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 TimeLines of Liberty
American History  -  Politics

One Votes Counts U.S. TimeLine TimeLine Index State TimeLines Flag TimeLine
Presidency TimeLine American Wars The Early Presidents
Political Firsts in the 20th Century
 Last updated September, 2008.
  2nd Column: GOP / dem - either directly; served under; or appointed by Admin. --- Misc. - unknown, non-partisan or not applicable.

1600's, 1700's & 1800s       -       2000s - 21st Century
© Copyright 2005, 2010 Roger W Hancock 
1900 GOP Sergeant William Harvey Carney awarded for his heroism in the Battle of Fort Wagner during the Civil War becomes the first African-American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on May 23rd, 1900.
1901 GOP The state of New York on April 25th became the first state to require automobile license plates.
1903 Misc. Marie Curie is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize
1907 Misc. Alain L. Locke is the first Black American to become a Rhodes Scholar in 1907.
1916 Misc. The first person to pass over Niagara Falls in a barrel was, on October 24th, 1901, a school teacher from Michigan, Annie Edison Taylor.
1906 Misc. The earliest known record of an Asian-Pacific Islander-American making a bid for public office was Benjamin Chow. On the Socialist ticket in the 1st District of Massachusetts, He received less than 4% of votes cast.
1907 GOP Charles Curtis becomes the first American-Indian to serve as a U.S. Senator on January 23rd after being elected from Kansas. He later became U.S. Vice President under Herbert Hoover.
1907 GOP The first forced sterilization law is passed in Indiana on March 9th. Washington State follows with the same legislation two years later.
1907 GOP The first official trip by a U.S. President outside the United States was when President Theodore Roosevelt visited Panama to inspect the construction of the Panama Canal on November 9th.
1908 Misc. The first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters was Julia Ward Howe, author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
1908 Misc. Grafton, West Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are the first to celebrate Mother's Day in the United States.
1913 Misc. Prizes are included in Cracker Jack boxes for the first time.
1913 dem The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, providing for the federal income tax.
1913 Misc. The first electric traffic light is installed on August 5th in Cleveland, Ohio.
1914 dem Idaho elects the nation's first Jewish governor, Moses Alexander.
1915 Misc. The first stop sign is placed at an intersection in Detroit, Michigan.
1916 dem Louisville, Kentucky native, Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jew to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court on January 28th.
1916 dem The first air combat mission ever conducted was on March 19th when 8 U.S. planes fly in pursuit of Panco Villa who had attacked Americans in New Mexico retreating to Mexico.
1917 GOP Jeanette Rankin, Republican, begins serving as the first U.S. Congresswoman in 1917. She was elected to the U.S. House from Montana in 1916; four years before women had the right to vote.
1918 dem "The Stars and Stripes" newspaper is published for the first time in 1918.
1918 dem President Woodrow Wilson is the first U.S. President to travel to Europe while in office. He sailed to France for the Paris Peace Conference on December 4th.
1918 Misc. The first woman to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps was Opha M. Johnson in 1918.
1919 Misc. Oregon becomes the first state to levy a gasoline tax on February 25th. That first gas tax was 1 cent per gallon.
1920 Misc. Mrs. Marie Ruoff Byrum becomes the first woman since 1807, to vote, just 5 days after the 19th Amendment was signed into law.  In a special election to fill the seat of a resigning alderman Mrs. Byrum cast her vote in the 1st ward of Hannibal, Missouri. She was the very first woman to vote in Missouri.
1920 Misc. The Democrat House members in 1920 were first to elect among themselves floor leaders while in the minority.
1920 Misc. Women vote in the first national U.S. election, under the 19th Amendment, on November 2nd. Warren G. Harding defeats James M. Cox to become President.
1920 GOP  Katherine Gudger Langley becomes the first chairman of the Republican State Central Committee of Kentucky.
See 1927.
1920 Misc. The first broadcast of results of a U.S. Presidential election was also the first broadcast by the first commercial radio station.  KDKA AM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was own by Westinghouse.
1921 GOP Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback is the first African-American U.S. state governor. He became Louisiana's governor when his predecessor was impeached. PBS Pinchback served as a Republican governor for one month.
1921 dem The first woman south of the Mason-Dixon line to be elected to a state legislature is Mary Elliott Flanery of Boyd County when she is elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives.
1921 Misc. The first Black American women to earn Ph.D. degrees were in 1921. They are Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, University of Pennsylvania; Eva Beatrice Dykes, Radcliffe College; and Georgiana Simpson, University of Chicago.
