History was made with Hillary Clinton officially declared the Democratic presidential candidate for 2016. This historical moment is being put into context by numerous historians, newspapers and writers through discussions of previous female presidential nominees in the U.S.
Recognizing the women of the past who ‘opened the way’ (see what I did there?), means a shout out to our own radical feminist Victoria Claflin Woodhull.
Recently, WNYC broadcast a short clip titled: “Before Hillary Clinton was ‘The Devil,’ Victoria Woodhull was ‘Mrs. Satan’” — in reference to the political cartoon from the height of Victoria’s unpopularity.
If you have 6 minutes, I highly recommend this short program sharing some historical details about Victoria’s 1872 nomination for president under the Equal Rights Party platform. Ultimately, it didn’t go far — let’s [with bias] blame that on her rivals Henry Ward Beecher and his supporters — but she was the first woman to be nominated.
I would also, however, suggest reading further into Victoria’s life, particularly the importance of her sister, Tennessee Celeste Claflin, whose constant support of Victoria is overlooked within this brief history.
And then follow that reading up with some information on Belva Lockwood, the first woman to run and campaign for president in 1884 and 1888.
By the way, Victoria and Belva ran for president over 30 years before women were given the right to vote.