Senator Margaret Chase Smith
Margaret Chase Smith - US Senator
argaret Chase Smith is a woman who helped pave the way for women to make their contributions possible in the political arena. It is with this lens that I hope to inform the unknown about this woman's accomplishments.
In 1930, Margaret focused her attention to public service and became a member of the Republican state committee. After losing her husband, Congresswoman Smith to a heart attack in 1940, Margaret won a special election to succeed him and remained in the House for four terms. She introduced legislation to give women permanent status in the military.
During her 24-year Senate career, she accomplished the following: Expert in military affairs and aeronautics; served as the ranking Republican on both the Armed Services Committee and the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee; she was commented for having a major role in assisting with the US landing on the Moon; first women elected to a leadership post in the Senate. Probably best known for her courageous role she took against politics of "fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear", which she attributed to Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. On June 1, 1950, she spoke to the Senate in condemnation of McCarthyism. Her "Declaration of Conscience" is well worth the read. (referenced below).
Margaret Chase Smith (December 14, 1897-May 29, 1995) was a Republican Senator from Maine, and one of the most successful politicians in Maine history. She was the first woman to be elected to both the U.S. House and the Senate, and the first woman from Maine to serve in either. She was also the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for the U.S. Presidency at a major party's convention (1964 Republican Convention, won by Barry Goldwater). She was a moderate Republican, included with those known as Rockefeller Republicans. When she left office, Smith had the record as the longest-serving female senator in United States history, ranking 11th in seniority among the members of the Senate, a distinction that has not been surpassed.
She Was a Lady of Firsts
She was the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
She was the first woman to be elected to both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
She was the first woman to face another woman in a U.S. Senate election campaign.
She was the first woman to become a ranking member of a congressional committee.
She was the first woman to serve on the Armed Services Committee.
She was the first woman to serve on the Appropriations Committee.
She was the first woman to be elected chair of the Republican Conference.
She was the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for the Presidency by either major political party in 1964.
She was the first civilian woman to sail on a U.S. destroyer in wartime.
Credit: C-Span Congressional Chronicle
DECLARATION OF CONSCIENCE
By Margaret Chase Smith
I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear. It is a condition that comes from the lack of effective leadership in either the Legislative Branch or the Executive Branch of our Government.
That leadership is so lacking that serious and responsible proposals are being made that national advisory commissions be appointed to provide such critically needed leadership.
I speak as briefly as possible because too much harm has already been done with irresponsible words of bitterness and selfish political opportunism. I speak as briefly as possible because the issue is too great to be obscured by eloquence. I speak simply and briefly in the hope that my words will be taken to heart.
I speak as a Republican. I speak as a woman. I speak as a United States Senator. I speak as an American.
She expressed in 1953, "My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned but not bought."
An Amazon of Great Reads
Smears are not only to be expected but fought. Honor is to be earned, not bought...Margaret C. Smith
Link Along With Me
Mrs. Smith held 88 honorary degrees from colleges and universities in Maine and Canada. President George H. W. Bush awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor
- Margaret Chase Smith Library
The Northwood University Margaret Chase Smith Library is an archive, museum, educational facility, and public policy center devoted to preserving the legacy of Margaret Chase Smith, promoting research into twentieth-century political history, advanci
- Charles Bridge - Book Review
Margaret Chase Smith: A Woman for President
- National Women' History Museum
Excellent references and links regarding women.
- Center for American Women and Politics
Facts and References
Women Who Changed History
- History. Com
Women's History Month
- Women on the Move
A network of enterprising women
- Sarah Pac
About Sarah Palin
- Angel Fire
100 Important Women in History
- Great Women.org
Women of the Hall
- Margaret Chase Policy Center
About Us The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, established in 1989, is a nonpartisan, independent research and public service unit of the University of Maine. The Center is dedicated to improving and promoting the quality of public dialogue about
Smith spent only $85 on her campaign vs. multimillions for Clinton in 2008--each wanted to be known as a candidate, not a woman.
Quote by Margaret
"We should not permit tolerance to degenerate into indifference."