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House Recognizes First Woman to Preside Over House Floor

On October 2, the House passed, by voice vote, H. Res. 1272, a resolution “honoring and recognizing Alice Mary Robertson, who, while a member of Congress, became the first woman to preside over the floor of the House of Representatives.”

Sponsored by Rep. Mary Fallin (R-OK), the resolution included a number of findings, including:

  • Alice Mary Robertson was an American educator, social worker, government official, and politician;
  • Alice Mary Robertson was the second woman to serve in Congress and the first from the State of Oklahoma;
  • She established the Nuyaka Mission (a Presbyterian mission for Native American tribes), taught in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and was in charge of a Presbyterian boarding school for Native American girls, now the University of Tulsa;
  • Alice Mary Robertson’s canteen service to the troops during World War I later led to the formation of the Muskogee Chapter of the American Red Cross;
  • She was elected by the second district of Oklahoma as a Republican representative to the 67th Congress, from 1921 to 1923, and served on the Committees on Indian Affairs, Expenditures in the Interior Department, and Woman Suffrage; and
  • Alice Mary Robertson became the first woman to preside over the House of Representatives on July 20, 1921, when she presided over a roll call vote.
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