Delaware General Assembly




WHEREAS, the General Assembly has learned with regret that Vera Gilbride Davis, one of the more colorful figures in recent Delaware political history, died on the evening of May 5, 1974; and

WHEREAS, the long and active public life of Vera G. Davis began in 1919 as a vigorous member and organizer in the Women's Suffrage movement; and

WHEREAS, decades before the present Women's Liberation movement, Vera G. Davis became the first woman bill clerk of the House of Representatives (1927); the first woman Secretary of the Senate (1941); the first woman elected to the Senate (1946); was elected to the House of Representatives and became the first woman Majority Floor Leader (1953); and

WHEREAS, in 1949 Vera G. Davis became the first and only woman President pro tern pore of the Senate, and in 1956 she was elected State Treasurer, and became the first woman in Delaware history to be elected to Statewide public office. During her political career her name had often been mentioned as a possible candidate for the United States Congress or Lieutenant Governor; and

WHEREAS, from the time she was elected Kent County committee woman in 1920 to her involvement in the recent bitter Republican primary fight, Vera G. Davis remained in the center of Delaware political activity and controversy, and in her long public career took part in many of the political events which shaped Delaware history, and which have subsequently influenced the lives of all of us; and

WHEREAS, she worked for many years in a variety of social service positions, including the State Board of Charities; she was chiefly responsible for the consolidation of many welfare agencies, forming the State Board of Welfare, which was a predecessor to our present Department of Health and Social Services; she had the longest tenure on the Board of Directors of the Kent General Hospital; and she was a President and charter member of the Delaware Society for Crippled Children and Adults (Easter Seal); and

WHEREAS, Vera G. Davis was also active as an educator, serving as a teacher in the Dover school system during World War I, as an adult education teacher in the 1930's, and was active for many years in Boys State and Girls State; and

WHEREAS, Vera G. Davis held many professions memberships, was a member of the Dover Century Club since 1915, and was designated Delaware Mother of the Year in 1962; and

WHEREAS, the members of the General Assembly, and the Governor, wish to express their deep condolences to her survivors, the families of John G. Davis, Frank H. Davis, Jr., Maria U. Gilbride, and Joseph Gilbride, knowing that she will be sorely missed by her loved ones and friends.


BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the 127th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, with the approval of the Governor, that the sincere sympathy of the members of the General Assembly and of the Governor is hereby extended to the survivors of Vera Gilbride Davis during this period of sorrow.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a moment of silence be observed by the members of each House in memory of Vera Gilbride Davis and that the text of this Resolution be spread upon the pages of the Journal of the House and the Journal of the Senate, and that copies be forwarded to each of the following persons: John G. Davis, Frank H. Davis, Jr., Maria U. Gilbride and Joseph Gilbride.

Approved May 9, 1974