Historical Highlights

Representative Veronica Grace Boland of Pennsylvania

March 18, 1899
Representative Veronica Grace Boland of Pennsylvania Image courtesy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Washington, DC. Veronica Boland of Pennsylvania only served for two months of the 77th Congress (1941–1943).
On this date, Veronica Grace Boland, the first woman to serve in Congress from Pennsylvania, was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Congresswoman Boland only served for two months of the 77th Congress (1941–1943), completing the term of her late husband, Patrick J. Boland, the popular Democratic Whip, who had died just before winning a primary election. “I’ve always preferred the background,” Congresswoman Boland had told the press upon her election. She insisted that her victory would serve as a tribute to her husband. U.S. Postmaster General Frank C. Walker, a family friend, told the Scranton Tribune that her election “came as a deserved recognition of Mr. Boland’s long public service.” Boland was sworn in and seated on November 19, 1942, less than a month before Congress adjourned on December 16. As a consequence, she received no committee assignments and made no floor speeches.

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