Crisp, Mary Dent, 1923-2007. Videotape collection of Mary Dent Crisp, 1979-1998: A
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: Vt-117
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Mary Dent Crisp, 1923-2007
Title: Videotape collection of Mary Dent Crisp, 1979-1998
Quantity: 20 videotapes
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Collection includes television programs, promotional videos, and seminar recordings
featuring interviews, speeches, and commentary by Mary Dent Crisp, co-founder of the
National Republican Coalition for Choice.
Accession number: 2000-M157
These videotapes were given to the Schlesinger Library by Mary Dent Crisp in October 2000.
Processed: October 2011
By: Melissa Dollman
Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Copyright. Copyright in the videotapes of Mary Dent Crisp is held by the President
and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other videotapes
in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Mary Dent Crisp Videotape collection, 1979-1998; item description, dates. Vt-117,
reel #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of Mary Dent Crisp,
1942-1999 (MC 681; T-390
Mary Dent Crisp was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She received her degree in botany
from Oberlin College in 1946, later pursuing graduate studies in political science
at Arizona State University. In 1948 she married William Crisp, a doctor; they had
three children before divorcing in 1976. A fervent supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment
and of abortion rights, Crisp was an active member of the Republican Party, first
on the local and then on the national level, for over 20 years. In 1977, she was elected
co-chair of the Republican National Committee, and served until 1980. At the 1980
Republican Convention, she spoke out against the platform committee's decision to
oppose the Equal Rights Amendment, and also protested the party's opposition to the
federal funding of abortion. Crisp subsequently announced that she would not seek
reelection as co-chair and signed on as presidential candidate John Anderson's campaign
manager. She served on President Carter's Advisory Committee for Women and on the
boards of Women's Economic Roundtable, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National
Women's Political Caucus, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. From 1984
until the mid-1990s, she was a national director of the political action committee,
Business Executives for National Security, a nonpartisan advocacy group concerned
about the economic effects of the arms race. In 1989, after the Supreme Court restricted
federal funding for abortion, Crisp co-founded and served as chair and spokesperson
for the National Republican Coalition for Choice. She died in her home in Phoenix,
Arizona, in 2007, from complications from a stroke.
The videotape collection includes recordings sponsored by the Republican National
Committee and the National Women's Conference to Prevent Nuclear War, as well as television
programs and a film that feature interviews with or commentary by Crisp on topics
such as changes to the Republican Party platform, reproductive rights, the Equal Rights
Amendment, nuclear disarmament, and the "gender gap." Videos are in 3/4-inch or VHS
format, and listed in chronological order.
- 1-6. Republican National Committee Women's Seminar. Denver, Colorado. September 15, 1979.
Scope and Contents: Reel 1: Crisp gives the opening remarks. Jinx Melia discusses issues facing women
and homemakers such as intimidation, taking risks, and self-confidence issues. Reel
2: End of panel discussion [Beginning of panel discussion is missing.] Questions from
audience members follow on a variety of issues facing women and homemakers such as
marriage and divorce, volunteering, single parenthood, etc. Silent footage of the
lunch follows. Reel 3: Crisp opens the afternoon panel discussion on political effectiveness.
Moderator Mary Ellen Miller discusses the connection between personal experience and
political participation, advice on volunteer activism and running for office, etc.
Reel 4: Miller continues with advice; and a panel discussion follows with women politicians,
many from Colorado, on their past experiences running for office, familial relationships,
etc. Reel 5: Questions to panel from the audience on financing campaigns, name identification,
publicity, lobbyists, necessary skills, and other issues. Reel 6: Audience critiques
of seminar and further suggestions from the moderators. 6 3/4-inch U-matic videotapes.
- 8. "R.N.C. 'Outreach.'" ca. 1980.
Scope and Contents: Promotional video for the Republican National Committee featuring talks given by Crisp,
Jinx Melia, and Mary Ellen Miller on the role of women in politics, self-confidence,
risk taking, running for political office, and working in politics generally. 3/4-inch
U-matic videotape. 30 minutes.
- 10. "Mary Dent Crisp: 1982 Election Night Analysis for ABC."
Scope and Contents: KGUN. Tuscon, Arizona. Crisp and KGUN analyst Jerry Rusk discuss women's issues and
the election, the Reagan administration, nuclear disarmament, local politics, etc.
Also includes additional unrelated footage of Crisp. 3/4-inch U-matic videotape. 32
- 12-13. Panorama. WTTG-TV. Washington, DC. November 5, 1980 and August 2, 1983.
Scope and Contents: Reel 12: Crisp discusses working on the John Anderson campaign, the 1980 election,
etc. Reel 13: Crisp, Ann Lewis, Political Director of the Democratic Party, and Eleanor
Smeal, former president of the National Organization for Women, discuss the gender
gap in politics and the Reagan administration, race, and the up-coming presidential
election. 2 ¾-inch U-matic videotapes. 55 minutes.
- 14. Crossfire. CNN. Washington, DC. September 19, 1983.
Scope and Contents: Crisp, Tom Braden, and Pat Buchanan discuss the gender gap and the Reagan administration,
women and the Republican Party, etc. ¾-inch U-matic videotape. 28 minutes.
- 15. It's Up to Women! 1984.
Scope and Contents: National Women's Conference to Prevent Nuclear War video includes Crisp, Jane Alexander,
Rosalynn Carter, Coretta Scott King, Eleanor Smeal, Joanne Woodward, Condoleezza Rice,
Lily Tomlin, and other women leaders discussing nuclear disarmament and its effect
on the economy, societal fears, foreign policy, etc. VHS. 29 minutes.
- 17. City Club Forum. "National Security: A Business Perspective." Cuyahoga Community College. Cleveland,
Ohio. November 24, 1986.
Scope and Contents: Crisp discusses a business perspective regarding literacy and education, the national
debt, military spending, and Business Executives for National Security, Inc. Questions
follow. VHS. 60 minutes.
- 18. Walnut Creek in Focus. UA Cablesystems. Walnut Creek, California. October 20, 1987.
Scope and Contents: Crisp discusses the goals and activities of Business Executives for National Security,
Inc., leaving the R.N.C. and her choice to work for John Anderson, nuclear disarmament,
etc. VHS. 18 minutes.
- 19. "Mary Crisp TV Appearances." 1992.
Scope and Contents: A variety of news and news magazine pieces on pro-choice Republicans, including interviews
with and clips of Crisp speaking out. Includes other related pieces, that do not include
Crisp, on differing views on abortion within the Bush administration, the up-coming
Republican convention in Houston, etc. VHS. 110 minutes.
Arizona--Politics and government--1951-
Equal rights amendments--United States
Nuclear disarmament--United States
Pro-choice movement--United States
Republican National Convention (35th : 1992 : Houston, Tex.)
United States--Politics and government
Women--Political activity--United States
Business Executives for National Security (U.S.)
Republican National Committee (U.S.)
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )