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Letter from Sergeant at Arms Explaining Why Females Should Not Be Pages, 1961

Letter from the Sergeant at Arms Explaing Why Females Should Not Be Pages, 1961
credit: U.S. Senate Historical Office


In 1961, Sergeant at Arms Joseph Duke expressed his concerns regarding the appointment of girl pages in a letter to Senator Jacob Javits of New York. Though no formal rules forbid their selection, Duke explained that the physical demands of the position including “much walking, and even running at times,” made such appointments “[n]either practicable or wise.” Undeterred, Javits continued to petition for girl pages, sponsoring one of the first girls in 1971.