Committee Firsts & Records
As the first woman to succeed her husband in Congress, widow Mae Ella Nolan set a precedent by championing the legislative agenda of her late husband, John I. Nolan.More >
The third African American elected to Congress in the 20th century and the first black Member to chair a standing committee, William L. Dawson served in the House of Representatives for nearly three decades.More >
- The oldest standing committee:
First created as a select committee in the 1st Congress (1789–1791) on July 24, 1789, the Committee on Ways and Means became a standing committee in the 4th Congress (1795–1797).
First African American Chairman:
William L. Dawson of Illinois chaired Expenditures in the Executive Departments, 81st Congress (1949–1951).
First Hispanic American Chairman:
Romualdo Pacheco of California chaired the Private Land Claims Committee, 47th Congress (1881–1883).
First woman Chairman:
Mae Ella Nolan of California chaired Expenditures in the Post Office Department, 68th Congress (1923–1925).
First Asian American Chairman:
Norman Mineta of California chaired the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, 103rd Congress (1993–1995).
Longest Serving Member on any House Committee:
John D. Dingell, Jr., of Michigan joined the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 85th Congress (1957–1959) on January 10, 1957. When he retired from the 113th Congress (2013–2015) on January 3, 2015, he served a total of 58 years on the committee.