MassMoments reminds us this morning that on this day – September 10, 1960 - U. S. Representative Edith Nourse Rogers died. Mrs. Rogers was the longest serving woman in the U. S. Congress having replaced her late husband John Jacob Rogers upon his death in 1927. The heroine of Veterans and their families for her longtime activism on their behalf, she was about to end her 19th campaign for Congress. Her death opened the way for Lowell’s F. Bradford Morse to serve in the 5th Congressional seat until 1972. With the election of Paul E. Tsongas in 1974, this seat went Democrat for the first time since 1877.
…in 1960, Representative Edith Nourse Rogers died of a heart attack in a Boston hospital, just three days before the end of her nineteenth campaign. The longest-serving woman in congressional history, she was first elected in 1927 to fill the seat occupied by her late husband. For the next 35 years, she represented her hometown of Lowell and the rest of the Massachusetts Fifth District, making veterans’ rights her highest priority. The fearlessness that she showed as an amateur pilot in the era of unsteady biplanes served her well on the House floor. She was an outspoken opponent of totalitarianism, denouncing Hitler’s treatment of the Jews as early as 1933, and an early advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Edith Nourse Rogers presides over the House Chamber in the 1920′s image from the Collection of the U. S. House of Representatives.