shirley Chisholm, shortly after her election to Congress in 1968. Local Identifier: 306-PSC-68-3539 (NAID: 7452354)
In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to the House of Representatives. Chisholm was controversial from the start; in her first speech on the floor, she spoke against the war in Vietnam and vowed that she would not vote to approve military funding.
Just as Margaret Chase Smith’s political career was coming to an end, Shirley Chisholm launched her own historic run for the White House. Chisholm was the first black woman to run for the Democratic nomination. Her campaign was divisive, as prominent feminists and black activists backed the seemingly more-electable George McGovern over Chisholm. Chisholm frequently said that she faced more discrimination for her sex than for the color of her skin. Still, Shirley Chisholm’s name appeared on the primary ballots of twelve states and she won ten percent of the delegates at the national convention.
In this clip, from a longer film called Accomplished Women (1974), Shirley Chisholm states that she would be surprised if there were not a woman president within 25 years.
George McGovern won the Democratic nomination and was defeated by Richard Nixon. Shirley Chisholm served seven terms in the House of Representatives before retiring to private life.
So for the brainless anti-gunners on the internet who think they’ve been able to convincingly masquerade around as a ‘moderate’ on the issue of ‘Common Sense’ Gun Control, it is okay for you all to take off your masks now.
Seriously, there’s no more reason to hide anything. You don’t have to put your Community Face on anymore, just let it all hang out. It’ll make the gun debates a little less frustrating to finally talk to people who say what they really mean, and not lather it up with lies.
“The burden of tax paperwork can be expressed in dollars. Based on the average earnings of U.S. workers, Tax Foundation finds that federal tax paperwork imposes a $409 billion annual cost on the economy.”
For many of us, the Bernie campaign was the most exhilarating, fun, stressful, and ultimately beautiful experience of our lives. It’s hard to imagine that it’s really over. There was a crack in the door, and it might feel like a once-a-century opportunity just shut forever. But we created that opportunity, and it leads straight to a much larger one—if we’re bold enough to pursue it.
Brand New Congress is a campaign to recruit a slate of 400+ candidates to replace every corrupt and complicit member of Congress. We’re running a single, unified presidential-style campaign around this slate of honest, community servant-leaders from every walk of life. Imagine a campaign that huge! And it’ll be even better this time, because we’re already organized. We know how to work together. We know what we’re capable of. With a whole new generation of tools and organizing techniques, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible.
Brand New Congress candidates will be united around a populist platform to rebuild the whole American economy and to carry out a revolution in our political, justice, and social services systems. We believe this is a “no brainer” goal that virtually all of America already wants.
Americans have finally been pushed too far—and Bernie’s campaign revealed just how ready we are for a revolution. We want to get all 320 million of us working together again to build the best life possible for ourselves in the 21st century and beyond. Our revolution is aimed at creating a new normal in America where everyone has the time, resources and education to create and invent, has access to good work, has time to raise their children well and take care of their families and communities.
Even though we didn’t always talk about it in terms that big on the Bernie campaign, isn’t that what we were fighting for? We knew that no matter who becomes president in 2016, we will need a Congress to hold them accountable. Our goal is nothing less than to win a super majority in Congress, and eventually to revisit the White House.
This is the revolution you signed up for, and it didn’t end last night. This is only the beginning.
Please give all the best organizers you know from the Bernie campaign and other movements a chance to join Brand New Congress!
Two years on, warm words and assurances have not converted to action. Ancient woodland habitats deserve better.
We launched the Enough is Enough campaign in 2014 in response to thoughtless remarks from the Government about ‘replacing’ ancient woodland; the final straw in a long line of frustrations about how ancient woodland and ancient trees were being treated in policy and key decisions. The huge public response the campaign immediately generated caught the Government’s attention; we met with the right people, and they said the right things: ancient woodlands should be properly cared for, respected and kept safe from harm.
Sadly, so far very little has changed for ancient woodland. Except that the situation is worsening. Politics, like forestry, is a long game. But since 2014 the UK has been served by three – count ‘em – different governments, and a new Defra team every time. It’s no wonder progress has been difficult.
The main cause of our problems however is not solely down to political changes, constraining as they have been. One thing has been consistent - dogged insistence from the Government that ancient woodland is “adequately protected”. We beg to differ.
I wish people would sober up a bit. The jig is up. People are poker chips; we are all poker chips. They put us in different piles according to our value, and craft scripts and game plans specified to the task of seducing the maximum number of people from each group into the cult; these creeps even change their accents when they speak around the country. These people don’t have the compassion you think they do, they just know we have compassion, and they play on that compassion in order to split us apart.
So reject the script! For Christ’s sake this is why race relations are so bad! This is why the wars never end. This is why schools are rotting.
Why would anyone want more of this? Why are people asking and rationalizing for more of this?
Another irony: In this particular case, this is proof that the party, which is most against racial profiling of any kind, is, essentially, profiling people in order to survive…because they definitely don’t have any good ideas.