(Abrams Books for Young Readers, 134 pp.)
From Jeannette Rankin, the suffragist from Montana who broke the glass ceiling on Capitol Hill, to Hilary Rodham Clinton, Washington’s women lawmakers are in the limelight in this collection of diverse profiles.
“Until 1941, there were never more than ten women in Congress at the same time. Ten women to more than 500 men. How much progress had been made by the middle of the twentieth century? In1955, seventeen women were sworn into Congress. One of those women was Martha Griffiths, a Democrat from Michigan. On the day of the swearing in, she sat next to one of the male representatives. He glumly said, ‘At this rate, it won’t be any time before you ladies have the majority here.'
“Representative Griffiths couldn’t believe her ears. The majority? Really? She asked the Library of Congress to figure out just how long it would take women to have the majority in Congress at the rate they were entering. The answer soon came back.
'It would take 432 years!'”