1922 dem Rebecca Latimer Felton, of Georgia, was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, when appointed and sworn in on November 21st to fill the remainder of a term vacated by the death of her predecessor. Felton holds two other distinctions; having the shortest service of just one day, resigning the day after being appointed, and being the oldest to begin service at 87 years of age.
1922 GOP President Warren G. Harding installs the first radio into the White House on February 8th.
1922 Misc. The United States Postal Services begins the first transcontinental air mail route on February 22nd.
1924 Misc. The Nevada State Prison in Carson City, Nevada is the site of the first execution in the United States that was performed in the "Gas Chamber".
1924 dem Nellie Taylor Ross is the first woman elected to be a U.S. State Governor. Her husband, William Bradford Ross, Wyoming governor, died on October 2nd. She was nominated to the Democrat ticket for governor, then elected on November 4th to take office on January 5th 1925.
See 1933.
1924 GOP The first Presidential speech on radio and first from the Whitehouse was delivered on February 22nd by President Calvin Coolidge.
1925 GOP The first presidential inauguration to be broadcast on radio was on March 4th when Calvin Coolidge takes the oath of office.
1925 dem Nellie Taylor Ross in Wyoming becomes America's first woman Governor, succeeding her husband, William Bradford Ross.
See 1924, 1933.
1925 GOP The Republican House members as the majority party in 1925 were first to designate a Majority Leader, Charles Curtis.
1925 GOP Edith Nourse Rogers, Republican from Massachusetts, is the first woman from New England to serve in the U. S. House of Representatives. She was the longest serving woman in House.  She introduced the GI Bill of Rights.
© Copyright 2005, 2010 Roger W Hancock 
1927 GOP The Federal Radio Commission regulates the use of radio frequencies for the first time beginning February 23rd. The commission later becomes the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).
1927 Misc. The first transmission of a government official was the image of Commerce Secretary Hoover in April when Bell Telephone Company demonstrates the first successful long distance demonstration of Television.
1927 dem William Heen is the first Chinese Asian-American to serve in the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives.
1927 GOP Kentucky's first U.S. Congresswoman, Katherine Gudger Langley, begins to serve on March 4th. See also 1920.
1928 dem Florida's first U.S. Congresswoman was Ruth Bryan Owen; one of three women, all named Ruth, that were elected to Congress in 1928. 
See 1933.
1928 dem Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo of New Mexico becomes the first Hispanic Senator in U.S. History.
1928 Misc. Kathleen Mulligan becomes Kentucky’s first woman judge when appointed as a Lexington municipal judge. She later becomes the first woman vice-president of the Kentucky Bar Association.
1928 GOP From Illinois, Oscar DePriest became the first African American from a northern state to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives 71st Congress, in 1928.
1931 dem Hattie Caraway from Arkansas is the first woman to have succeeded her husband in the Senate and subsequently the first woman elected to a six year Senate term in 1932.
1932 dem On January 12th Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas is the first woman to have been elected to a six year Senate term, but only after having served being appointed the previous term.
1932 Misc. Wisconsin is the first state to enact an unemployment-compensation law in 1932.
1933 dem Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Frances Perkins as secretary of labor on March 4th, making her the first woman cabinet member.
1933 dem President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Ruth Bryan Owen, the first woman, as Minister to Denmark (One rank lower than Ambassador). 
See 1928
1933 dem FDR appoints Nellie Taylor Ross of Wyoming the first woman director of the U.S. Mint, on May 3rd.
See 1924.
1934 com Karl Hama running on the Communist Party ticket is the first Asian-American to make a bid for the 22nd State Assembly Seat, in San Francisco, California.
1934 dem Franklin D. Roosevelt makes his first visit to Hawaii; Kailua-Kona on July 25 and Honolulu on July 27.
1934 Misc. The first American woman to serve as director of a major Corporation is Lettie Pate Whitehead of the Coca-Cola Company.
1935 dem Mary McLeod Bethune served as an advisor on African-American affairs to four presidents. She was the first Black woman to such a high office in the federal government.
1935 dem The longest speech on the U.S. Senate record was, on June 12th taking 15 1/2 hours consisting of 150,000 words, by Huey Long of Louisiana.
1935 GOP The first woman to hold a committee chair was Republican Representative Mary Livermore Norris Barrows, of Melrose, Massachusetts, when she chaired the Committee on Pensions and Old Age Assistance in 1935.
1936 dem A flag for the office of Vice President is authorized by the signature of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1937 dem Elaine Edwards was the first woman appointed to the Senate, by her husband, Gov. Edwin Edwards, to fill the vacated position left open by the death of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender.
1937 dem Nell Scott becomes Alaska's first woman legislator when elected to the Alaska Territorial Legislature.
1936 Misc. George Gallup's first national poll was taken in 1936 beginning the use of random samples and scientific formulas.
1940 dem

