The First Woman US Senator

Tuesday, October 3 — On this date 95 years ago – just two years after women gained the right to vote – the first woman ascended to the U.S. Senate. She was 87-year-old Rebecca Felton of Carterville, Georgia, appointed by the governor to the seat vacated by the death of Senator Thomas Watson. She served for just two days on an interim appointment.

In the 1920 election, the first in which women voted, some 27 million votes were cast — a participation rate of just under 50 percent of eligible voters. Last year’s election saw nearly 138 million votes, a rate of over 61 percent. Women’s participation exceeded men’s voting rate. Just 59.3 percent of registered men voted, while 63.3 percent of women voters went to the polls. 

Profile America is in its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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