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We're marking the most significant milestone. In this country it took us nearly a hundred and fifty years to accept the simple truth of what Susan B. Anthony used to preach, when she said: it was we the people not we the white male citizens nor we the male citizens but we the whole people who form this union. Let me now conclude by saying to each of the more than a hundred-fifty women
honored here today, thank you very much thank you for responding to the call of your country and to the husbands present, may I say, that I hope, I earnestly and genuinely hope that you will overcome your present feelings toward this administration before next November [laughs and applause] [noise] [marching band playing] The National Educational Television Network presents Of People and Politics, twenty-one programs about the ways in which Americans perpetuate the system under which they live. [music plays] Tonight, The Women. Here is Richard D Heffner. The American woman on the
political scene, she's not a newcomer. Back in the year 1872 a lady named Victoria Claflin Woodhull was the first woman to run for president of the United States, a magnetic faith healer and a spiritualist, she ran on the equal rights party ticket. As far as anybody could determine clearly she ran on a platform of free love. Now, Mrs. Woodhull had some impressive qualifications but none of them were political, and Ulysses S. Grant won. The second lady to run for the presidency was a strong-willed suffragette named Belva Lockwood. She tried twice to get into the white house. Her qualifications were notably superior to Mrs. Woodhull's. She was an attorney, the first woman ever admitted to practice before the Supreme Court. But the American people were not ready in 1884 to consider seriously the candidacy of a woman for president. Belva Lockwood received less than 10,000 votes. Now 76 years later a woman has not yet been the American president, but women have been for over a century
deeply involved in American politics. In march of this year President Johnson appointed 109 eminently qualified women to high federal positions. Some of the posts, Commissioner of Atomic Energy, for example have never been held by a woman before. So we've come a long way since President Thomas Jefferson said the appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I. In 1961, President Kennedy convened a president's commission on the status of women. The United Nations has a similar commission both organizations are greatly interested in women's political roles. So are all political claims. But, how are women doing in politics today? What are their capacities? What kinds of jobs do they hold? Why do they want to get into the political picture and how do they do it? This is how Representative Francis P. Bulton of Ohio found herself in washington. Well you see my husband was in here for nearly ten years and uh when he
died in the middle of a term, his friends asked me you better finish it out Francis. You know more than anybody else about what he thought and of course I didn't tell them that I didn't know anything about what he thought. A man shouldn't bring his thoughts home. He leaves them up here and I was very glad to come in. I thought it was rather stupid to do it, but there was a year left and of course by the end of the year I was intensely interested and I've been here ever since. And that's 24 years. [music] Not all women have gotten into politics with such ease. The early ladies walked a long tough and frustrating road, creating a place for themselves in the mustached world of a man. The suffragette movement started in 1848 in Seneca, New York at the first Women's Rights Convention. There was always something faintly
ludicrous about these ladies who got out of the kitchen for the first time in history. The men said, this is an incongruous intrusion. The ladies said, resistance to oppression is obedience to God. Progress was slow yet in 1916 even before they have the vote Janette Rankin of Montana took a seat in the House of Representatives, first woman to get there. It was a significant breakthrough in the longest political argument the country had ever seen and the girls marching under the banner of the yellow jonquil coming together 10,000 strong to parade at the 1916 conventions were a lot more tenacious than the men ever thought they'd be. Finally, in 1920, they won. Susan B. Anthony's constitutional amendment written in 18 75 was added to the constitution 45 years later. Speaker Gillette and Vice President Marshall signed the bill and the ladies
