Read the Letter Margaret Chase Smith Sent to Janet Mills When She Was Born
It's a story that someone who isn't from Maine might not believe: One of America's most famous women - Maine Senator (then-Representative) Margaret Chase Smith - wrote a touching letter to the infant who would become our state's first female governor 70 years later.
If you are from Maine, you know that this is just more evidence that our great state is just one really big small town.
This profile of Janet Mills in the Portland Press Herald explains the connection between the two powerful political women, separated by a generation:
In the summer of 1948, Margaret Chase Smith had reason to celebrate. The four-term congresswoman had just defeated a former governor and the sitting governor to win the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate, which in those days meant she was all but certain to become the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress.
She finished her campaign activities one day in Farmington, then joined two of her closest friends on the porch of their home, holding their 6-month-old baby on her lap while sharing her triumph over the establishment wing of the state’s ruling party and the shattering of a very high glass ceiling.
She couldn’t have predicted that the baby in her lap would shatter some of her own, growing up to be Maine’s first female criminal prosecutor, the first female district attorney in New England, the first female attorney general of Maine, and a co-founder of the Maine Women’s Lobby. Along the way she would head the Maine Prosecutors Association, serve three terms in the Legislature, and remain a lifelong friend of Sen. Smith.
Read the letter Senator Smith wrote to an infant Janet Mills: