Courtesy of Library of Congress

Florence Prag Kahn 1866-1948

The first Jewish woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, Florence Prag Kahn was a teacher, a politician, and a dedicated Jew. Born in Salt Lake City and raised in San Francisco, she taught high school English and history before marrying German-born Julius Kahn in 1899. When her husband, a Bay-area Republican congressman, died in 1924, she won his seat in a special election and was then re-elected on her own for five terms. A steadfast voice for the military installations of her district, Kahn was the first woman to serve on the House Military Affairs Committee. She was active with Hadassah and the National Council of Jewish Women.