First in History






Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican from Maine, holds the record for the being the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress. Originally elected in 1940 to fill the vacancy left by her dying husband, she was then elected to the Senate in 1948. 

Edith Nourse Rogers, a Republican from Massachusetts, holds the record for the longest service by a woman in the House of Representatives. Originally elected to fill the vacancy caused by her husband's death, she served from June 25, 1925, until her death on September 10, 1960

Jeannette Rankin, Republican from Montana, was the first woman elected to serve in Congress. On November 9, 1916, she was elected to the House of Representatives as Montana's Representative-at-Large to the 65th Congress; she served from 1917–1919. In 1917, Jeannette Rankin, a Montana Republican, became the first woman to serve in the House.

Republicans first major political party to officially favor women’s suffrage. Shortly after Ms. Rankin’s election to Congress, the 19th Amendment was passed in 1919. The amendment’s journey to ratification had been a long and difficult one. Starting in 1896, the Republican Party became the first major party to officially favor women’s suffrage. That year, Republican Sen. A. A. Sargent of California introduced a proposal in the Senate to give women the right to vote. The proposal was defeated four times in the Democratic-controlled Senate. When the Republican Party regained control of Congress, the Equal Suffrage Amendment finally passed (304-88). Only 16 Republicans opposed the amendment.


When the amendment was submitted to the states, 26 of the 36 states that ratified it had Republican-controlled legislatures. Of the nine states that voted against ratification, eight were controlled by Democrats. Twelve states, all Republican, had given women full suffrage before the federal amendment was finally ratified.

Other Republican Women First
Susanna Medora Salter, first female city mayor elected in US, a Republican
Margaret Chase Smith, first female nominated for president of the United States, a Republican
Sandra Day O’Connor, first female justice of the Supreme Court, a Republican
Antonia Coello Novello, first female Surgeon General, a Republican
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, first Hispanic woman elected to Congress, a Republican
Alice Wells, first female police office (LA), a Republican
Susan B. Anthony, a Republican


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"If the people fail to vote, a government will be developed
which is not their government. The whole system of
American Government rests on the ballot box. Unless
citizens perform their duties there, such a system of
government is doomed to failure."
Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the USA.