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Phyllis Schlafly - ERA Fight in Illinois

Phyllis Schlafly was one of the most influential conservative voices of the late 20th Century. She ran for U.S. Congress in 1952 because of her interest in the communist threat and other conservative causes. She gained a reputation in Republican circles in 1964 when she self-published the treatise "A Choice, Not an Echo," which helped Barry Goldwater obtain the Republican nomination. She became interested in the Equal Rights Amendment in December 1971 and began a crusade for its defeat that was eventually successful. Schlafly continued to write, publish, and broadcast until her death in 2016.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

The Battleground

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Mrs. Schlafly’s early life through her marriage in 1949

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Run for Congress in 1952 thru 1964 Republican Convention & election

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Defeats in runs for NFRW Presidency in 1967 & for Congress in 1970

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

The Equal Rights Amendment battles from 1972 through 1977

Interview Session 05 (Audio)

The Equal Rights Amendment battles from 1976 through 1982

Interview Session 06 (Audio)

Schlafly’s life and career from 1980 through 1992

Interview Session 07 (Audio)

Schlafly’s life and career from 1992 to 2011

Transcript

Related Materials

See Also

The BBC World Service program featuring Schlafly's interview


Photos

Caption

Official portrait of Phyllis Schlafly in the mid 2000s.

Where:

Unknown

When:

mid-2000s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly’s father, John Bruce Stewart, in the early 1940s. The family then lived in St. Louis.

Where:

Unknown

When:

early 1940s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Lloyd Spainhower, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Caption

Phyllis as an infant with her doting mother, Odile Stewart. Phyllis was born on August 15, 1924.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Stewart as she appeared in the Academy of the Sacred Heart (St. Louis) year book. She graduated as valedictorian in 1941, when she was sixteen.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1941

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis married Fred Schlafly on October 20, 1949 at the St. Louis Cathedral.

Where:

St. Louis Cathedral

When:

1949

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Julies Pierlow

Caption

Mrs. Schlafly supported conservative Republican and Ohio Senator Robert Taft in the Republican primary of 1952. She met the Senator when she introduced him for a speech in Alton, Illinois.

Where:

Alton, IL

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

The morning after her surprising win in the 1952 Republican primary for the U.S. Congress. Phyllis enjoyed cooking breakfast for the family. “She doesn’t let political successes interfere with her wifely duties,” reported the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Where:

Schlafly Residence

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Mrs. Schlafly worked her congressional district hard during her unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1952. She lost in a strong democratic district.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1952

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum archives

Caption

In July, 1960 Mrs. Schlafly hosts an event for Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Senator Hiram Fong of Hawaii shares a laugh with them. Four years later, Schalfly’s book, A Choice Not an Echo helped propel Goldwater to the Republican nomination.

Where:

Unknown

When:

July 1960

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Wide World photos

Caption

Mrs. Schlafly shares a moment with her children Andy and Anne in the family study, circa 1975. She took a keen interest in their education, and personally taught all six of her children to read.

Where:

Schlafly Residence

When:

circa 1975

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

In 1967 Mrs. Schlafly ran for the presidency of the National Federation of Republican Women. With her is Maureen Reagan (daughter of Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman). She lost in a brutal battle to a woman favored by the moderates in the party.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1967

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Wide World photos

Caption

The Schlaflys in Miami Beach in 1968, during the Republican National Convention. Convention towns often became family vacation destinations. From left to right are Bruce, John, Phyllis holding Anne, Fred and Liza, with Roger and Andy in front.

Where:

Miami Beach, FL

When:

1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Mort Kaye Studios, Inc.

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly meets with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office in 1970. She became disillusioned with the moderate Nixon once he was in office.

Where:

the Oval Office

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly meets with Vice President Spiro Agnew in 1970.

Where:

When:

1970

Ownership:

Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis stands in front of the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington, D.C. during her unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Congress in 1970.

Where:

U.S. Capital building, Washington D.C.

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Mrs. Schlafly meets President Gerald Ford circa 1975.

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 1975

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly meets with Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller, the Republican moderate and former governor who made unsuccessful runs for the Presidency in 1960, 1964 and 1968, was never Schlafly’s idea of a good candidate.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly at work in her Alton home office circa 1980.

Where:

Phyllis Schlafly's Office, Alton, IL

When:

circa 1980

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly appeared on Meet the Press during the National Women’s Conference in Houston in 1977.

Where:

Meet the Press studio

When:

1977

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Mrs. Schlafly took a pie in the face while attending a reception at the Waldorf-Astoria in 1977. Her assailant was Yippie Aron Kay, who used an apple pie due to Schlafly’s emphasis on motherhood and apple pie. She refused to press charges.

