On July 19, 1984, U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY) accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination to be vice president of the United States, the running mate for presidential candidate Walter Mondale. She told the cheering crowd of delegates,
Change is the air, just as surely as when John Kennedy beckoned America to a new frontier; when Sally Ride rocketed into space and when Rev. Jesse Jackson ran for the office of president of the United States.
By choosing a woman to run for our nation’s second highest office, you sent a powerful signal to all Americans. There are not doors we cannot unlock. We will place no limits on achievement.
Watch her entire speech here:
For more on Ferraro’s life, check out the recent documentary film.
Ferraro died in 2011, having survived a diagnosis of multiple myeloma for nearly 13 years. As Feminist Majority president and Ms. publisher Eleanor Smeal said upon her passing,
She was a champion for women’s rights during her three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, but of course she’s most remembered for her historic run for vice president in 1984. As Ferraro traveled the country, she attracted huge crowds eager to vote for a woman for such a high office.
She was an historic feminist, a compassionate humanitarian and a role model for generations of women and girls seeking to break the glass ceiling.
Photo of Geraldine Ferraro at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in 2004, laughing with Franklin and Eleanor; under license from Creative Commons 2.0