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A Woman of Many Firsts

A crowd of women greets Rebecca Felton, the first female to serve in the Senate, in this Nov. 20, 1922, photo. The Democrat was appointed by the Georgia governor to fill a Senate vacancy left by the death of Sen. Thomas Watson. She served just 24 hours, Nov. 21-22, before a successor was elected to the seat. So in addition to being the Senate’s first woman, Felton also served the shortest term in the chamber and, at 87, was the oldest Senator at the time of swearing-in, according to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.