history

100 Years of Women: Here's How Many Have Served in Congress
A look at the century since Montana's Jeannette Rankin joined the House

Reps. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., right, and Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, with the portrait of Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who was the first woman elected to Congress in 1916, taking office in 1917. An unveiling ceremony for her portrait is shown in this file photo in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress on Sept. 29, 2005. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

When women’s rights advocate Jeannette Rankin, a Montana Republican, was elected to the House of Representatives a century ago, she noted, “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.”

Rankin took office in 1917 — a member of the 65th Congress. Since that time, 281 women have been elected full voting members of the House and 50 have become senators. 

A Woman’s History Month Talk With the First Female GPO Director
 

LBJ Civil Rights Gambit Set Stage for Modern Maneuver
Play shows how a key legislative move helped pass the Civil Right Act

Jack Willis as LBJ and Bowman Wright as Martin Luther King in "All the Way." (Photo courtesy of Arena Stage)

It was a moment in history, a moment when President Lyndon B. Johnson needed to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 past a segregationist committee chairman and onto a more receptive Senate floor.  

The solution he came up within 1964 has become one of the most common maneuvers in the Senate chamber, invoking a rule that allows the majority leader to bypass committee consideration.