Although many countries around the world have had a woman as the leader of their government, the U.S. has never had a woman president. Women were running for president, though, even before women had the right to vote. See how many of the women you can match with her accomplishment (answers at the end):
_____ 1. First woman vice presidential candidate of a major American political party.
_____ 2. The first black woman elected to Congress; she received 151 delegate votes when she campaigned for the presidency.
_____ 3. The former senator almost won her party's nomination for president in 2008; she later served as Secretary of State.
_____ 4. Established her own party and ran for president in 1872.
_____ 5. This presidential candidate never denied being female; she said "I have a brain and a uterus, and I use both."
A. Shirley Chisholm
B. Victoria Woodhull
C. Hillary Clinton
D. Patricia Schroeder
E. Geraldine Ferraro
Very few people would argue that Victoria Woodhull was a well-behaved woman -- and she did make history! She was the first woman to address the U.S. Congress. In addition, in 1872, she established her own political party and ran for the office of U.S. President. Woodhull and her sister operated a brokerage firm and published a newspaper. Some of her views were extreme, however, and eventually she and her sister moved to England. Woodhull has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
One hundred years later Shirley Chisholm ran for the office of president -- in 1972. Chisholm was elected to Congress from New York State in 1968. There she advocated for improved access to education and unemployment and other programs that would reduce unemployment and help her inner city constituents. Her first book, published in 1970, was titled Unbossed and Unbought. She received 151 delegate votes in her run for the presidency in 1972. Chisholm has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Like Chisholm, Patricia Schroeder also served in the U.S. Congress. Her book about her years in the U.S. Congress is titled 24 Years of Housework . . . and the Place is Still a Mess. Originally elected to Congress from Colorado (the state where I live now) in 1972, Schroeder was a strong advocate for family leave and women's health research. In 1975, in defending women's capabilities, she was quoted as saying "I have a brain and a uterus, and I use both." Schroeder ran for president in the 1988 election. She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
The 1984 presidential election featured a first for the U.S.: Geraldine Ferraro , a woman, was the candidate for vice president of a major American political party. Although the ticket lost, huge new ground had been broken for women. Ferraro served in the U.S. Congress, representing New York, and was a strong advocate for women's and human rights. On the night that she was selected as the vice presidential candidate, she said "Tonight, the daughter of an immigrant from Italy has been chosen to run for vice president in the new land my father came to love..." Ferraro has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
After serving as First Lady and a senator from New York State, Hillary Clinton sought the presidential nomination in 2008. Withdrawing in favor of Barrack Obama, who was elected to two consecutive terms, Clinton served the Obama administration as Secretary of State. Currently on a book tour, Clinton has not confirmed whether or not she will be a candidate for president in 2016. She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These outstanding women are among the more than 850 profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I always vote and I look forward to the day when a woman is elected President of the United States; which I hope will be within my lifetime!
(Answers: 1-E, 2-A, 3-C, 4-B, 5-D)