In July 2016, Hillary Clinton officially became the first female to be nominated as a presidential candidate in the United States for a major party. The democratic hopeful first called the White House home just over a decade ago when husband Bill Clinton served his first term in the Oval Office. It was then, in 1995, one contentious t-shirt predicted a woman would soon be commander-in-chief.
Designed by Psychologist Ann Moliver Ruben, the t-shirt illustrated Dennis The Menace comic strip character Margaret with her hands in the air, proclaiming, “Someday a woman will be PRESIDENT!”
Ruben’s motive behind the shirt was simply to encourage young girls’ self-esteem, according to the Associated Press. She began selling the shirts to women’s groups before she decided to approach a bigger market with a shirt she believed to be “humorous and delightful.” Just months after a Miami, Florida area Walmart picked up 204 shirts for sale, however, customers complained about the message being sent.
While two-thirds of the supply sold out quickly, Walmart Spokesperson Jane Bockholt told the AP at the time, “It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor.”
In response to the company’s action, Ruben told the AP, “Promoting females as leaders is still a very threatening concept in this country. They are in the position of being a censor. That’s what I don’t like.”
Walmart later issued a public apology and restocked shelves with Ruben’s colorful design, according to The Chicago Tribune. Ironically, a 1999 Gallup poll revealed 93 percent of Americans would support a woman president, and this November, the once-controversial message on a $10 t-shirt could make US history.