Ladies' Day at the Capitol

New York's Women Legislators, 1919-1992

By Lauren Kozakiewicz

Subjects: New York State Government, Women's Studies, American History, American Politics
Hardcover : 9781438490977, 246 pages, November 2022
Paperback : 9781438490960, 246 pages, May 2023

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Table of contents


1. Politics: The New York Story

2. Women and the New York Story

3. Pioneers and Placeholders: Legislators from 1919 through 1964

4. Activism and the Woman Legislator, 1965–1980

5. Activist-Era Profiles: Contrasting Career Paths

6. Women Organize as Women: Maximizing Leverage in the Office

7. Advocates for Women’s Issues

8. New York’s “Year of the Woman”: Gender and Politics in the 1992 Legislative Elections


First history of New York's women legislators within the larger story of New York State politics.


Ladies' Day at the Capitol integrates for the first time the history of New York's women lawmakers with the larger story of New York State politics. Through extensive research and interviews, Lauren Kozakiewicz documents New York women's actions as elected officials between 1919 and 1992 and explores how gendered ideas affected their careers and ability to represent women's voices in government. Ladies' Day at the Capitol offers a general framework for understanding the women's legislative careers over time while also providing a deeper look at key lawmakers' specific histories. The study broadens out to include chapters on creating representative organizations of women legislators and women's efforts to champion specific issues. It builds off earlier studies of state legislators that treated women in the aggregate. It complements other, more recent work that takes a state-centered approach to the history of the woman politician. It is unique in the degree to which chapters on New York's political history and women's efforts to win the vote in New York give the reader essential context for the historical analysis.

Lauren Kozakiewicz is Lecturer in History at the University of Albany, State University of New York.


"Ladies' Day at the Capitol is a valuable state level look at an important topic. The deep dives into the careers of women, some of whom became national figures, are very rich. Individual stories bring to light many themes of women and politics, such as the tension between the strengths and risks of organizing (or running) as women; the importance of networks and allies; and the perils of assuming that women are necessarily allied with each other. I would use this book in my regular course on women's political history." — Catherine Rymph, University of Missouri