Full Caption: Representative Martha Griffiths (D-Mich.), Washington, D.C. Photograph by Warren K. Leffler, August 12, 1970. U.S. News & World Report Collection. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-U9-23069, frame 20. Full Caption: Representative Martha Griffiths (D-Mich.), Washington, D.C. Photograph by Warren K. Leffler, August 12, 1970. U.S. News & World Report Collection. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-U9-23069, frame 20.

Long a champion of equal rights, Representative Martha Wright Griffiths, a Democrat from Michigan, was instrumental in adding sex discrimination to the types of discrimination specified in the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and in directing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) through the U.S. House of Representatives. Of the ERA, Griffiths said, “This amendment, if passed, would be like a beacon which should awaken nine sleeping Rip Van Winkles to the fact that the twentieth century is passing into history.” Griffiths served in the U.S. Congress for twenty years, after which she served two terms as lieutenant governor of Michigan, ending in 1991.

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