Photos

Women's Historic Firsts: Republican National Committee gavel

March 7, 2018
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.

Smith used this gavel in her role as the first woman to chair the Republican National Convention in 1976.

Photo by Jaclyn Nash / Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

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