Shirley Chisholm for President

On January 25, 1972, at the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York, Shirley Chisholm announced her candidacy for President of the United States, becoming the first African American to seek a major party’s nomination for President. She campaigned with the slogan “Unbought and Unbossed,” the title of her autobiography published in 1970.

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm Announcing Her Candidacy for Presidential Nomination. Thomas J. O’Halloran, photographer, January 25, 1972. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

Congresswoman Chisholm grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. The eldest of four girls, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College, and a Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University. She worked as a nursery school teacher, child care center director, and educational consultant before seeking her first political office.

In 1964, Chisholm was elected to the New York State Assembly to represent the 55th District. She focused on the educational needs of her district and state.

In 1969, Chisholm was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and represented New York’s 12th congressional district. While serving in Congress, she fought for education, food security, civil rights, and women’s rights. Chisholm was the first African American woman to be elected to Congress. She was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Women’s Caucus.

Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Fla., 3rd Session; Shirley Chisholm Thanking Delegates. Thomas J. O’Halloran, photographer, July 12, 1972. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

In 1972, she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States from Brooklyn, New York, and stressed that she was a candidate for all people despite being black and a woman. Congresswoman Chisholm was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. She sponsored or co-sponsored legislation on equal rights, day care centers, immigration, families, and Native Americans.

After serving seven terms and retiring from Congress, Chisholm continued to support women in politics by founding the National Political Caucus of Black Women and serving on the advisory council for the National Organization of Women (NOW). She passed away on January 1, 2005 in Ormond Beach, Florida.

President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Representative Shirley Chisholm the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

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Globe Trotting

On January 25, 1890, police cleared a path through a cheering crowd for reporter Nellie Bly as she stepped off a train in New York just 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds after setting sail east to prove she could circle the globe in less than 80 days.

In the early hours of a smoky morning as we sat reading in the cabin of a ferry, a sudden shriek from our whistle, followed by a succession of piercing toots brought us to our feet to see what disaster was pending, when behold, close at hand lay the Japan steamer, Oceanic, with a tug at her side receiving on board a small piece of woman-hood which then sped away for the Oakland mole, where a special train awaited the arrival of Nelly [sic] Bly.

The Round Trip from the Hub to the Golden Gate, by Susie Champney Clark. Boston, Lee and Shepard, Publishers; New York, Charles T. Dillingham, 1890. p. 84+. California As I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849 to 1900. General Collections

Distant View from Harbor Approach [Hong Kong]. William Henry Jackson, photographer, 1895. World’s Transportation Commission. Prints & Photographs Division

Bly, born Elizabeth Cochrane, challenged the fictional record of Phileas T. Fogg, hero of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, at the suggestion of her employer, the New York World. As Bly traveled via ship, train, jinricksha, sampan, horse, and burro, the World carried daily articles about her journey and offered a trip to Europe to the person who could come closest to guessing her finish time. The paper received nearly 1,000,000 entries and circulation boomed.

No stranger to fame, the daring Miss Bly had already made a name for herself by exposing the deplorable conditions of an insane asylum on New York’s Blackwell’s Island. Bly researched the story by feigning insanity and having herself committed for ten days. Her exposé on the asylum and later reports on slum life brought about needed reforms and helped pave the way for women in journalism.

Ladies Riding on Elephant [India]. William Henry Jackson, photographer, 1895. World’s Transportation Commission. Prints & Photographs Division

Four years after Nellie Bly’s sensational journey, railroad publicist Joseph Gladding Pangborn organized the World’s Transportation Commission to gather information about foreign transportation systems for the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago. In addition to Pangborn, the Commission included a railroad engineer, a graphic artist, and photographer William Henry Jackson. The World’s Transportation Commission collection contains some 900 images from the Commission’s three-year odyssey.

Digitized images from the World’s Transportation Commission photograph collection were reproduced from 584 lantern slides and from 297 silver gelatin prints made by the Library of Congress from the original film negatives. Lantern slides, which are glass, positive transparencies, are the forerunner of today’s color slides. To make the lantern slides look more realistic, their creators colored them by hand with dyes and paints.

WTC [i.e.World Transportation Commission] Members Inside Their Private Railway Car [China]. William Henry Jackson, photographer, 1895. World’s Transportation Commission. Prints & Photographs Division

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