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Senator Margaret Chase Smith

January 1, 2019

1976 – Skowehegan, Maine

Margaret Chase Smith was one of America’s great public figures. Elected to the U.S. Congress after the death of her husband, Representative Clyde H. Smith, her own political career spanned more than three decades from 1940-1973. She was the first woman to serve in both the U.S. House and Senate. She earned widespread respect for her knowledge, wisdom and firm commitment to the values of enlightened government and was the first woman to be nominated for the U.S. Presidency by a major political party (Republican, 1964). She was concerned about those in the armed forces, especially women, and served on powerful House and Senate Committees. For many years she held the all-time Senate consecutive roll-call voting record (2,941). Her belief in individual rights and the freedom of speech caused her to speak out in condemnation of McCarthyism in 1950 when she delivered a “Declaration of Conscience,” which later became an acclaimed book. Senator Smith received ninety-five honorary degrees, including one from Northwood University, numerous other awards and was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She served as National Chair of Northwood’s National Women’s Board and traveled across the nation on behalf of the University. The Northwood University Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan serves as a worthy tribute to Senator Smith’s remarkable public service and as a resource to scholars of government and history. (Deceased. 1995)