Today in History: Crystal Bird Fauset is First Black Woman Elected to a State Legislature

Crystal Bird Fauset

On this day in November 1938, Crystal Bird Fauset becomes the 1st black woman elected to a state legislature in the U.S. acquiring this distinction by being named to the Pennsylvania House of Represenatives.

In 1938 Fauset was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature to represent the 18th District of Philadelphia, which was a primarily white neighborhood at the time.

Despite the fact that she represented an area that was 66% White at the time, she overcame the challenges and was able to introduce nine bills and three amendments.

Through her years as a state legislator, Fauset developed a friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt which helped her in securing the position as Assistant Director, and Race Relations Director of The Office of Civil Defense.

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