Post Content

""March is Women’s History Month — what better time to celebrate women who have shaped Massachusetts politics?

The Executive Office of Administration and Finance (ANF), the State Library of Massachusetts, and the History, Art & Archives website of the U.S. House of Representatives share information about many pioneers who paved the way for women in politics in the state and the nation.

Edith Nourse Rogers

Before serving Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives for a record-breaking 35 years, Edith Nourse Rogers volunteered as a nurse with the Red Cross and inspected field hospitals during World War I. She was called an “angel” for her work nursing injured veterans and was a long-time supporter of veterans’ rights.

Rogers ran for (and won) her late husband’s seat in the House in 1925, and became the first woman to represent the Bay State in Washington, D.C. Rogers helped create the Women’s Army Corps, worked to set up pensions for army nurses, and helped write the GI Bill.

Lois Pines

During her time in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate, Lois Pines stood up for women’s rights and the environment. In 1975, she created and chaired the Asbestos Commission to investigate the health risks of building with asbestos. It was the first commission of its kind in the country.

Pines also cofounded the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, which gave women in politics a place to come together and campaign for women’s rights.

Marie Howe

Marie Howe held office in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1965 to 1988. During that time, she helped pass a stronger Lemon Law to protect people from being sold faulty cars in the Commonwealth. She also worked on public transportation issues in the state.

Doris Bunte

Doris Bunte became the first African American female legislator to serve in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1973. She pushed for racial equality in schools and neighborhoods throughout her legislative career.

Margaret Mary Heckler

In 1966, Margaret Mary Heckler  became the first woman elected to represent Massachusetts in Congress who didn’t take her husband’s seat. During her eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Heckler supported women’s rights, fought domestic abuse, and worked to help women on maternity leave keep their pensions. In 1977, she helped found the Congresswomen’s Caucus.

Heckler also never lost touch with her constituents — she even set up a toll-free hotline to her Washington office. She spoke up for New England’s fishermen and textile industry and demanded the release of a Massachusetts resident who was arrested for spying overseas.

Massachusetts women have been shaping our state’s political conversation for almost a century. Let’s celebrate their accomplishments — during Women’s History Month and beyond.

Do you know Massachusetts women who have made a difference in politics? Share their stories by commenting below or tweeting @MassGov.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

How To Legally Change Your Name in Massachusetts posted on Feb 15

How To Legally Change Your Name in Massachusetts

Everyone has the right to legally change their name, as long as the request is not inconsistent with the public interest. When you change your name as an adult, you’ll need to go through a court proceeding. If the court allows your petition, you will receive   …Continue Reading How To Legally Change Your Name in Massachusetts

Celebrate Black History Month with These Historical Tours and Trails posted on Feb 8

Celebrate Black History Month with These Historical Tours and Trails

One way to commemorate Black History Month this February is to learn about and recognize the contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) has compiled a list of Black History Month resources, including walking tours and heritage   …Continue Reading Celebrate Black History Month with These Historical Tours and Trails

3 Fun Things to Do in Massachusetts over Presidents Day Weekend posted on Feb 1

3 Fun Things to Do in Massachusetts over Presidents Day Weekend

George Washington’s Birthday is observed on the third Monday in February every year. This year, it falls on Feb. 20. According to the National Archives, Congress declared his birthday a legal holiday in 1879 after years of unofficial celebrations to honor our first commander in chief. For many Americans,   …Continue Reading 3 Fun Things to Do in Massachusetts over Presidents Day Weekend