The Library of Virginia
Picture of Sarah Lee Fain and Helen T. Henderson Sarah Lee Fain (1888-1962) was one of the first two women to serve in the Virginia General Assembly. After women gained the right to vote in 1920, she became active in Democratic Party politics in Norfolk. In 1923 she was elected to the first of three consecutive two-years terms in the House of Delegates, where she became chairman of the committee on schools and colleges. At the same 1923 election, Helen Timmons Henderson was elected to represent Russell and Buchanan Counties in the House of Delegates. In 1925 Sallie Cooke Booker, of Henry County, was elected as the third woman in the assembly, and in 1927 Helen Ruth Henderson succeeded her mother as the fourth woman. Fain served with all of them. After retiring from the assembly Fain ran unsuccessfully in 1930 for the U.S. House of Representatives. She was appointed to the staff of the National Emergency Council in 1934 and became the first chief of the United States Information Service. Fain and Henderson were the only two women in the General Assembly when  they  took office in 1924. In 2000 there are twenty-three.

Sarah Lee Fain and Helen T. Henderson.
From Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
9 January 1924. Photograph.

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