- Type: Museums
NileGuide Expert Says:
This destination is a "must see" for history buffs, as well as those curious about this legislative giant who still influences our modern political landscape.
- In the annals of 20th century Maine history, Margaret Chase Smith stands out as a political giant and moderate Republican role model, both locally and nationally. For this reason, the Margaret Chase Smith Museum in Skowhegan is a real treat not only for political junkies and history buffs, but also those fascinated by people who have made a lasting impact on our lives. Margaret Chase Smith was Maine's longest serving U.S. Senator – serving more than three decades as a national Pine Tree State legislator. She is perhaps best known for two milestone events. In the early 1950s, she was the first national politician to come out against U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the infamous senator from Wisconsin who orchestrated a national witch hunt that falsely accused hundreds of citizens of being Communist sympathizers. In 1964, Senator Smith was nearly nominated as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Presidency – the first woman to be accorded this honor (she lost out to Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona). The museum does an exemplary job of chronicling these and other highlights of Senator Smith's life. Included are handwritten copies of her "Declaration of Conscience" – her highly publicized public statement opposing Senator McCarthy, as well as photos and news reports of the 1964 Republican convention. Photos, assorted memorabilia and cherished artifacts provide a fascinating chronicle of the senator's accomplished professional career and long personal life. Interesting note: the museum is attached to Smith's long-time residence and museum curators love to talk about how she would often personally greet visitors who dropped by. This destination is a true, not to be missed gem that should be part of everyone's tour of the Augusta, Maine region.
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