Edith Nourse Rogers, political leader and outstanding legislator from the 1920s through the 1950s, was most noted for her legislative initiatives on behalf of veterans and women.
Beginning as a volunteer Red Cross worker during World War I, Rogers became the presidential representative in charge of assisting disabled veterans for Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. This background made her an outstanding legislator, beginning in 1925 when she was elected to the 69th Congress to complete her late husband’s unfinished term. Going on to win 17 more elections, she became the longest-serving woman in the history of the House of Representatives.
Among her highest achievements was drafting a major portion of the G.I. Bill of Rights. It gave returning World War II veterans opportunities to go to college, obtain job training, and get low interest mortgages.
Even more visionary was her introduction of legislation, at the start of World War II, to establish the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). This allowed women to serve in the armed forces. Now women are important to all branches of the military. Rogers also fought against child labor, supported the 48-hour work week for women, and backed equal pay for equal work.