Watch Shirley Chisholm Announce Her Bid For The U.S. Presidency, 45 Years Ago Today

Shirley Chisholm started to blaze her own trail in politics when she was elected to the New York State Legislature in 1964. While serving in the state legislative assembly, Chisholm supported 50 bills, eight of which passed. Some of her successful bills helped low income students attain higher education and supplied personal and domestic employees with employment insurance. 

By 1968, Chisholm set her sights on running for U.S. Congress. That same year, she became the first African American Congresswoman. Chisholm used her new platform to protest against the defense budget for the Vietnam War, which affected the budget for social programs, advocated for women's rights, and spoke to issues that impacted people of color.

However, Chisholm wanted to serve the people on a national level; therefore, on January 25, 1972, she announced her bid for the U.S. Presidency. With this announcement, Chisholm became the first woman and African American to run for the nomination of a major political party for President of the United States. 

Chisholm coined and used the phrase "Unbought and Unbossed" for her presidential campaign. Here are a few artifacts from Chisholm's historic run. 

 Chisholm's official campaign poster. 

An article about her announcment for presidential candidacy. 

Chisholm's contribution envelope via Lolly Eggers Papers, Iowa Women’s Archives.

Although Shirley Chisholm did not win the Democratic nomination, she went on to pave the way for generations of women and African Americans in the political world. 

"When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be a catalyst of change. I don’t want to be remembered as the first Black woman who went to Congress. And I don’t even want to be remembered as the first woman who happened to be Black to make the bid for the presidency. I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the 20th century. That’s what I want.”

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