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Representative Mae Ella Nolan of California

January 23, 1923
Representative Mae Ella Nolan of California Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
On February 12, 1923, Representative Mae Nolan was escorted by California Congressman Charles F. Curry to take the oath of office.
On this date, Mae Ella Nolan of California, widow of Labor Committee Chairman John I. Nolan, was elected to the U.S. House as a Republican, filling her late husband’s vacant seat at the end of the 67th Congress (1921–1923). Nolan, the first widow to succeed her husband in Congress, served as a Republican and pledged to make her congressional agenda a memorial to her husband. “I owe it to the memory of my husband to carry on his work,” she told a newspaper in her San Francisco-based district, listing legislative priorities such as child labor laws, a minimum-wage bill, and education measures. Nolan also has the distinction of being the first woman to chair a congressional committee, the Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office. Congresswoman Nolan continued her service through the 68th Congress (1923–1925) before retiring to private life.

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