Many news outlets reported Hillary Clinton’s “historically significant” clinch of the Democratic nomination designated her as the first woman to head a national ticket after her wins on Tuesday night. While it may be the biggest in scale and media recognition, it is not the first.
In fact, it’s not even close. Clinton is merely the first woman to earn a major party nod — but she trails certain party standard-bearers who attempted to breakthrough to the presidential position. Below is a list of women who came before Hillary:
- 1872: Victoria Woodhull (Equal Rights Party)- Nearly 50 years before women even earned the right to vote, Woodhull headlined a progressive presidential ticket, with former slave and abolitionist leader Fredrick Douglass as her running mate. The female presidential nominee fought for suffrage, civil rights and “free love.”
- 1888: Belva Lockwood (Equal Rights Party)- The first woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court. Women still could not vote in this era, and she only received 4,100 votes.
- 1940: Gracie Allen (Surprise Party)- This one was more of a joke run than a legitimate bid. Allen, a comedian whose political slogan was “Down with common sense, vote for Gracie” and vowed to resolve the California-Florida boundary dispute, captured the nation’s attention with a series of campaign stops and satirical policy platforms. She received 42,000 votes.
- 1968: Charlene Mitchell (Communist Party)- Yep, there was a female Communist Party nominated candidate. Mitchell, a card-carrying member of the CPUSA from age 16 and the first African-American woman to be nominated for president, only gained about 1,000 votes.
- 1972: Linda Jenness (Socialist Worker’s Party)- Jenness argued her young age of 31 should not be a limitation to her running for president. “We think that constitutional requirement is ridiculous,” Jenness said. “Turning 35 does not make you a genius, politically, as so many of our politicians have proven.” She was an outspoken anti-war candidate, and hated Richard Nixon.
- 1976: Margaret Wright (People’s Party)– Wright was an African American World War II shipyard worker featured in the 1980 documentary “The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter.” Leading the socialist People’s Party, she received 49,016 votes (.06% of the national total).
- 1980: Ellen McCormack (Right to Life Party)- Favored the pro-life agenda and once previously tried running as a Democrat. “I think we are teaching working mothers it is more prestigious to work than be home with their children,” the self-described housewife once said.
- 1984: Sonia Johnson (Citizens Party)- Her party advocated environmental, feminist, and far left groups that were critical of the Carter administration. Johnson finished fifth with 72,161 votes.
- 1988: Lenora Fulani (New Alliance Party)- Fulani was the first woman and the first African-American to appear on the ballot nationwide (meaning in all states). Opponents claimed her militant anti-establishment party was a cult.
- 2008: Cynthia McKinney (Green Party)- Formerly a six-term Democratic African American congresswoman from Georgia, she abandoned her party to lead the Green Party ticket. Running on a platform that called for an end to the war in Iraq, repeal of the Patriot Act, a cap on the national debt, and an audit of the Federal Reserve, McKinney received 161,797 votes, (.1% of the total votes cast).
- 2012: Roseanne Barr (Peace and Freedom Party)- A Hollywood actress who ran on a platform of economic reform, personal health, meditation and the punishment of Wall St. crooks. She butchered the National Anthem in 1990.
- 2012-2016: Jill Stein (Green Party)– Stein’s 500,000 votes still ranks as the record for most earned by a female presidential candidate. Her platform advocates a “Green New Deal” to create a sustainable infrastructure and more renewable energy. Many describe her as the “female Bernie Sanders.”
So there you have it: twelve women came before Hillary Clinton. While they may have not gotten anywhere close to the point of where Hillary is now, the next time the media tries to lament it as a “historical first,” there are twelve reasons it is not so.