“I had to go down 12 steps, and I thought, ‘You know, I could roll all the way down those steps in front of the world,’ ” she quipped, “but I love this man and I’m going to do it for him!"

After convincing the Secret Service to install a “little rail where I could just touch it with my fingertips,” she decided to rock the heels.

“Men don’t think of those things,” she said with a smile.

The former senator was awarded a National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) Living Legend award last week at the second annual Christine de Pizan Honors Gala. During her acceptance speech, she told the tale of her first day at Harvard Law School in 1962, where she was one of 24 women in a class of 550.

“Elizabeth, what are you doing here? What are you doing in this law school?” one of her male classmates asked her. “Don’t you realize you’re taking the place of a man?”

Dole said she’s been telling this story around town for years, and her former classmates now call her up to say, “Elizabeth, tell me I’m not the one, tell me I didn’t say that!”

Also honored at the ceremony were author Richard Rhodes, photographer Annie Leibovitz and Dr. Maya Angelou.

Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum has been jockeying for a permanent home on the National Mall, and has recruited some famous faces to fight for it, such as actress Meryl Streep.

“There is no women’s history in any nation’s capital in the world,” said Joan Wages, NWHM president and CEO. “It’s beyond time for the women of our nation to be recognized.”

Photo: Wikimedia