On This Day, Sept. 13, 1948 – Margaret Chase Smith Elected to US Senate


1948 – Margaret Chase Smith was elected to the Senate and became the first woman to serve in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

Margaret Chase Smith was born in Skowhegan, Maine, on December 14, 1897. Her entry into politics came through the career of Clyde Smith, the man she married in 1930. Clyde was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1936; Margaret served as his secretary.

When Clyde died in 1940, Margaret succeeded her husband. After four terms in the House, she won election to the United States Senate in 1948. In so doing, she became the first woman elected to both houses of Congress.

Senator Smith came to national attention on June 1, 1950, when she became the first member of the Senate to denounce the tactics used by colleague Joseph McCarthy in his anticommunist crusade.

Following her “Declaration of Conscience” speech, some pundits speculated that she might be the vice-presidential candidate on the 1952 Republican ticket. The opportunity, however, never materialized. In 1964, Senator Smith pursued her own political ambitions, running in several Republican presidential primaries. She took her candidacy all the way to the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, where she became the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for the presidency by either of the two major parties.

In the final balloting, Smith refused to withdraw and so wound up coming in second to the Republican nominee, Senator Barry Goldwater.

1788 – The Constitutional Convention decided that the first federal election was to be held on Wednesday the following February. On that day George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States. In addition, New York City was named the temporary national capital.

1789 – The United States Government took out its first loan.

1898 – Hannibal Williston Goodwin patented celluloid photographic film, which was used to make movies.

1922 – In El Azizia, Libya, the highest shade temperature was recorded at 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

1943 – Chiang Kai-shek became the president of China.

1948 – The School of Performing Arts opened in New York City. It was the first public school to specialize in performing arts.

1949 – The Ladies Professional Golf Association of America was formed.

1959 – The Soviet Union’s Luna 2 became the first space probe to reach the moon. It was launched the day before.

1960 – The Federal Communications Commission banned payola.

1970 – The first New York City Marathon took place. Fireman Gary Muhrucke won the race.

1971 – In New York, National Guardsmen stormed the Attica Correctional Facility and put an end to the four-day revolt. A total of 43 people were killed in the final assault. A committee was organized to investigate the riot on September 30, 1971.

1981 – U.S. Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig said the U.S. had physical evidence that Russia and its allies used poisonous biological weapons in Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan.

1993 – Israel and Palestine signed their first major agreement. Palestine was granted limited self-government in the Gaza Strip and in Jericho.

1998 – The New York Times closed its Web site after hackers added offensive material.

2001 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell named Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect in the terror attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Limited commercial flights resumed in the U.S. for the first time in two days.


Source: On-This-Day.com; mcslibrary.org