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Hillary Clinton not first woman nominated for president; honor goes to Margaret Chase Smith

In her letter to the editor, Susan Bachelder writes: "Margaret Chase Smith well knew that liberty cannot stand without the support of reason and wisdom."

To the Editor:

Last week I went to the Clark. The new summer blockbuster was not open; there were few people. Had that not been the case, I might have missed the small bronze in the hall. But first, a small correction. Many are claiming that Mrs. Clinton is the first woman to be placed in nomination for the Presidency. She will likely be the first woman to get it, but she is not the first to be placed in nomination. Margaret Chase Smith, Senator from Maine, was placed in nominated for the Republican ticket in 1964. It was Mrs. Smith who, in the 1950’s went to Washington, not Jimmy Stewart. And Mrs. Smith waged battle with Sen. Joe McCarthy who called her and those Senators who stood with her against McCarthy’s bigotry and hatred, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Her speech given on the Senate floor denouncing him and his hateful behavior should be read by every voter in America. In the end, it was Sen. Smith whose steadfast adherence to the principles of honor and respect carried the day. History will repeat itself Thucydides warned us more than a thousand years ago, and we each must decide where it will find us.

So here I am at the Clark looking at this small French bronze. Done in 1899 by Jules Dalou, it is called “Wisdom supporting Liberty.”  While most of you will recognize Wisdom modeled on the Greek goddess of wisdom Athena, some of you might not recognize Marianne, the figurehead that carried France through their revolution. “Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood.”   And now, the gift of the French people, our own Miss Liberty, sags beneath the weight of hatred and bigotry. Margaret Chase Smith well knew that liberty cannot stand without the support of reason and wisdom. I hope we remember Mrs. Smith’s courage and wisdom.

Susan Bachelder

Egremont

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