Where:

Women's National Republican Club Reception, Waldorf-Astoria

When:

1977

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain - Wide World Photos

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly rallies her troops in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol in June of 1978. Schlafly counted her victory that year as one of the most important milestones in the long campaign against ERA.

Where:

Illinois State Capital building, Springfield, IL

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Mrs. Schlafly addresses the Pro-Family Rally in Houston in November, 1977.

Where:

Pro-Family Rally, Houston, TX

When:

November, 1977

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly and NOW President Eleanor Smeal debated each other on the Phil Donahue Show in the summer of 1979. Donahue was a strong supporter of ERA.

Where:

the Phil Donahue Show

When:

Summer of 1979

Ownership:

St. Louis Globe-Democrat photo

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly encountered an animated Zoe Ananda, who had been fasting to show her support for passage of ERA, on June 3rd, 1982 in the Illinois state capitol rotunda. Following the encounter, Amanda got an autograph from Schlafly.

Where:

Illinois State Capital building, Springfield, IL

When:

June 3rd, 1982

Ownership:

Springfield State Journal-Register photo

Caption

A group of ERA supporters chained themselves to the railing outside the Illinois Senate chamber in June, 1982 as the end date for passing the amendment fast approached. Mrs. Schlafly felt such behavior worked to Stop ERA’s benefit.

Where:

Illinois State Capital building, Springfield, IL

When:

June 4th, 1982

Ownership:

Springfield State Journal-Register photo

Caption

A pro-ERA activist, one of a group of women who had chained themselves to the railing outside the Illinois Senate chamber, was physically removed from the capitol by Secretary of State police at 4:00 AM on June 7, 1982.

Where:

Illinois State Capital building, Springfield, IL

When:

June 7th, 1982

Ownership:

Springfield State Journal-Register photo

Caption

The battle to pass ERA ended on this note-ERA supporters, disgusted by the IL Senate’s failure to send the issue to the Senate floor, spell out the names of their chief political opponents with pigs’ blood outside the IL Senate chamber on June 24th.

Where:

Illinois State Capital building, Springfield, IL

When:

June 24th, 1982

Ownership:

Springfield State Journal-Register photo

Caption

Phyllis stands near Congressman Henry Hyde (Republican of Illinois) during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas.

Where:

Republican National Convention, Dallas, TX

When:

1984

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo – Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly presented Pope John Paul II with her book, The Power of the Positive Woman, at the Vatican in 1981.

Where:

the Vatican

When:

1981

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

The 1988 national meeting of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum drew several conservative luminaries; included here are Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, Joanne and Jack Kemp, Schlafly, Mary Ellen Bork and Judge Robert Bork.

Where:

Eagle Forum meeting

When:

1988

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly with Oliver North at the DAR Continental Congress, and Constitution Hall circa 1990.

Where:

Daughters of the American Revolution Continental Congress

When:

circa 1990

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly with Rush Limbaugh, the most influential conservative voice on radio, in 1991.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly, Vice President Dan Quayle and Jerry Falwell share the stage at the Republican National Coalition for Life Rally during the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston.

Where:

Republican National Convention for Life Rally, Houston, TX

When:

1992

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Phyllis Schlafly meets Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas circa 2008.

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 2008

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain -Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

The Schlaflys gather at Christmas, 1986 in their Alton home. In front are Anne, Liza holding Juliet, Phyllis holding Alexander, Cathy, Jeanne holding Michael, and Tom. In the back are Roger, John, Joe Forshaw, Maria Forshaw, Fred, Andy and Bruce.

Where:

Schlafly Residence, Alton, IL

When:

1986

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo - Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

The Washington University Board of Trustees awarded Mrs. Schlafly an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the University’s 2008 commencement ceremony, despite a storm of protest over the decision.

Where:

Washington University Commencement

When:

2008

Ownership:

Eagle Forum Archives

Caption

Schlafly is lampooned in this 1978 political cartoon by Ed Fischer, depicting her as Time Magazine’s 1978’s Man of the Year.

Where:

When:

1978

Ownership:

Permission to post granted by Ed Fischer. Contact Ed Fischer for use requests.

Caption

A 1978 political cartoon penned by Bob Englehart which addressed the questionable decision by Congress to extend the time needed by the states to ratify ERA. Schlafly and the Stop ERA forces asserted this to be unconstitutional.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Permission to post granted by Bob Englehart. Contact Bob Englehart for use requests.



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