By: Felicia Farnsworth
This is the last week that we get to honor National Women’s History month. This week we are honoring Mrs. Elizabeth Bullock Andrews. She was born, Leslie Elizabeth Bullock, to Charles Gillespie Bullock and Janie Aycock on February 12, 1911 in Geneva, Al.
Mrs. Andrews began her teaching career as a high school teacher at Livingston, AL after earning her B.S. in home economics from Montevallo College (now the University of Montevallo). During the depression, for better pay, she took a teaching job in Union Springs where she met her husband, United States Representative George William Andrews.
They were married on November 25, 1936 and had two children, Jane and George Jr. She was heavily involved in her husband’s campaign when he ran for the 78th Congress. After being re-elected to 14 succeeding Congress they relocated to Washington, DC., where she became involved in the Congressional Club and served as vice president in 1971.
Andrews' friend, Lera Thomas, and a few other friends encouraged her to run for George’s office to carry on his legacy after he passed away due to complications after a heart surgery in 1971. Alabama Governor George Wallace endorsed her candidacy when she announced she was running on January 2, 1972.
She ran unopposed and was elected as a Democrat by special election to the Ninety-second Congress to fill the vacancy left by her husband’s untimely death.
Andrews was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-third Congress in 1972, after she had served the remainder of that Congress from April 4, 1972 to January 3, 1973.
Up until 2010 when representatives Martha Roby and Terri Sewell were elected, Andrews was the only woman elected to represent Alabama in either House of Congress. She did a lot of good during her term including; serving on the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service where she introduced amendments to protect medical and social security benefits.
She helped to find funding for Birmingham research centers researching cancer and heart disease. She was a supporter of the Nixon administration’s plan to withdrawal U.S. troops from Vietnam. Tuskegee University is a National Historic Site due to Andrews who worked to sponsor legislation to designate it as such.
In 1973 she moved back to Union Springs when she left congress and became active in civic affairs.
Andrews died at the age of 91 on December 2, 2002, in Birmingham. She is buried in Union Springs in Oak Hill Cemetery.