Maryland's Mikulski to set record as longest serving female member of Congress
By Greg Janetka
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland: Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to serve in Congress, was elected in 1916 in Montana. Since then over 275 women have served in the federal legislature. The latest member of that list poised to make history is Maryland's Senator Barbara Mikulski. When she was born in East Baltimore in 1936, women had only been able to vote for sixteen years. No one could have imagined that she would go on to become the longest serving female member of Congress, yet that is exactly what she will become in less than 24 hours.
Mikulski, first elected to the U.S. House in 1976 and U.S. Senate in 1986, adds the title to an already long list of accomplishments, including being the first female Democratic Senator to be elected without succeeding her husband or father. She became the longest serving woman in the U.S. Senate in 2011 and will reach 12,858 total days of Congressional service tomorrow, passing up Massachusetts Republican Edith Nourse Rogers, who was in office from 1925-1960.
Currently, 17 women serve in the Senate and 76 serve in the House.
- Women in Congress, "An Introduction," accessed March 15, 2012
- ABC News, "Senator Mikulski to Become Longest Serving Female Member of Congress," March 12, 2012
- USA Today, "Sen. Mikulski poised to set Congress record," March 12, 2012
- Roll Call, "Trailblazer Mikulski Celebrates a Milestone," March 12, 2012