The first Social Security Checks totalling to $75,000 are issued by the United States government on January 30th.

1940 Misc Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., becomes the first black general in the U. S. Army.
1941 dem The Presidential inauguration of 1941 is of the first and last person elected to three terms as President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1941 Misc Wounded on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, Lt. Annie G. Fox became the first woman to receive the Purple Heart.
1943 dem The first president to travel by airplane while in office was Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 14th, traveling from Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill to discuss the war.
1943 dem Uilliam Dawson becomes the first Black democratic party vice-presidential candidate.
1943 Misc Colonel Young Oak Kim (Korean-American) is the first Asian American to command a combat battalion.  Kim is the most highly decorated Asian American Soldier, to date.
1943 Misc Wilbur Carl Sze is the first Chinese-American to be commissioned an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
1943 Misc. The Pentagon in Arlington Virginia is dedicated on January 15th.  The Pentagon was the largest office building in the world.
1943 Misc. Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. Wau Kau Kong was the first Chinese American fighter pilot. From 1943 to 1944 he flew 14 missions over Germany. He was shot down and died on February 22, 1944.
1943 Misc. For actions as an air evac nurse the Navy Marine Corps Medal was awarded to the first woman, Lt. Elsie S. Ott in 1943.
1944 Misc. The first Chinese American to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor was Francis Brown Wai. Captain in the U.S. Army in 1944.
1945 Misc. The first U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal awarded to a woman was in 1945 to Colonel Oveta C. Hobby also the first director of the WAC's. Hobby had a WAC hat named after her, the Hobby Hat.
See 1953.
1945 Misc. Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first civilian woman to receive the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945 for her organization and command of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).
1946 Misc.

Wing F. Ong, is the first Asian-Pacific Islander-American to be elected to the Arizona House of Representatives.
See 1958

1947 Misc. A session of the United States Congress is televised for the first time on January 3rd.
1947 Misc. The first African-American news correspondent allowed entry to the House and Senate press gallery was Percival Prattis.
1948 GOP Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican from Maine, becomes the first woman to have served in both the U.S. House and Senate, when elected Senator in 1948, also as the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate without first having been appointed to the prior term. She also holds the record of a 24 year service in the Senate.  Smith became chair of the Senate Republican Conference in 1967.
1950 and 1964
1948  dem Democrat President Harry S. Truman issued the first peacetime military draft in the U.S., on July 20th, based on increasing tensions with the Soviet Union.
1949 dem The first woman elected to the Kentucky Senate is Carolyn C. Moore.
1950 dem Harry S. Truman appoints Edith Sampson as the first Black American delegate to the United Nations.
1950 GOP Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican from Maine, becomes the first Senator on June 1st, 1950 to denounce Joseph McCarthy's tactics in his crusade against communism.
See 1948 and 1964.
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 
1951 Misc. The first United States National Monument honoring an African-American was revealed on July 4th in Joplin, Missouri to honor George Washington Carver.
1953 Misc. Oveta Culp Hobby is the first woman to serve as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare when the department was renamed from the Federal Security Agency, being elevated to to a cabinet position by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
See 1945.
1953 GOP Jane Morrow Spaulding as Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare is the first black woman in a sub-cabinet position.
1953 GOP Clare Booth Luce is appointed U.S. Ambassador to Italy. She is the first woman to hold a high-ranking position in the U.S. diplomatic corps.      
1953 Misc. The first literature censorship board in the United States was approved on February 19th in the state of Georgia.
1953 Misc. The first woman to break the sound barrier was Jacqueline (Jackie) Cochran in 1953 in a Canadian-built F-86 Sabrejet.. Cochran accomplished four other firsts as well. She was the first woman to take flight from an aircraft carrier, the first woman to reach the speed of Mach 2, first pilot to have made a blind instrument landing and the first woman ever inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame.
1953 Misc. The first woman tested to be an astronaut in America is Jerrie Cobb. NASA canceled the women's program in 1963, it would not be until 1983 that a woman is sent to space.
1953 Misc. The first time a Medal of Honor citation is award but is classified as "Top Secret" was on November 4th, 1953.  Corporal Hiroshi H. Miyamura Killed 10 enemy in bayonet combat then administered first aid to the wounded then in a following attack he manned a machine gun killing 50 of the enemy before being wounded and running out of ammunition, he continued a fierce fight until his position was overrun. He was last seen fighting against an overwhelming force.  He was captured and survived. His Medal of Honor was kept secret so as to prevent the enemy discovering his heroic deeds against their comrades.
1953 Misc. For Actions of heroism the Marine Corps Medal was awarded to the first woman, Barbara O. Barnwell
1954 Misc. A U.S. cabinet session is televised for the first time on October 25, 1954. At the special meeting of Eisenhower's cabinet all members except for Vice President Richard M. Nixon were present.
1955 dem Ella T. Grasso became the first woman to be elected floor leader in the Connecticut House of Representatives. Serving from 1953 untill 1957. 
See 1974.
1955 GOP E. Frederic Morrow Becomes the first Black named to an executive position in the White House. He was the administrative aide to President Eisenhower.
1955 GOP Peter Aduja becomes the first Filipino-American to serve in a political office, when elected a member of  Hawaii's Territorial House of Representatives.
1955 Misc. Rosa Parks, on December 1, 1955 refuses to give up her seat for a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her arrest for the act launches a city-wide bus boycott that last over a year. Rosa Parks becomes a prominent civil rights activist with the NAACP; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
1956 dem Dalip Singh Saund from California is the first Asian-Indian-American elected to the U.S. Congress.
See 2004
1958 Misc. Wing F. Ong is the first Asian-American elected to the Arizona Senate.
See 1946
1959 GOP Hawaii's first U.S. Senator Hiram Fong  was the first Chinese-American elected to the U.S. Senate.
1959 dem The first Japanese-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives is Daniel Inouye, of Hawaii, when he takes office on August 21, 1959. Inouye was Hawaii's first State Representative and is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
See 1962
1959 Misc.

