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75 Years since Georgia Neese Clark Became the First Female Treasurer of the United States

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Authored by Nishah Malik
Published on 21st June, 2024 2 min read

75 Years since Georgia Neese Clark Became the First Female Treasurer of the United States

Today (21/06/2024) marks 75 years since Georgia Neese Clark made history by being appointed the first female Treasurer of the United States. 

Clark was born in Richland, Kansas, in 1898. Her father was Albert Nesse, the owner of Richland State Bank. In 1921, Clark graduated with a degree in economics from Washburn University, Topeka. She then moved to New York, enrolling at the Franklin Sargent School of Dramatic Art. 

During the 1920s, Clark pursued an acting career in New York. When the Great Depression set in at the close of that decade, acting jobs became scarce. Clark therefore returned home to care for her father. Back in Kansas, she began working in his bank as an assistant cashier. 

While working in this role, Clark became active in state politics. In 1934, she became the youngest national committeewoman for the Democratic Party. By 1936, Clark had been elected as the Democratic National Committee member for Kansas, a position she held until 1964.

Her political engagement and business acumen eventually caught the attention of national leaders. On 21 June 1949, President Truman appointed Clark as Treasurer of the United States, making her the first woman to hold this position. She remained in this key government post from 1949 until 1953. At that time, the role of Treasurer included overseeing the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the US Mint, and the nation's gold reserves, as well as managing the issuance of government securities. Clark’s signature even appeared on US currency between 1949 and 1953. In 1974, she received Alpha Phi’s Frances E. Willard Award of Achievement for her work.

Clark's signature on US currency 

Georgia Neese Clark's appointment as the first female Treasurer of the United States was a landmark event that challenged prevailing norms. It defied the widespread belief that only men could hold high-ranking positions. Clark’s achievement opened doors for women in both government and finance.

Authored by Nishah Malik

Nishah Malik

Nishah Malik is Collections Editor at British Online Archives. Nishah gained a Masters in History from the University of Derby in 2020. Her research interests centre around South Asian culture and heritage, as well as the history and experiences of the South Asian diaspora. She also has a keen interest in women's history.

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