Media Kits

Women's Historic Firsts

March 7, 2018

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, presented the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with historic objects related to the Jan. 4, 2007, ceremony during which she was sworn in as the 52nd Speaker of the House—the first woman to hold that office. 

Related photos: 

Women's Historic Firsts: Anna Mae Hays uniform

General's uniform

Hugh Talman

Anna Mae Hays Uniform (Front) 

Anna Mae Hays (February 16, 1920 – January 7, 2018) was an American military officer who served as the 13th chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She was the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to a General Officer rank; in 1970, she was the first woman promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. 

Women's Historic Firsts: Democratic National Convention gavel


Jaclyn Nash

Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs, usually known as Lindy Boggs (March 13, 1916 – July 27, 2013), served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and later as United States Ambassador to the Holy See. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana.

Women's Historic Firsts: Marian Anderson ensemble

orange and black ensemble

Hugh Talman

Marian Anderson ensemble

Marian Anderson (Feb. 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the 20th century. She was the first African American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera in New York on Jan. 7, 1955.

Women's Historic Firsts: Nancy Pelosi ensemble

Burgundy suit

Hugh Talman

Nancy Pelosi Ensemble

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (b. 1940) is currently the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. She previously served as the 52nd Speaker of the House, from 2007 to 2011, the first woman to do so. As Speaker she attained the highest rank of any female politician in American history.

Women's Historic Firsts: Nancy Pelosi's gavel


Jaclyn Nash

Pelosi Gavel (Front)

The wooden gavel presented to Nancy Pelosi (D. Calif) when she was sworn in as the 52d Speaker of the House of Representatives on Jan. 3, 2007—the first woman to hold this position. As Speaker, Pelosi attained the highest rank of any female politician in history.

Women's Historic Firsts: National Women's Conference Gavel

Gavel with leather ribbon

Jaclyn Nash

National Women's Conference gavel

Susan B. Anthony used this gavel to chair the founding meeting of the International Conference of Women, during the National Women's Conference, which convened March 25, 1888, in Washington, D.C. The National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, organized the meeting.

Women's Historic Firsts: Republican National Committee gavel


Jaclyn Nash

Republican National Committee gavel

Mary Louise Smith (October 6, 1914 – August 22, 1997), a U.S. political organizer and women's rights activist, was the first woman to chair the Republican National Committee (and the second woman to head a major political party in the United States). She served as chair of the Republican National Committee from 1974 to 1977.

Women's Historic Firsts: Sally Ride uniform

Blue uniform

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Sally Ride Uniform

Women's Historic Firsts: Sandra Day O'Connor's robe

Black judicial robe

Hugh Talman

Sandra Day O’Connor’s Robe (Front)

The judicial robe worn by Sandra Day O’Connor (b. 1930), retired Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Court in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and served until 2006. O'Connor was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.