Delbert Wong is the first Chinese-American to be appointed as a judge within the 48 continental states.  Judge Wong was appointed by California Governor Edmund G. Brown to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1959. Wong was also the first Chinese-American Graduate of Stanford University Law School and the first Chinese-American California Deputy Legislative Counsel.

1960 Dem Henry D. Irwin becomes the first Presidential Elector to publicly attempt to urge other electors to cast their vote for another candidate. After the November election, Irwin sent a telegram to the 218 Republican Electors urging them to cast their vote for Henry F. Byrd as President and Barry Goldwater as Vice president. "Would you consider Byrd President, Goldwater Vice President, or wire any acceptable substitute." - telegram from Henry D. Irwin.
1960 Misc. France exploded its first atomic bomb in 1960.
1961 dem The first Black woman elected to the Kentucky state legislature is Amelia M. Tucker.
1961 dem Andrew Hatcher becomes the first Black Associate Press Secretary to President-elect J. F. Kennedy.
1961 dem President John F. Kennedy delivers, from Washington D.C. the first Live presidential TV news conference.
1961 dem John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell on January 26th, making her the first woman to be Physician to the President.
1962 dem State Senator Benjamin Menor is the first Filipino-American to serve in a U.S. legislature when elected to the Hawaii Senate.
See 1974
1962 Misc. Wing Luke (Chinese-American) is the first Asian-American to become a political office holder in the Pacific Northwest when elected to the Seattle City Council in Washington State.
1962 dem Daniel Ken Inouye of Hawaii takes office in 1959 becoming the first Japanese-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Inouye is the third highest ranking member of the U.S. Senate as of  2006.
See 1959
1962 dem Appointed by Hawaii Governor John A. Burns to the directorship of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Alfredo Lareta became the first Filipino-American to hold a state cabinet position in the United States.
1962 dem Alfred H. Song (Korean-American & Hawaiian born) is the first Asian-American elected to the California Assembly.
1962 Misc. Samuel L. Gravely is the first Black to become an Admiral in the US Navy, 1962.
1962 dem US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, on December 2nd, is the first elected official to make a public comment on the progress of the Vietnam war that was not optimistic.
1963 dem In Hawaii, Helen Hale is the first woman elected chairman of a county in that state.
1964 dem Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first Asian-American U.S. Congresswoman when elected to the House from Hawaii.
1964 GOP Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican from Maine, becomes the first woman in 1964 to be named as a presidential candidate of either of the two major parties. Smith, running in several Republican Primaries that took her candidacy to the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, came in second to Barry Goldwater.
See 1948 and 1950.
1965 dem Patricia Roberts Harris becomes the first African-American woman in 1965 to be assigned a U.S. Ambassadorship when assigned as Ambassador to Luxembourg.
See 1977
1965 dem In 1965, Hawaii elected Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first Asian-American woman, to the U.S. Congress and kept her in the service of that position for 24 years.
1966 dem Kentucky in 1966 becomes the first Southern state to pass a comprehensive civil rights law.
1966 dem Andrew F. Brimmer began an eight-and-a-half year term as the first Black on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
1966 dem Robert C. Weaver is the first Black cabinet member on January 13th, when he becomes Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs in the Johnson Administration.
1966 Misc. Kentucky was the first state in the south to pass a major civil rights law.
1966 Misc. In Alabama, Sheriff Lucius D. Amerson was the first Black since Reconstruction to be elected Sheriff in the south.
1966 GOP Edward W Brooke is the first Black U.S. Senator in 85 years when elected as a Republican from Massachusetts. He was the first since Reconstruction.
1967 dem Thurgood Marshall is the first Black sworn in as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 13th.
1967 dem Carl B. Stokes, a Democrat, was elected the first black mayor of a major city when 5 days after the election was inaugurated mayor of Cleveland, Ohio on November 13, 1967..
1967 dem. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. was the first Black American Astronaut. He died in a plane crash while on a training flight, before being assigned a mission to space.
1967 dem Georgia Montgomery Powers is the first Black to be elected to the Kentucky State Senate.
1967 GOP 1967  Louie B. Nunn  is elected governor of Kentucky; the first Republican in twenty-four years and the last until 2004.
1968 Misc. The first 9-1-1 emergency phone system begins operation on February 16th in Haleyville, Alabama.
1968 dem Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Mae Watson is the first Woman and the first Black to hold the position.
1968 dem Shirley Chisholm, a democrat from New York, is the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
1968 dem The first Black and first woman to serve in the Kentucky Senate was Georgia M. Davis Powers. She was the mistress to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the time of his assassination.
1969 dem Lawrence Douglas L. Wilder became the first black Senator in the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction.
 See 1986,
1969 dem Mary Jo Kopechne, an aide to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, is drowned when the Senator, driving without a license, drives off a wooden bridge at Chappaquiddick Island on July 18th. The Senator does not report the incident until 10 days later. His avoided manslaughter charges and was charged for only failing to report an accident involving injury receiving a Suspended Sentence.
1969 dem "Unbought and unbossed" is the slogan used by Shirley Chisholm of New York who becomes the first African-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. She served for 14 years.
See 1972
1970 Misc. The first Black mayor of Newark, New Jersey was Kenneth Gibson taking office on June 16th.
See 1976.
1971 dem Norman Y. Mineta, of San Jose, California, was the first Asian and Japanese-American to be mayor of a major U.S. mainland city.
See 2000, 2001
1971 GOP Herbert Choy (Korean-American) is the first Asian-Pacific-American and first citizen from Hawaii appointed judge to a federal Court of Appeals.  Choy was the first Korean to practice law in the U.S.
1972 dem Shirley Chisholm is the first woman considered as a candidate for President at a major party convention        
See 1969. Chisholm co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW).
1972 Lib Tonie Nathan becomes the first woman to receive an electoral vote, when Roger MacBride, of Virginia , who had been pledged to Nixon and Agnew, cast his vote for the Libertarian Party's John Hospers and Tonie Nathan.
1972 dem Barbara Jordan, from Texas, is the first black woman elected to Congress from the Southern states.
1973 GOP Vice President Spiro T. Agnew is the first to resign from that office.
1973 Misc. Thomas Bradley is first Black elected mayor of Los Angeles, California.
1973 MIsc.