emerged, ultimately, from the capital that day armed with the vote. a woman voter found it somewhat easier to become a woman politician. Eleanor Roosevelt, she got into politics by being the eyes and ears of a man who could not walk. She went everywhere, endured years of ridicule and emerged as the First Lady of the world. Clare Booth Luce wrote a hit play, married Henry Luce, won two congressional terms and finally became Eisenhower's ambassador to Italy. Mrs. Eugenia Anderson is sworn in as our first woman ambassador. Dean Acheson congratulates a lady who first made a mark in local Minnesota democratic politics, and a week later she's in Copenhagen. Pearl Master with a fortune based on very heavy machinery entered politics as the biggest party giver of the Truman years. She wound up as Minister to Luxembourg, is today back in Washington
still having a ball. Anna Rosenberg came up in politics on the long federal road. NRA, Social Security Board, War Manpower Commission, and finally Assistant Secretary of Defense. Today most women start their career in politics by joining something. If you're a woman, a Republican, and you live in New York City, you can join the Women's National Republican Club of New York and you can join a class called the Planning Organization and Conduct of a Campaign. The teacher? Colonel William Jay Walsh, longtime campaign manager for Fiorello La Guardia. Now this course is based on the proposition that the objective of all political activity should be to win elections. Either currently, or at some time in the future. And elections requires campaigns and elections are lost it is usually because of inefficiency in the planning, organization, and conduct of the campaigns
this is not true in every case. Many elections were or have been lost that could have been won by knowledge and competence in political campaign techniques. The class technique is simply to set up and run a simulated campaign headquarters, but other women join groups dedicated to action now. The former President of Sarah Lawrence College, Harold Taylor, sees this as one of the most valuable things that they can do. I don't think that women, yet, have learned how powerful a political force they exert, particularly in the field of human rights where one can be more radical in one's views publicly if one is a woman. Well without being suspect of being, um, just politically a subversive, than one can as a man. I think people are inclined to allow liberties of a political sort to women that they deny to men.
Since 1961, Women Strike for Peace has been an action organization taking a resolute stand against a threat to human life from nuclear holocaust, but these are women with a wide range of political and social ideas. Here they sit down for an informal exchange with a group of Russian professional women only invited for a three week stay in the United States. The question is at what age does co-education in the Soviet Union come to a halt? [background conversation] [laughter and applause] Well, education [indecipherable] is co-educational at all the stages, so there's no separation of the sexes.
So, promptly from the beginning little boys and little girls go to the Kingergarten together, go to elementary together. They go to junior high school together, to senior high school together, and when they graduate from high school, they can enter any institution of higher learning and that too is co-educational so there's no separation of the sexes at any stage of education [indecipherable] Is that the correct answer to your question? That answers my question. [applause] But the thing women most frequently join as they move into politics is a campaign. Leaving the dishes in the sink they had for campaign headquarters hoping secretly perhaps to be swept up into a vortex of policymaking but knowing
realistically that more mundane things are in store. for two hours, two days, two weeks or sometimes for years they work. They type, tabulate, telephone or stuff. Though some men may still question, as Jefferson did, their suitability for high office, nobody can question the utility around the precinct. Four out of five political workers on the local level all women. Six million women were volunteer workers in 1960. When asked if they would volunteer their services for the '64 campaign 8.5 million women Democratic and Republican said yes. On the day the polls open it is women who open and run them. Gradually their indefatigable enthusiasm is changing the face of american politics, because unlike the traditional male ward worker these ladies do not have to make a living out politics. They can be motivated simply by an interest in the candidate or by a desire to be what the League of Women Voters calls a modest agent for change.
