NOVEMBER 1, 1948
PARIS, Sunday—The news from home that Republican candidate Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was elected to the United States Senate in spite of strong opposition by the very well known candidates who ran against her must, I believe, make the women of our country feel proud.
Margaret Chase Smith is the first woman in American history to be elected to the United States Senate without first being appointed to that body to fill an unexpired term, and I feel like congratulating the people of the United States as well as Margaret Smith herself. She has earned this honor by being a really good public servant, and in this case virtue is its own reward.
I was also interested to find in the Paris edition of the New York Herald-Tribune a report that Democratic National Committee Chairman J. Howard McGrath told the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee that the women's vote might be decisive in this campaign. I notice that shortly before election time the men officials of both our political parties always make this appeal or a somewhat similar one to the women. In between times, however, the ideas women may have on how women are best organized, and how their interests are best kept alive in political questions, are a matter of very little concern to the men officials of either political party. But the nearer you come to election day the more important the women's vote becomes. Unfortunately, it is not garnered two weeks before election.
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A very charming French woman, Madame Jules Ferry, came to see me the other afternoon to tell me the story of the city of Saint Die, which feels it has a very special tie with the United States. One of its citizens, Jules Ferry, once Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in France, took a leading role in sponsoring the national demonstration of 1884 at which the colossal Statue of Liberty was presented to our ambassador to Paris.
They also own in this little city a very old book published there on April 25, 1507. Entitled "Cosmographie," it contains a passage which reads: "Up to this time, all known parts of our world had been thoroughly explored. Then Amerigo Vespucci discovered a new continent, which will be discussed forthwith. I do not see why this new land should not be named for the man who discovered it with so much perspicacity—America." Hence even the name of our nation was first mentioned in this little book published in Saint Die.
Madame Ferry is leaving for the United States this week to thank the American Legion and the American people for all they did after World War I to help restore the town. She will also tell them what has happened to America House, which is now in ruins, and how much else has been completely destroyed as a result of World War II. The city's old people and children need care and help, and there does seem to be a special reason why we who have such ancient ties with them and have come to their aid in the past should try to do so again. Madame Ferry has no family and her husband is dead, and I imagine this little town has taken the place of family ties, so that she will probably tell its story with great feeling to the American people if she is given the opportunity.