George Chin was the first Chinese-American to be appointed to the (California) San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

1973 Misc.

George Roh is the first Korean-American to be elected to the Berkeley School Board in California.

1973 Misc.

Paul Bannai is the First Japanese-American to serve on the California State Assembly in 1973.

1973 Misc. Maynard H. Jackson is the first Black to be elected mayor of a major southern city; Atlanta, Georgia.
1974 GOP President Richard Nixon is the first to resign from our nation's highest office. 
1974 dem The first Vietnam War Veteran is elected to the United States Congress in 1974 when John Murtha becomes a U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania.
1974 GOP Gerald R. Ford becomes the first President not elected into the Administration.
1974 Unkn Thelma Garcia Bucholdt (Filipino-American) was the first Asian-American elected to the Alaska State Legislature and the first Asian-American in the U.S. to win in a predominantly white district.
1974 dem Ella Grasso of Connecticut is the first woman elected to a governorship.
See 1955.   
1974 dem Benjamin Menor was the first Filipino-American in a state's highest judiciary office when appointed to the Hawaii State Supreme Court.
See 1962.
1974 dem Hawaii Governor George Ryoichi Ariyoshi was the first Asian and Japanese-American to obtain a U.S. Governorship. He served until 1986.
1974 GOP Barbara W. Hancock was the first Black woman named a White House fellow.
1975 dem Convinced to run by the Governor John A Burns, Benjamin J. Cayetano wins a seat in the Hawaii State Legislature in 1975, despite his doubts of winning in a white and Japanese American dominated district.
1975 dem On January 8th the first woman to become a U.S. Governor without succeeding her husband was Ella Tambussi Grasso who was elected Governor of Connecticut in 1975.
1975 dem Kentucky's first woman lieutenant governor is Thelma Stovall.  She serves until 1979.
1975 Misc. Eduardo E. Malapit becomes the first Filipino-American mayor in the U.S. when elected Mayor of Kauai, Hawaii.  
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 
1976 Misc. New York's Mayor Kenneth Gibson becomes the 1st black president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
See 1970.
1976 GOP At the Republican National Convention, Mary Louis Smith, chair of the Republican National Committee, is the first woman to organize and call to order a major US political party convention.
1977 dem Patricia Roberts Harris becomes the first African American woman to serve in a cabinet post when appointed, in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter, as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (Health and Human Services after 1980).
see 1965
1977 dem Clifford Alexander Jr. is the first Black American to be Secretary of the U.S. Army; confirmed on February 11th, 1977.
1977 dem Andrew Young becomes the first Black American to serve as U.S. Representative to the U.N. (1877 - 1979
1978 dem California's Dianne Feinstein becomes San Francisco's first woman mayor On December 4th.
1978 dem Jean King was the first woman lieutenant governor of Hawaii.
1978 dem The Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcasted on radio for the first time on February 8th.
1979 Misc.

Dolores Sibonga is the first Filipino-American to pass the Washington State Bar Exam and will become the first minority woman to serve on the Seattle City Council.

1979 GOP Nancy Landon Kassebaum, from Kansas, was the first woman elected to the Senate without first having served in the House or having served an unexpired senate term.
1980 soc. David McReynolds becomes the first openly gay man to run for president when nominated by the Socialist Party U.S.A.
1981 GOP President Ronald Reagan appoints Sandra Day O'Connor as the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1981 GOP Paula Hawkins of Florida was the first woman without family connections to win an election to the U.S. Senate. She served one term from 1981 until 1987. She was also known as the Senate's fastest reader.
1982 Misc. Eileen R. Anderson becomes the first woman mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii, defeating Frank F. Fasi.
1982 Misc. Lee P. Brown is the first Black named police commissioner of Houston, Texas.
1983 GOP President Ronald Reagan establishes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 20, as a federal holiday.
1983 dem Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins is the first woman of the South to be elected to a governorship.
See 1984.
1983 GOP Dr. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space as a crew member of the Challenger (STS-7) in 1983.
1983 GOP Lt. Col. Guion S. Bluford, Jr., becomes the first Black American astronaut to serve a mission in space.
1984 dem Geraldine Ferraro, democrat, was the first woman chosen as a running mate for a major party ticket.
1984 dem Nydia Velázquez is the first Puerto Rican-American to Serve on the New York City Council.
See 1992, 1998
1984 dem Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins is the first woman to Chair a Democrat National Convention
See 1983.
1984 dem

Herbert Young Cho Choy is the first Korean-American to become a lawyer and becomes the first person from Hawaii to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit.