[background conversation] Like most top lady politicians Mrs. Katherine Lacan knows all about life down on the unsung level. Well, I began as most volunteers, as an eager beaver at the Democratic National Committee and as nearly as I can remember I did the bottom or lower ranked chores and I've often thought about it since then in those days when you still used to have to lick the envelopes and stamps. Nobody does that anymore because we've got machines to do it. I was brought up by a politically-minded father who taught me to love my country, who taught me about legislation, about our government, and when I saw the way our country was going and so much of the evil around us I decided that perhaps I should dedicate my life to what i believe in. Well I got into politics in my hometown I was a committeemen and I rang doorbells and I carried petitions and I did
all those menial tasks, which I found extremely interesting, I might add, the idea that that's a very deadly existence I don't think that's true. You get to know people and you get to know your own people which is what I think is very important. And yet when you come right down to it when you compare the number of women officeholders with the number of men ,how much have they accomplished since that convention in Seneca over a century ago? Well, I don't think it's moved fast enough because all you have to do is look at the almost emerging countries, let's take India's the best example, but Japan is another example, where they had, um, democracy so to speak or voting rights for women in much shorter time than we have and yet they a greater proportion of women active in politics. Symbolically it's a man who looks down on the convention of the League of Women Voters as they meet in Pittsburgh this year. The League, founded in 1920, now has 135,000 members in
fifty states. Nonpartisan, with respect to candidates, the League does take a stand on issues. This is usually a moderately progressive stand so the ladies are sometimes accused of being a female front for the Democratic Party. Point of order at number three, the national board [indecipherable] the devious activity of the Congress yes
there was no opportunity to act and no need to act Is the mic on? Can you hear me? Because this is a new study, your name again please, McPeters California because this is a new study we need an item that has direction if we expect our consensus to have any strength at all and i think this is too broad and lacks direction. McCauley, State Board of Arizona, I just feel that we are wasting too much time on reconsidering at this point and losing time for program discussion. I move the previous question All in favor of moving the previous question, aye. opposed? [music] And so on the previous question the League of Women Voters votes though no more dedicated than the suffragettes they are more formidably informed over a much wider range of politics. They know candidates, the poll tax, reapportionment, urban renewal, race relations, foreign aid, everything. But their dedication is far greater than
the dedication of most American women. With 4.5 Million more women than men in this country men still dominate at the polls. Why? Because 22.5 Million eligible women did not bother to vote in 1960 and because in Pennsylvania, which women outnumbered men by 330,000 the men out-registered the women by 13,000. The ladies a long way to go. Yet, one women has emerged in the national scene this year who may provide all American women with the kind of inspiration they have never had before. The Gallup poll says that 58% of American men and 51% of American women would vote for a qualified woman to be president. Sir, if a qualified woman were nominated by the party of your choice, would you vote for her for President? Very definitely, the women of the United States are basically running our homes today and I think that they, that a woman, a qualified woman, could do a good job. Well if she were the right woman, I wouldn't vote for her just willy-nilly because she was a woman. Sire, would you vote for a woman for President? No.
I think she'd get the nomination without being qualified. No, I don't think we'll ever have a woman President for the reason that I don't think that the woman could physically withstand the strain of the presidency. It's a terrific strength and I don't think that a woman President would be the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy in a time of war and I don't think that the people of this country would want a woman as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy and make them have the final say on what action our country should take in a time of war. [applause] Margaret Chase Smith is the lady in question as a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, she disagrees emphatically with the view of the former Postmaster General. Arriving at O'hare Airport in Chicago, the week before the Illinois primary, Margaret Chase Smith is here to show Illinois voters the folksy and charming manner which she's been using to win elections in the state of Maine for almost a quarter of a century. [background conversations]
[background conversations] Nothing makes the candidate more real to the voter than that moment when the candidate reaches out and shakes the voters hand. It is the most powerful, persuasive moment in all politics. Especially when it's accompanied by a nice smile. [background conversations] The senator pauses appreciably for a little local showmanship. Then her campaign motorcade gets underway. It's a long road for any person, man or woman, to the presidency, but Margaret Chase Smith travels it undauntedly. Moving west as she travels across central Illinois in search of votes. She's serious about her efforts and realistic the outcome. This is a typically modest, informal
Smith campaign trip. The signs are hand-lettered and the total costs come to $100. [noise] [noise] I think it was nice to, it's nice to do this on an informal basis. Well I like it. It's not like getting into the homes. I think people feel a little better and you get a little closer to people than you do in a hall. And I think the rallys, I don't know how much you hear, how much you do with rallys, but I think they are of the past. Well, we're not going to have anything like that today. It's going to sail through be there in about an hour and the regular organization of three counties is sponsoring it. it today. How interesting. Then we'll move onto Moline. This is a new pattern for Illinois to me and I don't know anything about it. Well, we're covering the central part of it. Oh yes. Central and western part of it. It's very great to, a privilege to go in like this and get it all set up before we go in. The people
are very excited about this today. Well they ought to be, the primary is very close. This flat rich prairieland is a new part of the country for Margaret Chase Smith and she hopes to see a lot more new country before November. A twelve hour workday like this is no novelty for her. Having answered almost seventeen hundred Senate roll calls, she is known on Capitol Hill as a one woman taskforce who can out work, out think and outmaneuver many a man. John F Kennedy called her a formidable her political figure. [indecipherable] said an Amazon warmonger hiding behind a red robe. Yet for all her self reliance and efficiency, she's feminine and considerate. She's careful to get the little girl's name just right before signing the autograph book. Like all politicians she knows that children have parents and that the children themselves grow up faster than you might think.
