List of “Firsts” for Women in US Politics (2020)



first women politics

With Hillary Clinton officially becoming the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and the first woman in US history to become a major political part presidential nominee, it got me wondering about other firsts for women. Here is what I was able to dig up: A list celebrating many of the major "firsts" for women in US politics. As with all of my lists and stat posts, I will be updating this list as I find more, so stay tuned for more!

Firsts for Women in US Politics

First woman to be a US presidential nominee from any party:

Victoria Woodhull (Equal Rights Party, 1872, did not appear on any state ballots); Belva Ann Lockwood (National Equal Rights Party, 1884, appeared on official ballots in 6 states)


First woman to seek a major party's US presidential nomination:

Laura Clay and Cora Wilson Stewart (both Democrat, 1920)


First woman to be a US presidential nominee from a major party:

Hillary Clinton (Democrat, 2016)


First woman to be a US vice-presidential nominee from any party:

Marietta Stow (National Equal Rights Party, 1884)


First woman to be a US vice-presidential nominee from a major party:

Geraldine Ferraro (Democrat, 1984)


First woman to seek a US vice-presidential nominee from any party:

Lucretia Mott (Liberty Party, 1848)


First woman to seek a US vice-presidential nominee from a major party:

Lena Springs (Democrat, 1924)


First US State to have an all-women congressional delegation:

New Hampshire (2012- Shaheen (D), Ayotte (R), Shea-Porter (D), Kuster (D))


First woman to serve as US Senator:

Rebecca Felton (D-GA, 1922, served one day)


First woman to be elected US Senator:

Hattie Caraway (D-AR, 1932)


First woman to be elected US Representative:

Jeannette Rankin (R-MT, 1916)


First woman to run for US Representative:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Independent, NY, 1866)


First woman to be elected Speaker of the House:

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, 2007)


First woman to serve in a US presidential cabinet:

Frances Perkins (Secretary of Labor, 1945)


First woman to serve as governor in the US:

Carolyn B. Shelton (D-OR, 1909)


First woman to be elected governor in the US:

Nellie Tayloe Ross (D-WY, 1924)


First woman elected state senator in the US:

Martha Hughes Cannon (Utah, 1896)


First woman to be elected mayor of a US city:

Susanna M. Salter (Argonia, Kansas, 1887)


First woman to be elected mayor of a major US city:

Bertha Knight Landes (Seattle, Washington, 1926)


First woman to serve on the US Supreme Court:

Sandra Day O'Connor (1981)


First women to chair the major US political parties:

Jean Westwood (Democrat Party, 1972); Mary Louise Smith (Republican Party, 1974)

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