Power Suit

Secretary Albrights dress
Secretary Albright’s dress for succession. NMAH, SI

“I only hope my heels can fill his shoes,” Madeleine Albright said the day she was named to succeed Warren Christopher as U.S. secretary of state in 1996. As the first woman to hold that position, Albright logged countless high-heeled miles during President Bill Clinton’s second term, guiding U.S. policy in a time of ethnic cleansing and war in the Balkans and confrontation with Saddam Hussein over his alleged weapons programs in Iraq. This May, she donated to the American History Museum the red wool dress she wore the day her nomination was announced. Alluding to her successors Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Albright quoted her granddaughter as saying, “What’s the big deal about Grandma Maddie being secretary of state? Only girls are secretary of state!” 

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