More mileage, more towns, more coffee, more people, more handshakes and then at the end of the day the inevitable political chicken dinner. After the waiters have stopped rattling the dishes, Margaret Chase Smith stands up and tells the folks exactly what she thinks. If I had my way, Governor Rockefeller, Ambassador at Large, Mr. Nixon, Governmor Scranton, Governor Romney and Governor Stassy would all be on the ballot here to give to give you the widest possible choice instead of sitting this one out because of the apparent strength of Senator Goldwater with a Republican organization of Illinois. I'm going to ask now the subject which is where is the proper
place of a woman? It's a question that's often asked of me. The quizzes have asked this question defiantly, ambitiously, hopefully, and just plain inquisitively. But it has been asked so many times, in so many ways, and by so many types of people that of necessity my answer has had to transcend the normal and understandable prejudice that a woman may have. My answer is short and simple. Woman's proper place is everywhere. Since the granting of suffrage to women the only differential between men and women as citizens has been the availability and acceptance of leadership. Some claim that the availability of leadership to women has
been unfairly limited. I have no sympathy with this view because it is only those who make the breaks who get them. In other words to increase the availability of leadership. Women must by their own actions create and force that increased availability. And what do these observations have to do where the answer to what is a place for women? Simply this. America, the peace leader of the world, has granted the greatest opportunity to the women and America's peace leadership stems directly from the influence and participation of American women women in shaping the decisions of this country. Margaret Chase Smith of Skowhegan, Maine is no erratic, hopeful suffragette on
the equal rights ticket. The significant point about her is that she is a qualified, experienced, hardworking Republican politician [noise] [noise] The significant point about the thousands of ladies down on the lower levels is that they today are equipped for the jobs that they are doing and with their intense interest in family, home, and school they've succeeded in injecting these things more and more into the daily political life of our nation. The time has past when the phrase women in politics evokes a vision of a group of ladies in ornamental hats applauding a male candidate with ladylike enthusiasm as they provide a kind of window dressing for his campaign. They're no longer content to hold on merely honorary jobs for the for the glory of their sex. The kind of workday life is at last opening for women in politics as it did long ago in journalism, in business and in medicine. The future of American women in politics is of
course not entirely clear. But it would seem that President Johnson's view is winning out over President Jefferson's that capable women are here not only to stay but to flower. And one day we may find them not only in the precincts but in the presidency too. Next week Of People and Politics examines primaries from FDR in New Hampshire to Barry Goldwater in California. Do they really work or are they a perfect example of a reform gone sour? What have they meant to a candidate's chances in the past and what will they mean in the future? Next week: the primaries. [music] [music] [music] [music]
Of People and Politics [music] [music] [music] Produced through the facilities of Channel 13, WNVP, New York
[music] [music] This is NET, National Educational Television
Of People and Politics
Episode Number
The Women
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
Women have come a long way in the world of politics since Thomas Jefferson declared, "The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared." Times have changed since 1872 when Victoria C. Woodhull ran for President on the Equal Rights Party ticket and lost to Ulysses S. Grant. Women fought to get the right to vote and the suffrage movement in 1848 sparked the way that led to the constitutional amendment of 1920. More recently, in 1961, the importance of the role of women in the American scene was especially emphasized when President Kennedy established a President's Commission on the Status of Women. And in March, 1964, President Johnson appointed one hundred and nine women to high federal positions. Of course, both political parties have long had a special interest in the woman's vote. This episode traces the history of women in politics, highlights with film women who have emerged in important political and world roles - such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Clare Booth Luce, Eugenia Anderson, Anna Rosenberg, covers a class of the Women's National Republican Club School of Politics in New York City conducted by William J. Walsh, visits the recent national convention of the Women's League of Voters in Pittsburgh, looks in on an informal discussion between the Women's Strike