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Finding Katahdin Document Packets, Chapter 11

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Margaret Chase Smith campaigning for President, New Hampshire, 1964

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Margaret Chase Smith campaigning for President, New Hampshire, 1964 / Margaret Chase Smith Library

<strong> Chapter 11, page 330-333.</strong>

Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a candidated for the Republican nomination for president in 1964, posed during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.

Smith, born and raised in Skowhegan, was introduced to politics by her husband, Clyde Smith, who was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. On his deathbed in 1940, Smith urged Mainers to vote in Margaret as his successor. Maine complied, and Margaret finished out her husband's term. She served in the House for eight years, until 1949, when she was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Smith is especially remembered for her "Declaration of Conscience" speech when she denounced the excesses of Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy in seeking out communists in the United States.

Smith charged McCarthy with destroying First Amendment rights to free speech by making the U.S., "a forum of hate and character assination." She said, "The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as "Communists"... Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America. It has been so abused ny some that is is not exercized by others."