In 1995, Wal-Mart apparently thought the idea of a female president was offensive enough to ban T-shirts suggesting it from its stores.
A T-shirt sold in the store at the time, when Hillary Clinton was serving as first lady, showed the character Margaret from the Dennis the Menace comic strip with a speech bubble that proclaimed “Someday a woman will be president.”
“It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor,” spokeswoman Jane Bockholt said at the time.
The designer of the T-shirt was told by Wal-Mart’s national office that her T-shirt would not be carried nationwide because it “goes against Wal-Mart's family values.”
“Loud and clear, our customers told us it was a mistake to remove them,” Bockholt said. “It was just a cute T-shirt. It had nothing to do with politics.”
It took two decades for the country to welcome the idea of a female president, with Hillary Clinton’s first attempt to be nominated failing in 2008.
“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it, and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time,” she said in her concession speech to President Barack Obama, who was the nominee that year.
Two decades after the Wal-Mart controversy, the nation is on the verge of having its first woman president if Clinton wins the general election against Republican nominee Donald Trump. During the Democratic National Convention, newly confirmed nominee acknowledged the history made in becoming the first woman to be nominated in a major U.S. party for president.
“I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. Thanks to you and to everyone who has fought so hard to make this possible. This is really your victory, this is really your night,” she said in a video message shown at the convention.
“And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.”