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Margaret Chase Smith Campaigns for President, 1964

Margaret Chase Smith

In 1964, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith declared her candidacy for the Republican nomination for president, becoming the first woman to actively seek the presidential nomination of a major political party. Smith served in the Senate from 1949 to 1971, following a decade of service in the House of Representatives. The first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, Margaret Chase Smith emerged as one of the earliest critics of Wisconsin senator Joe McCarthy and the tactics that became known as "McCarthyism." On June 1, 1950, just three months after McCarthy rose to national prominence, Smith denounced his tactics with her Declaration of Conscience.