for Peace - an organization devoted to a wide range of political and social ideas - and a group of Russian professional women visiting the United States, and covers a trip by Republican Presidential candidate Senator Margaret Chase Smith during her campaign in the 1964 Illinois primary election. Four out of five political workers on the local level are women, the episode points out. Six million women were volunteer workers in the 1960 Presidential election. Women open and run the polls. Their enthusiasm is changing the face of American politics. Yet 22 - million eligible women didn't bother to vote in 1960. The Gallup Poll reports that 58 percent of the nation's men and 51 percent of its women would vote for a qualified woman to be President. Surveying such questions as how women are doing in politics, what kind of jobs they hold, and why they want to get into the political picture, the program features interviews with eminent women who are now serving in high national and international positions. As a guest, US Congresswoman Frances P. Bolton, Republican of Ohio, tells how and why she decided to enter politics after her husband - an Ohio congressman - died. Mrs. Katie S. Loucheim, director of the Office of Community Advisory Services, US Department of State recalls how her climb up the political ladder started at the precinct level. US House of Representatives Katharine St. George, Republican of New York and members of Congress since 1946, recalls what motivated her to enter the political arena. US Senator Maurine Neuberger, Democrat of Oregon, discusses her decision to campaign for the Senate. James A Farley, former US Postmaster General, expresses his opposition toward the idea of a woman President and declares he wouldn't vote for a woman Presidential candidate. William J. Walsh, long time campaign manager of the late New York City Mayor FH LaGuardia, discusses some of the techniques used in the Women's National Republican Club School of Politics in New York City, where he teaches. Mrs. Elizabeth Iglehart, second Vice President of the Women's National Republican Club in New York City, observes that most women start their political career by joining a political organization of a group dedicated to action. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
This series is an effort to show in a comprehensive and exciting manner what's involved in US politics and what those politics are about. The series follows the progress of campaigns in the 1964 presidential election year, appraises the importance of campaign developments, and probes such matters as voter apathy, minority blocs, public opinion polls, the presidency, and campaign financing. To capture the complete scope of the nation's political system, NET's camera crews traveled across the United States to probe the views of government leaders, politicians, candidates, senior citizens, urban and rural voters, party workers, political analysts, and students. NET's unit also documented on-the-spot coverage of political events and developments relevant to the 1964 presidential election year. Of People and Politics was based upon research supplied by Operations and Policy Research Inc., of Washington, DC, headed by Dr. Evron Kirkpatrick, and including Richard Scammon, director of the US Census Bureau; Donald Herzberg, director of the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University; Max Kampelman, a Washington attorney; and Mrs. Kirkpatrick, a political scientist. Series host Richard D. Heffner, a well-known broadcaster and educator, is former general manager of WNDT, New York City's educational television station. He directed special projects and public affairs programs for television starting in 1956 and previously taught history and political science. Mr. Heffner is the author-editor of several books, including A Documentary History of the United States and Democracy in America. Of People and Politics is a 1964 National Educational Television production. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
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Public Affairs
Politics and Government
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Associate Producer: Pels, Pat
Director: Rigsby, Gordon
Executive Producer: Pickard, Larry
Executive Producer: Wilson, William
Guest: Neuberger, Maurine
Guest: Farley, James A.
Guest: Walsh, William J.
Guest: Bolton, Frances P.
Guest: Loucheim, Katie S.
Guest: Iglehart, Elizabeth
Guest: St. George, Katharine
Host: Heffner, Richard D.
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Writer: Muheim, Harry
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2198617-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
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Chicago: “Of People and Politics; 3; The Women,” 1964-06-28, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2023,
MLA: “Of People and Politics; 3; The Women.” 1964-06-28. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2023. <>.
APA: Of People and Politics; 3; The Women. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from