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April 23, 2010     Post-Gazette
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April 23, 2010

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BILl '  anal Illl4ilmH||,llj]L | .... Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 23, 2010 /Simple b: Girard A. Plante One of the first women to serve in the U.S. Congress; and the first woman elected to Congress to represent Massa- chusetts, was Edith Nourse Rogers. That revelation came to me during Martha Coakley's bid to fulfill the remaining term of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat. And I wondered why local newspapers didn't devote space to such history as the special election grew in significance. Eerie similarities were seen in the historic win by Republican State Senator Scott Brown. You see, Edith Nourse Rogers urgently ran in a special election as a Republican from the 5 th District of Massachusetts after her husband, Rep. John Jacob Rogers, died suddenly in March 1928. She won the "sympathy vote" by a whopping 72 percent over a former Massachusetts governor! Edith's nearly four decades in Congress became legend. Edith was the only Republican of the five other women she served alongside in the House of Representatives. She became the first female from New England elected to Congress. And she was the first woman Speaker pro tem- pore over the House of Representatives. Although her volunteer work with veterans was well- known for years prior to holding elective office, Edith quickly became a trailblazer for veterans affairs in Congress. She also saw the cruel disparities between women and men serving in the United States military and her brilliance at legislating brought many changes to level the playing field. For example, Edith sponsored over 1,200 bills during her 35-year career in Congress, at least half directly relating to veterans and the military. Some of the key legislation she successfully received support by her male peers was the G.I. Bill, which created vocational and educational training to the troops returning from World War II, as well as low-interest loans for businesses, homes and farms. Her penchant for improving the lives of veterans extended to women interested in serving in the military. She created the Women's Army Corps (WAC) by introduc- ing a bill in 1942, which became law at the height of WWII on July 1, 1943. WACs earned equal pay and benefits. Edith also introduced a Nurse Corps for veterans and numerous other laws and benefits to aid veterans disabled during war. Edith strongly opposed America's involvement in Vietnam in 1954, when Vice President Richard Nixon proposed the nation's intervention. She claimed that "If America is to strike a blow at Communism, it must be struck at Moscow, the heart of Communism." Viewed by her peers as a strong candidate for the U.S. Senate against John F. Kennedy in 1958, Edith thought otherwise and decided against a campaign. She died sud- denly while in office on September 10, 1960. Edith served in Congress longer than any woman in history. She and her husband eternally rest in Lowell Cemetery in their hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. To learn more about this remarkable first congresswoman from Massachusetts, go to EAST BOSTON MAIN STREETS Spring Networking Breakfast Featured Speaker Congressman Mike Capuano Congressman Mike Capuano addresses the audience at the EBMS breakfast. On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, East Boston Main Streets hosted their annual networking breakfast with guest speaker Congress- man Mike Capuano. The congressman addressed the audience and spoke of the most pertinent issues na- tionwide and locally such as healthcare, the economy and immigration. East Boston Main Streets Directors Ann DiMaria (left) and Grace Previte-Magoon with Congressman Mike Capuano. (Photos by Clark Moulaison III) NORTH END Boston Public Library 25 Parmenter Street Thursdays, 10 AM-1 PM May 6 June 3 Equal Housing Lender 4 419 Broadway - Everett, MA 617-387-1110 Member FDIC Member SIF *Annual Percentage Rates (APR) effective AlXi116. 2010. All Rates and APR's are calculated based m a $150,000 loan for an owner occupied dwelling, with 20% dow payment. Rates on Adjustable Rail Mortgages are fixed for the first, 7 or 10 years; then adjust annually at 2.75% above the weekly average yield on the U.S. Treasury Index adjusted to a constant maturity of 1 year. The principal and interest payments for a 7/1 ARM with 0 paints is $5.52 per $1,000 borrowed. The principal and interest payments for a 1011 ARM with 0 points is $5.52 per $1,000 borrowed. Caps on the 7 and 10 Year Adjustable 2/4. All rates on Adjusilbla Rail Mortgages are subject to tso'ease after cunsummation of the loan. The pncipal and Ilterest payrrenil for tile 15 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage with 0 points is $7.65 per $1,000 borrowed. The prindal and interest payment for the 30 Year Fixed Rated Mortgage with O points for 30 years is $5.52 per $1,000 boITOWed. A Boston Water and Sewer Commission Community Services Department representative will be in your neighborhood at the place, date, and time listed here. Our representative will be available to: v  Accept payments. (Check or money order only- no cash, pleose.) v' Process discount forms for senior citizens and disabled people. t/' Resolve billing or service complaints. v' Review water consumption data for your property. i,,' Arrange payment plans for delinquent accounts. Need more information? Call the Community Services Department at 617-989-7000. Boston Water and 980 Harrison Avenue Boston, MA 02119 Sewer Commission