1964 is a watershed year punctuated with landmark events that foreshadowed major changes in society and politics to come.
In this year of the Civil Rights Act, two women candidates, one in Pennsylvania and one on the national scene, ran groundbreaking candidacies for high elective office.
Genevieve Blatt was the first woman to win a party nomination for U.S. senator in Pennsylvania in 1964. A decade earlier, she became the first woman elected to a statewide office.
Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican U.S. senator from Maine, was the first woman to run for a major party presidential nomination and have her name placed in nomination at a major party convention in 1964. She scored other firsts too – the first woman to win a Senate seat in her own right in 1948 and not follow a deceased husband.