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Edith Nourse Rogers Day Proclamation presented to the Library

Yesterday marked the 52 anniversary of the death of former 5th District Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers and in a special ceremony, Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy presented to our Library Director Victoria Woodley and Library Trustees Nancy Pitkin, Marianne Gries, and Karen Davidson-Heller a proclamation signed by Governor Deval Patrick earlier this year marking June 30th, 2012 Edith Nourse Rogers day. The Lowell Sun has a nice write up of the event and Congresswoman Rogers’ contributions to U.S. Veterans rights on their site.

As for the proclamation itself, the library is honored to have been chosen to display it so generations of Lowellians can learn about Rogers’ achievements during her 35 years of service as a U.S. Congresswoman. The Massachusetts Association of Women’s Veterans has a beautifully scanned .pdf of the proclamation available on their website. The text is also transcribed below:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
his Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas Edith Nourse Rogers’ involvement with veterans’ rights and issues began when she was appointed by President Warren G. Harding as the inspector of new veterans’ hospitals from 1922 to 1923, where she reported on conditions; and

Whereas Upon the death of her husband, Congressman John Jacob Rogers while in office in 1925, and following a subsequent state election, Edith Nourse Rogers (R-Lowell) was elected by popular vote to serve as a Republican Congresswoman from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts representing the 5th District in the United States House of Representatives; and

Whereas Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers became the first woman from New England to serve in United States Congress; and

Whereas Veterans’ issues defined Edith Nourse Rogers’ career; she secured pensions for army nurses, helped create a permanent nurses corps in the Veterans’ Administration, and inserted a $15 million provision for the development of a national network of veterans’ hospitals into the Veterans’ Administration Act; and

Whereas Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers sponsored a package of measures later dubbed “the GI Bill of Rights,” which passed the House on June 22, 1944, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed The Servicemen’s readjustment Act, among the chief provisions of which legislation were tuition benefits for college-bound veterans and low-interest home mortgage loans for veterans; and

Whereas Congresswoman Rogers’ crowning legislative achievements came when in May 1941, Rogers introduced the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Act, a voluntary enrollment program for women to join the U.S. Army; and

Whereas Until January 2011, Republican MA Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers held the record for longest serving woman in U.S. Congressional History,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim June 30th, 2012 to be,

Congresswoman Edith Nourse
Rogers Day

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this twenty-seventh day of June, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

By His Excellency

Deval L. Patrick
Governor of the Commonwealth

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts