Image courtesy of Felda Looper, provided by the Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
Felda Looper, the first woman Page, and Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma pose for a picture in the Speaker’s office in 1973.
On this date, Felda Looper became the first woman to serve as a Page for the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaker of the House Carl Albert
of Oklahoma made the historic appointment based in part on Looper’s letter-writing campaign to admit girls to the Page program. “It was the first time in my life I ever felt discriminated against as a woman, and it made me furious,” Looper remarked after she learned of the “unspoken rule” barring girls from serving as Pages. Her appointment and arrival in Washington, D.C., received national media attention. “The practice of having only male pages in the House is a form of discrimination that should be ended,” Speaker Albert explained to the press. On her first day on the job, Looper answered questions from reporters, posed for pictures, met her fellow Pages, and toured the Capitol. During her summer tenure on the Hill, Looper performed the same tasks as her male counterparts, primarily running errands for the Members of Congress. “Somebody was going to be first. It was going to happen, and I was psyched it was me,” Looper later recalled. “It was a really exciting time, and the letters I got from people were indicative of the fact that people were paying attention to that.”