The Nation: First Ladies Out Front

Of all the sights to emerge from the National Women's Conference, perhaps none was more compelling than the panoply of three First Ladies of the U.S., all precisely coiffed, dressed with impeccable conservatism, ankles neatly crossed, sitting side by side at the opening session in the Sam Houston Coliseum to promote the Equal Rights Amendment. "We don't look like bomb throwers, and we don't think like that either," said Lady Bird Johnson. Yet there they were: Lyndon Johnson's widow, Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter.

They stood witness for the ERA before all the debates, negotiations and ballots got under way. How did...

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