By the mid-1950s, congresswomen had gained a foothold in the institution. The 84th Congress had 18 women Representatives. One, Edith Nourse Rogers, was approaching the end of her long career, and had served as chairman for the Committee on Veterans Affairs. Another, Leonor K. Sullivan, was beginning the second of her 12 terms. Sullivan became chairman of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries from 1973 to 1977, making her the sixth woman to chair a House Committee.