On December 9, 1975, Phyllis Schlafly could have been thinking about a dozen different things. She had just finished an interview with the Sun Times. She would have another interview with Time Magazine later in the day. Law school exams were just around the corner, not to mention preparations for Christmas.
Phyllis didn’t have the chance to think about any of those things right then. She was about to walk onto the Phil Donahue Show in Chicago. Donahue was a shrewd talk show host on his way to the top. This wasn’t the first time Phyllis would be on his show, nor would it be the last.
Donahue would later attest to the seriousness of Phyllis’ convictions, but he hated them with a burning passion. That wasn’t news to Phyllis. It was just another hostile interview from a media establishment that openly put its hat in the ring for ratification of ERA. As the familiar jingle of the Donahue Show theme began to play, her smile broadened. The fight was on. She was ready.
This Sunday, March 22, is what Phyllis called the anniversary of her fight against the Equal Rights Amendment, because that was the day in 1972 when Congress sent it to the states for ratification. To honor the anniversary of this pivotal moment in American history, please check out the clip above from the Schlafly Archives capturing an iconic appearance on the Phil Donahue Show.