Geraldine FerraroBefore Hillary Clinton and before Sarah Palin, let us not forget, came trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro. Ferraro, the first woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket in 1984. Ferraro died today at age 75 from complications from blood cancer.
Not only was Ferraro the first woman on a big ticket, but she was also the first Italian-American -- her mother was an Italian immigrant -- and less talked about, the first mother. Geraldine was a teacher, a mother of three and a homemaker, and then a lawyer -- one of only two women in her graduating class of 179. And she went on to serve in Congress, run for Vice President, and do great work for our country.
No matter your political party, you have to admit Geraldine Ferraro made a huge impact for all women.
Although Ferraro and her running mate Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, she made an inspiring contribution to the world of politics. The first line of Geraldine Ferraro's acceptance speech for the vice-presidential nomination received roaring cheers and tears (see video below; you simply can't miss the hopeful happy eyes on all the women in attendance):
My name is Geraldine Ferraro. I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us.
I was almost 14 years old when Geraldine ran for Vice President, and honestly, I don't have vivid memories. I was a little wrapped up in being a teenager, I guess. I mean, I knew it was a big deal to have a woman on the ticket, but I also observed that Mondale wasn't winning over most the adults around me.
However, I imagine Geraldine's moment in the spotlight must have struck women and young girls smart enough to care the same uplifting way Hillary and Barack's runs struck me 2008. It felt good like change was finally coming, will continue to come.
In her day, Ferraro was no stranger to controversy either -- from her support of abortion rights early on to some legal troubles, and much later while supporting Hillary Clinton in 2008, Ferraro made what many deemed to be racist comments about Barack Obama. She stepped down from an honorary post on the Clinton campaign but adamantly argued that her comment was not meant as an insult against Barack Obama.
Our hearts go out to Ferraro's family. And most of all, we are sorry Ms. Ferraro did not live to see a woman in the presidential seat.
WATCH Geraldine Ferraro's inspiring acceptance speech:
Do you have any memories about Geraldine Ferraro?
Image via Time