1984 dem

Shanghai born Professor Shien Biau Woo becomes the first Asian-Pacific Islander-American elected as a state official east of the Mississippi River when elected Lieutenant Governor of Delaware.

1984 Misc. Major General John Liu Fugh is the first Chinese-American promoted to a General rank status.
1985 dem Irene Natividad (Filipino-American) was the first Asian-American woman to head a national political women's organization (National Women's Political Caucus) 
1985 dem

In California Michael Woo is the first Asian-Pacific-American to serve on the Los Angeles City Council.

1985 GOP David Mercado Valderrama was the first Filipino-American to become a probate judge in the United States.
See 1991.
1985 GOP David L. Chew is the first Asian American to hold the Presidential Cabinet position of Deputy Assistant to the President when appointed by President Reagan on January 30, 1985.
1985 GOP Astronaut Ellison Onizuka (Japanese-American) is the first Asian-American to travel into space.
1986 GOP During the administration of Ronald Reagan a bronze bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the first of any Black American to be placed in the halls of Congress.
1986 GOP Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed as a holiday for the first time to honor the slain civil rights leader.
1986 GOP Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Cubin-American), from Florida, becomes the first Hispanic and Cuba born woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Becoming the Chair of the Africa Subcommittee makes Ros-Lehtinen the first Hispanic woman to chair a House subcommittee.
1986 Misc. On February 27th the U.S. Senate, on a trial basis, allows the televising of the Senate debates.
1986 dem The first Black lieutenant-Governor since the Civil War is Douglas L. Wilder in Virginia.
1969, 1990.
1986 dem Hawaii's John Waihee is the first elected state governor of Hawaiian ancestry.
1986 Misc. Larry Wu-tai Chin kills himself in his Virginia jail cell on February 21st after being found guilty of spying for China. Chin is the first American found guilty as a spy for China.
1987 GOP Under President Ronald Regan, General Colin Powell becomes the first black to be National Security Advisor. 
1987 GOP Joy Cherian (South Asian-American) is the first Asian-American appointed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
1987 dem Benjamin J. Cayetano, of Hawaii, becomes the first Filipino-American and second Asian-American elected Lieutenant Governor of a state in the U.S.
See 1994.
1987 GOP Patricia Fukada Saiki was the first Asian-Pacific Islander-American Republican woman to serve in Congress. A Representative from Hawaii she serves until 1991.
1987 Misc. In California, Warren Furutani is the first Asian-Pacific Islander-American to be elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in 1987
1987 GOP Frederick Drew Gregory is the first Black to become a commander of a space shuttle.
1987 GOP Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer, in a press conference claiming innocence on bribery charges, commits suicide on national television on January 22nd, the day before he was to be sentenced.
1989 GOP Under President George H. W. Bush, General Colin L. Powell becomes the first Black named as Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1989 GOP President George H. W. Bush names the first Black Woman, Condolezza Rice, director of Soviet and East European affairs on the National Security Council. She was later promoted to senior director of Soviet and East European Affairs. Rice was later named a special assistant to the president for national security affairs.
1989 GOP The first Asian-American ambassador in the history of the U.S. Diplomatic Core is Julia Chang Bloch (Chinese-American). She was Ambassador the Kingdom of Nepal.
1989 dem David Dinkins on November 7th becomes the first Black elected Mayor of New York City, New York.
1989 GOP Urvashi Vaid (South Asian-American) is the first lesbian of color to  became Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
1989 GOP President George H. W. Bush names Antonia Coello Novello, the first Hispanic and woman, as U.S. Surgeon General.
1989 dem Ron Brown was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, becoming the first black to head a major U.S. political party.
1990 dem Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder was the first Black American elected to a U.S. governorship.
See 1872, 1969, 1986.
1990 Misc. (Pete) Agapito Diaz Fajardo is the first Filipino-American elected to a City Council position on the U.S. mainland when elected in California to the Carson City Council.
See 1997.
1990 dem Daniel K. Akaka, of Hawaii, is the first of Hawaiian ancestry to serve in the U.S. Congress.
1990 GOP Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli (Asian-Indian-American) is the first Asian-American and first Muslim appointed delegate for the U.S. to the United Nations.
1990 dem

Kumar P. Barve is the first Asian-Indian-American to be elected to a state legislature in the United States when he begins serving in the Maryland House of Delegates.

1990 dem

Jon Amores is the first Asian-Pacific Islander-American elected as a West Virginia State Representative.

