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Lowell Stories: Women's History

Edith Nourse Rogers (1881 – 1960)

Edith Nourse Rogers waving before a flight to Dayton, Ohio, April 4, 1929. Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives                     

Edith Nourse Rogers (1881-1960) born in Saco, Maine, daughter Franklin T. Nourse and Edith France Riversmith. In 1907, she married John Jacob Rogers, who was elected to Congress in 1912.

The United States joined World War in 1917 and John Rogers, while a member of congress enlisted. During this period, Edith Rogers volunteered with the Young Men's Christian Association in London for a short time, then from 1917 to 1922 as a "Gray Lady" with the American Red Cross in France and with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Roger’s husband died on March 28, 1925, in the middle of his seventh term in Congress. Encourage by the Republican Party and the American Legion who supported her stance on veteran's issues, Rogers ran for her late husband's seat. Rogers was elected and began her term in June 1925, less than five years after the 19th Amendment was adopted.

Massachusetts Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers was a great fan of air travel and flew in open-cockpit planes to and from Washington D.C.

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