First NEPA woman elected to state House honored by Probst resolution

HARRISBURG, July 1 – A resolution recognizing the first woman elected state representative from northeastern Pennsylvania, Marion Munley, was adopted today by the PA House of Representatives, according to the bill’s prime sponsor, state Rep. Tarah Probst.

House Resolution 339 designates Aug. 19, 2024, as "Marion Munley Day" in Pennsylvania. The significance of the date is Munley’s birthday in 1906. She died in 1983.

“Through this resolution, we honor Marion Munley's memory by continuing to work toward a future where all Pennsylvanians can live together as equals. She left an indelible legacy, setting many precedents for women and achieving legislative victories in the pursuit of equality and fairness,” said Probst, D-Monroe/Pike.

Munley grew up in Scranton and had an early interest in politics and government. In 1928, she organized the first Democratic Women's Club in Scranton.

On Sept. 9, 1947, Munley won a special election to finish out her deceased husband Robert's term in the PA House of Representatives, becoming the first woman elected state representative from northeastern Pennsylvania. She was re-elected eight times, deciding not to run for re-election in 1964. During her tenure, she became the first woman elected Democratic Caucus secretary in the 300-year history of the legislature.

Following her time as a member of the House, Munley served as the secretary of the House of Representatives from 1965 to 1966 -- the first and only woman to hold that position.

In 2021, Munley became the first woman to be included in Scranton's Distinguished Citizens Memorial.