1990 dem. Larry Echohawk is the first Native American-Indian to hold a statewide office when elected Idaho's office of attorney general.
1990 Misc. Carole Gist is the first Black to be crowned Miss USA.  
1991 GOP Clarence Thomas is appointed becoming the youngest member in the history of the U. S. Supreme Court.
1991 GOP General Colin L. Powell becomes the first Black to be named Secretary of State.
1991 Misc. Gene Canque Liddell became the first Filipino-American woman to become mayor of a U.S. city when elected mayor by the City Council of Lacey City; a Seattle, Washington suburb.
1991 Misc.

Irene Natividad is the first Asian-Pacific Islander-American to head a national women's bipartisan organization when she chairs the National Women's Political Caucus.

1991 Misc. The first Black woman elected mayor of a large important city is Sharon Pratt Dixon when on January 2nd she is sworn in as mayor of Washington, D.C.
1991 dem David Mercado Valderrama becomes the first Filipino-American elected to a state legislature in the 48 contiguous United States. Valderrama served Prince George's County in Maryland.
See 1985.
1992 GOP George H. W. Bush is the first United States President to address the Australian Parliament on January 1st, 1992.
1992 dem Nydia Velázquez of New York State (12th Distr.) was the first Puerto Rican-American woman elected to the U.S. House. 
See 1984, 1998.
1992 dem Linda Copple Trout becomes the first woman on the Idaho Supreme Court when appointed by Gov. Cecil Andrus. 
See 1997.
1992 dem Keeping a campaign promise North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad does not run for re-election but in a Special Election is elected to the other Senate position making him the only U.S. Senator to have held two seats on the same day, December 5th, when he resigns one seat to be sworn into the other.
1992 dem Lucille Roybal-Allard from California is the first Mexican-American woman elected to the U. S. House.
1992 dem Washington State Representative Velma Veloria (Filipino-American) was the first Asian-American elected to a state legislature in the 48 contiguous United States.
1992 dem Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois is the first Black woman elected to the United States Senate.
1992 dem Ron Brown is the first Black named to the executive post of U.S. Commerce Secretary.
1992 Misc. Tony Lam becomes the first Vietnamese American to be elected in the United States when elected to the Westminister, California city council.
1992 GOP

Jay C. Kim is the first Korean-American to become a California member of the U.S. Congress.

1992 Misc.

Choua Lee is the first Hmong elected to public office when she becomes a Board member of the St. Paul School District in Minnesota.

1992 Misc.

The first Vietnamese-American elected to public office in the U.S. is Tony Lam when he joins the City Council of Westminster, California.

1992 dem

Cheryl Ann Lau is the first Asian-Pacific Islander-American to be elected as Nevada's Secretary of State.

1992 GOP As a member of the space shuttle Endeavor crew, Mae C. Jemison becomes the first Black American woman in space on September 12, 1992.
1993 dem Janet Reno becomes the first woman U.S. Attorney General on March 11th.
1993 GOP Marha J. Wong (Chinese-American) is the first Asian-American elected to the Houston, Texas, City Council.
See 2003.
1993 dem Gary Locke (Chinese-American) is the first Asian-American to head a county (King County, Washington) government in the 48 contiguous United States.   
See 1996.
1993 dem Paull Shin is the first Korean-American in Washington State to be a legislator when elected to the House of Representatives.
See 1998.
1993 Misc. Richard Riordan is the first Asian-American Mayor of Los Angeles, California.
1993 dem Joycelyn Elders is the first black and first woman to be named United States Surgeon General. 
1993 dem Arati Prabhakar (South-Asian-American) is the first Asian-American appointed Director of The National Institute of Standards and Technology.
1993 Misc.

Michael Guingona becomes the first Filipino-American elected to the City Council of Daly City, California.  He becomes the youngest Mayor in 1995.

1993 Misc. Sara Combs becomes the first woman member on the Kentucky Supreme Court.
1993 Misc.

Kenneth Daniel Miyagishima is the first Japanese-American elected in the State of New Mexico when elected to the City Council of the City of Las Cruces.

1993 Misc. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is now officially observed in all 50 United States states.
1994 dem Hawaii's Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano was the first Filipino-American and second Asian-American elected to a Governorship in the United States.
See 1987.
1994 Misc. Accepted in 1993 then rejected when her gender was revealed, Shannon Faulkner wins in court to become the first woman to attend the Citadel in South Carolina. Faulkner drops out after four days in the infirmary recuperating from the first half day of "hell week" an initial period of intense physical training.
1994 dem California's Secretary of State March Fong Eu is the first Asian-American to hold a constitutional office in the U.S. when elected California Secretary of State.
1994 GOP Matthew K. Fong is the first Asian-American to serve as California State Treasurer. His Mother, March Fong Eu, was elected California Secretary of State the same year.
1994 dem Hawaii's Lieutenant Governor Mazie Hirono is the first Asian-American woman to hold the office. She is also the first Asian immigrant to obtain the office of Lieutenant Governor of a U.S. state.
1995 dem Bernard Harris is the first Black American astronaut to take a spacewalk.
1995 dem

The first public official in the U.S. of Vietnamese descent is Minh Chau Nguyen when she was elected to the Garret Park City Council in Maryland.

