1948 September 13

Margaret Chase Smith First Woman Elected to Senate

 

Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican from Maine, became the first woman elected to the Senate to a full six-year term. Other women had previously served by appointment to finish a male senator’s term. A special election was held on this date due to the retirement of the incumbent senator. Smith also became the first woman to serve in both the House and Senate.

Senator Smith is most famous for her rebuke to Senator Joe McCarthy, on June 1, 1950, in which she condemned his reckless anti-Communist tactics. She was ignored and even punished by the Republican leaders in the Senate by being removed from some committee assignments. She was the only woman in the Senate in 1950; following the 2012 elections, there were 20 women in the Senate.

In 1964 she was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President (see below).

Read: Patricia Ward Wallace, Politics of Conscience: A Biography of Margaret Chase Smith (1995)

See the report on the number of women in Congress, for each session 1917–2014: http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=%270E%2C*PLS%3D%22%40%20%20%0A

Watch Margaret Chase Smith and Eleanor Roosevelt on Face the Nationhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-yuKotSxYw

Learn more about women who ran for President: https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/president/president.html

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!