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May 21, 1978

Shirley Chisholm, member of the United States House of Representatives from New York, spoke at Vassar’s 114th Commencement.

The first African-American woman elected to Congress, in 1968, Chisholm ran in 1972 in the Democratic presidential primary, making history as the first black major-party presidential aspirant and the first female Democrat to seek the nomination.

The Years