This Week in History


Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer elected to Senate

November 3, 1992
Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein
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Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein.

On November 3, 1992, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first Jewish women senators, the first female senators from California, and the first two women to ever represent any state at the same time.

An advocate and advisor on prison reform to California Governor Edmund (Pat) Brown, Feinstein became the first woman president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1969. In 1979, she won election as the first female mayor of San Francisco after the brutal assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. In 1992, she won a special Senate election to replace Pete Wilson who had left his seat to become governor of California. She was re-elected in the 1994, 2000, and 2006 elections. Feinstein was the first female member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first woman to chair the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and the first woman to preside over a presidential inauguration.

Inspired to run for Senate by the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, Barbara Boxer became a Senator after 10 years of service in the House of Representatives. She was re-elected in 1998 and 2004. The Senate’s leading defender of a woman’s right to choose, Senator Boxer authored the Family Planning and Choice Protection Act and helped lead the floor fight for passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. On November 3, 2010 Boxer defeated Republican candidate Carly Fiorina and will began her fourth term in the U.S. Senate.

To learn more about these women, visit Dianne Feinstein's and Barbara Boxer's articles in Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.

See also:This Week in History for November 22, 1978, Dianne Feinstein's career changed by violence and Jewish Women in Politics; Milestones for Jewesses in Politics, The Risk-Takers. The Doers. The Makers of Things., Barbara Boxer takes on the Nelson-Hatch Amendment, Jewesses with Attitude.

Sources:;; Feinstein plays key role.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "This Week in History - Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer elected to Senate." (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <>.