1995 dem President of the Colorado State Senate, Stanley Matsunaka, becomes the first Asian-American to be President of a state legislature body outside of Hawaii.
1996 dem Gary Locke is elected Governor of Washington State becoming the first Chinese-American governor in the history of the U. S.
See 1993.   Locke was also the first Asian American to become a governor on the U.S. mainland. See 1974.
1996 dem
The socialist New Party fields its first successful candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in 1996. Danny K. Davis won the seat in the Illinois 7th Congressional District, Having ran under the banner of the Democrat Party.
Sources: New Party News; Pub. by New Party National Committee, Inc.; Vol. V, No. 2, Spring 1996; Front Page. -
1996 dem
Barack H. Obama, member of the (Socialist) New Party, wins his first political race. Socialist Obama won his bid, to Chicago's 13th District State Senate, under the banner of the Democrat Party. Barack H. Obama will, in 2008 win as a Democrat, the office of President of the United States.     See 2008 Political Firsts - Barack Hussein Obama
Sources: New Party News; Pub. by New Party National Committee, Inc.; Vol. V, No. 2, Spring 1996; Front Page. -
1996 Misc. Lt. Colonel Linda Smith is Kentucky's first State Police Captain. In 1998 she becomes the first woman to hold a command position and first woman assigned to the Bowling Green Command Post.
1996 Misc. Joe Bee Xiong is the first Hmong-American elected to a U.S. city government when elected to the City Council in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
1997 dem Linda Copple Trout is the first woman Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court; elected by the members of the Idaho Supreme Court to the position. 
See 1992.
1997 Misc. (Pete) Agapito Diaz Fajardo, of Carson City, California, became the first Filipino-American to be elected mayor in the mainland United States, by direct vote of the people.  Fajardo in 2003 pleaded guilty and in 2003 is sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for extortion and accepting bribes totaling more than 120,000 dollars.
See 1990.
1997 dem The first and highest ranking woman is Madeleine Albright when she was confirmed by the U.S. legislature as U.S. Secretary of State.
1997 dem Bill Lann Lee (Chinese-American) is the first Asian-American named Assistant Attorney General heading up the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department. ... As such he becomes the Highest Ranking Asian-American law enforcement official in the U.S.
1998 dem Paul M. Igasaki (Japanese-American) the first Asian-American to serve in the position of Vice Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is confirmed for a second term.
1998 dem Paull H. Shin (Korean-America) is the first Asian-American senator in Washington State
See 1992
1998 dem Frederick D. Gregory is the first Black American to command a space shuttle mission.
1998 dem Congresswoman Nydia M Velázquez is named Ranking Democratic Member of the House Small Business Committee becoming the first Puerto Rican-American woman to be Chair (Ranking Member) of a full committee in the House of Representatives. 
See 1984, 1992.
1998 dem

First Asian-Pacific Islander-American woman, Susan Mollway Oki (Japanese-American), of Hawaii, was appointed as a judge to the federal bench.

1998 Misc. Texas executes Karla Fay Tucker on February 3rd; the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1984.
1998 dem First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on the "Today Show" on January 27th, coins the phrase "vast right-wing conspiracy" in attempts to demonize those opposing her husband.  Though no conspiracy existed many on the right begin to proudly call themselves members of the "vast right-wing conspiracy."
1998 Misc. The state of Maine becomes the first in 1998 where the voters repeal a gay rights law. The law was passed just one year before.
1998 dem Stephanie Tubbs Jones became the first Black American to serve in the Ohio Congress in 1996. She later became the first Black woman to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee and to be chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee.
1998 Misc. Independent party's Jesse Ventura wins the Minnesota Gubernatorial race; the first time use of the internet was crucial in a victory.
1998 Misc. A college dropout from the University of California becomes the first person to be convicted of a hate crime committed in cyberspace, after sending a threatening email to 60 Asian-Americans.
1999 dem Nicki Patton becomes the chairperson of the Democratic Party of Kentucky. This is the first time both parties were led by women.
1999 GOP Ellen Williams becomes the chairperson of the Republican Party of Kentucky. This is the first time both parties were led by women.
1999 dem Washington State's first all-women trade mission to Eastern Europe occurred. The issue of "sexual trafficking of women and girls" was discussed.
1999 dem Bill Lann Lee (Chinese-American) becomes the first Asian-American appointed to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
1999 dem David Wu is the first Chinese-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives when elected from Oregon's 1st Congressional District.
1999 Misc. Chanrithy Uong is the first Cambodian-American to serve on a city council in Massachusetts, when elected to the Lowell City Council.
1999 Misc. The first Asian American male elected to the Houston, Texas city council was Gordon Quan in 1999.
1999 dem The first Asian American to become a four-star general is Eric Ken Shinseki (Japanese American). Shinseki became the Army's 28th vice chief of staff on November 1998 then became the Army's 34th Chief of Staff on June 22, 1999.
1999 dem Air Force Colonel Eileen Collins is the first woman to Command a US Space Shuttle mission.
© Copyright 2005, 2010 Roger W Hancock 

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