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PRESS

PBS Newshour:

With Hillary Clinton as front-runner for the Democratic nomination, the possibility of a female president is closer than ever. But Clinton is far from the first woman to shoot for the Oval Office. In her new book, “The Highest Glass Ceiling,” author Ellen Fitzpatrick charts the history of female presidential candidates and the odds they battled. READ MORE

MTV News:

Originally her intent was to run against John Kennedy. That all changes in November 1963. In her own party, she saw that on the far left, the choice was Nelson Rockefeller, governor of New York, and on the right was Barry Goldwater of Arizona, so she thought there needed to be more of a moderate voice. Her announcement speech to the National Women’s Press Club, it was very clever. READ MORE

Washington Post:

Why hasn’t there ever been a Madam President?

It’s certainly not for lack of trying. At least 35 women have run for president of the United States, usually as candidates of little-known political parties with no chance of winning. Fifty years ago Monday, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine became the first woman to seek the backing of a major political party when she announced her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

At the time, Smith was the only woman in the U.S. Senate READ MORE

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Boston Globe:

It wasn't much of a sound bite by 2016 standards — way too many syllables. But when a Republican senator, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, stood up to Joseph McCarthy in 1950, attacking him for his shameful reliance on “the Four Horsemen of Calumny — Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear,” it caused a sensation. Smith’s blast of Northern New England air cooled down a country that had become dangerously overheated and eventually led to McCarthy’s demise.READ MORE

 

The New Yorker:

In mid-November of 1963, a week before he left for his fateful campaign trip to Dallas, Texas, John F. Kennedy held the last press conference of his Presidency, where he fielded a question about the upcoming 1964 Presidential race. “Would you comment on the possible candidacy of Margaret Chase Smith, and specifically what effect that would have on the New Hampshire primary?” a reporter asked. The question alone provoked merriment among the largely male press corps. The prospect of a female Presidential contender clearly seemed preposterous to many. But Kennedy was prepared.​ READ MORE

 

Wall Street Journal:

This New England town of fewer than 9,000 souls isn't expecting a throng Monday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of an event sadly lost to history, native daughter Margaret Chase Smith's announcement that she would seek the 1964 Republican presidential candidacy.It was on Jan. 27, 1964, that Smith launched a campaign that would provide a national audience for her message of a strong, undivided America, bolster respect for women as political thinkers and leaders, and ultimately make her the first woman to appear on the ballot of a major-party convention. READ MORE

 

New York Magazine: 

Clinton remembers, as a girl, running home from her suburban Chicago primary school on Fridays to read Life magazine, which is where she discovered Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman elected to both houses of Congress, and was “just amazed that this woman did this.” READ MORE

Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC):

America a late arrival to choosing female leaders

Rachel Maddow looks back at some past American female presidential candidacies and notes that while many other countries broke that barrier long ago, Hillary Clinton's nomination will be the closest any American woman has made it so far. WATCH

WABI-TV 5:

With Hillary Clinton now the first female to be the presumptive presidential nominee for a major party, we take a look back at a political pioneer from Maine. I visited the Margaret Chase Smith Library to learn more about the Skowhegan native. “In our culture, that’s like one of the last prevailing barriers is this barrier of a woman trying to become the first president of the United States,” said David Richards, the Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Library. WATCH

The New Yorker:

"A Lady for President? Third Graders Respond." In January, 1964, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, of Maine, entered the New Hampshire primary, becoming the first woman to run for a major-party Presidential nomination. Smith’s career had begun the way most female legislators’ did half a century ago: after the death of her husband, Clyde Smith, in 1940, she was selected to replace him according to the “widow’s mandate.” READ MORE

The Press Herald:

Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith played noteworthy role in ‘cracking the glass ceiling.' The Republican senator, a Skowhegan native, was the first woman to be considered for nomination for president by a major party. READ MORE

The National Archives, Unwritten Record Blog:

In this week of firsts, we consider the women who first ran for major party nominations in the United States: Margaret Chase Smith and Shirley Chisholm. 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. READ MORE