Although she is best known for administering the oath of office to Lyndon Johnson aboard Air Force One after John F. Kennedy's assassination, Sarah T. Hughes considered her 1930 election to the Texas Legislature to be her greatest accomplishment. After serving three terms, Governor James Allred appointed her to the bench of Dallas's Fourteenth District Court in 1935, making her the state's first female district judge. Dismayed that women could not serve as jurors in the very courtroom over which she presided, Hughes played a key role in the passage of a 1954 amendment to the Texas constitution allowing women to serve on juries. Over the course of a fifty-five-year career, Hughes championed equal rights and encouraged women to get involved in politics, illustrating her lifelong belief that "women can indeed be a force in history." More»

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Portrait of Sarah T. Hughes, February 1972. Courtesy of Archives Department of the State Bar of Texas.