POLITICS

She's On First

A short history of women's political firsts.

As Hillary Clinton becomes the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, we look back at some other historic firsts for women in the United States. 

  • Susanna Madora Salter
    Susanna Madora Salter was the first woman elected to political office in the United States. She was elected mayor of Arg
    Illustration by Eric Hibbeler/Kansas City Star via Getty Images
    Susanna Madora Salter was the first woman elected to political office in the United States. She was elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas, on April 4, 1887.
  • Victoria Woodhull
    Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president, in 1872.
    PhotoQuest via Getty Images
    Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president, in 1872.
  • Jeannette Rankin
    Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-Mont.) was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1916. In this photo, she
    Associated Press
    Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-Mont.) was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1916. In this photo, she prepares to leave Washington on June 2, 1932, for a speaking tour advocating for the Republican and Democratic party platforms to include a peace plank.
  • Nellie Tayloe Ross
    Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman elected governor in the U.S. She served as the governor of Wyoming from 1925 to 1927,
    Associated Press
    Nellie Tayloe Ross was the first woman elected governor in the U.S. She served as the governor of Wyoming from 1925 to 1927, and later served as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and director of the U.S. Mint.
  • Hattie Caraway
    Sen. Hattie Caraway (D-Ark.), the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, signs legislation Oct. 19, 1943. Caraway was design
    Associated Press
    Sen. Hattie Caraway (D-Ark.), the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, signs legislation Oct. 19, 1943. Caraway was designated as acting pro tempore, and it was the first time a woman had signed legislation in the Senate. 
  • Shirley Chisholm
    Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) was the first African-American woman to run for a major party presidential ticket, in 1972.
    Richard Drew/Associated Press
    Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) was the first African-American woman to run for a major party presidential ticket, in 1972.
  • Barbara Jordan
    Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas responds to the crowd before delivering a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convent
    Associated Press
    Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas responds to the crowd before delivering a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in New York City on July 12, 1976. She was the first African-American woman to give a keynote address at the DNC.
  • Geraldine Ferraro
    Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to serve as the vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket. In this photo,
    Richard Drew/Associated Press
    Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to serve as the vice presidential nominee on a major party ticket. In this photo, she speaks to supporters in New York on Nov. 6, 1984, after she and running mate Walter Mondale lost to President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush.
  • Nancy Pelosi
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) became the first woman to serve as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007.
    Evan Vucci/Associated Press
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) became the first woman to serve as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007.
  • Hillary Clinton
    Eight years after conceding she was unable to "shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling," Hillary Clinton has secured a pl
    John Locher/Associated Press
    Eight years after conceding she was unable to "shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling," Hillary Clinton has secured a place in history as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. In this photo, she takes the stage at a June 6 rally in Long Beach, Calif.
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