To date, Edith Nourse Rogers has served longer than any other American congresswoman -- 35 years. She was the first woman elected to congress from Massachusetts.
Rogers was a socialite, married to John Rogers, a lawyer-turned-politician from Massachusetts. He was elected to Congress in 1912, serving for more than 20 years. When he died, his wife was pressed to serve in his place.
Edith Nourse Rogers was instrumental in the establishment of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, the Korean War Veterans Benefits Bill and a permanent Nurses Corps in the Veterans Administration. She opposed child labor, and fought for "equal pay for equal work" and a 48 hour work week for women, though she believed a woman's first priority was home and family. Rogers was also among the first congressional representatives to oppose Nazi persecution of the Jews in Europe, and co-sponsored the Wayne-Rogers bill with senator Robert F. Wagner, which would have allowed 20,000 German Jewish refugees under the age of 14 to settle in the United States. She also voted against the 1937 Neutrality Act and for the Selective Service Act of 1940.
Among Rogers' many honors, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.