Image courtesy of New Mexico State Archives, Georgia Lusk CollectionGeorgia Lusk of New Mexico, who served a single term in the House, was the first woman to represent her state in Congress.
On this date, Representative Georgia Lee Lusk of New Mexico, a proponent of educational reform, was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico. A widow who adroitly managed the family ranch while rearing her children, Lusk also devoted herself to education issues in her home state. She was elected to the 80th Congress (1947–1949), winning one of the two At-Large seats in New Mexico. Having spent more than 20 years teaching and managing school districts, she enthusiastically championed the education issues in Congress. Lusk once said, “If it's important for the government to give financial assistance to transportation, why not to education?” The mother of three World War II servicemen (one of whom died in combat), the Congresswoman also made veterans’ causes a legislative priority. Lusk voted to expand G.I. Bill of Rights programs as well as veterans’ retirement benefits. Lusk lost the Democratic nomination for her seat in 1948, but remained an active advocate of educational reform.