The First Women in Congress

Through art, historic artifacts, and archival documents, learn more about the early generation of women Representatives’ effect on the significant legislative issues of the period—women’s suffrage, veterans and the military, and the government’s response to the needs of citizens.

Votes for Women

Votes for Women

Jeannette Rankin’s historic election to Congress was a milestone in the decades-long struggle for national women's suffrage.

Prohibition Dries Up

Prohibition Dries Up

When Prohibition was enacted in 1920, early women Representatives responded to the law’s effects on their constituents. Their differing views on the law’s efficacy affected their legislative careers.

Relief for the Nation

Relief for the Nation

The need for domestic reform became prominent in the first half of the 20th century, providing the opportunity for women Representatives to bring fresh perspectives to the legislative process.

World War and Veterans

World War and Veterans

Women Representatives worked to honor military service by crafting legislation that guaranteed benefits for veterans and creating jobs and training opportunities for active duty men and women.

Timeline of Events

Timeline of Events

View a timeline covering significant events leading up to and described in The First Women in Congress digital exhibit.

 

Continue through the exhibit

About the Exhibit

In spring of 2017, the First Women in Congress exhibition opened in the U.S. Capitol, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Jeannette Rankin taking her seat as the first woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Related Resources

This project is part of a larger commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Jeannette Rankin's historic election. Discover more projects that tell the 100-year history or women in Congress.