Mar 30, 2006- Kaptur Celebrates Women's History Month

June 12, 2007
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - In celebration of Women's History Month, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) introduced the Honoring Female Pioneers Act today that creates a U.S. postage stamp honoring four female Congressional pioneers: Jeannette Rankin (R-MT), Mary Teresa Norton (D-NJ), Patsy Mink (D-HI), and Shirley Chisholm (D-NY). The funds raised from the stamp will benefit the Capitol Preservation Commission (CPC) and the House Fine Arts Board to help raise private funds to pay for artwork representing the contributions of women to America to be displayed in the Capitol and the new Capitol Visitors Center. This stamp will be a "semi-postal" stamp similar to the Breast Cancer stamp that has helped raise funds for breast cancer research.

"These postage stamps would recognize the women whose path-breaking efforts secured a working wage, represented the minority voice, and achieved a women's right to vote," said Kaptur. "These Congressional pioneers have made great contributions to our country's history."

In 1916, Jeannette Rankin broke new ground by becoming the first woman -- and first Republican woman -- elected to the House of Representatives, representing the State of Montana, first from 1917 to 1919 and later from 1941 to 1943. In 1924, Mary Teresa Norton became the first Democratic woman elected to the House of Representatives -- and one of a small number of women during that period who were elected in their own right and not to replace their husbands -- representing New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District from 1925 to 1951. In 1964, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first Asian-American woman elected to the House of Representatives, representing Hawaii's Second Congressional District from 1965 to 1977 and again from 1991 until her death in 2002. In 1968, Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm made history by becoming the first African-American woman elected to the House of Representatives, representing New York's Twelfth Congressional District until her retirement in 1983.

As the senior-most Democratic woman in the House, Kaptur has worked to raise awareness for the need for more art in the Capitol that is reflective of women's contributions to American society. She was appointed by Leader Pelosi to serve on the CPC, which has oversight on improvements in the Capitol, including the Capitol Visitors Center; membership consists of Congressional leaders from both the House and Senate.

Co-sponsors of the bill include: Dennis Rehberg (R-At Large MT, district formerly represented by Jeannette Rankin), Major Owens (D-NY, district formerly represented by Shirley Chisholm), Ed Case (D-HI, district formerly represented by Patsy Mink), Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Hilda Solis (D-CA), and Maxine Waters (D-CA).