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Digital History ID 3209

 

Many political firsts for women took place in the West. Argonia, Kansas, elected the first woman mayor in 1887. Colorado elected three women state legislators in 1894. Montana elected the first woman to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916--Jeannette Rankin, a Republican. Wyoming elected the nation's first woman governor in 1925--Nellie Taylor Ross, a Democrat, who succeeded her deceased husband.

In 1922, Rebecca Felton of Georgia was the first woman appointed to the U.S. Senate. She served for only two days. It was not until 1978, with the election of Republican Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, that a woman was elected to the U.S. Senate in a general election. Earlier women Senators had been appointed to fill a vacancy or were elected to fill an unexpired term.

Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981. Geraldine Ferraro, a New York Democrat, became the first woman nominated for vice president by a major political party in 1984.

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