Exploration of How Women Became Involved in Running for Political Office (1964)

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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

Exploration of How Women Became Involved in Running for Political Office (1964)

This clip highlights how women became involved in running for political office and, through tenacious sacrifice, created roles for themselves in a “man’s world.” For example, Representative Frances Bolton entered politics after her husband died in office and Clare Boothe Luce transitioned from Congress into a presidential administration as Ambassador to Italy.

Of People and Politics; The Women | National Educational Television and Radio Center | June 28, 1964 This video clip and associated transcript appear from 04:48 - 11:15 in the full record.

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