Tammy Baldwin on Thursday was sworn in as the junior senator from Wisconsin.

Baldwin was elected on November 6, making her the first openly gay senator in U.S. history.

“I'm very aware that I will have the honor to be the first woman senator from Wisconsin,” Baldwin said in her acceptance speech on election night. “And I'm well aware that I will be the first openly gay member of the United States Senate.”

“I didn't run to make history,” she added. “I ran to make a difference – a difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay the bills, a difference in the lives of students worried about debt and seniors worried about their retirement security, a difference in the lives of veterans who fought for us and need someone fighting for them and their families when they return home from war, a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs trying to build a business and working people trying to build some economic security.”

The 50-year-old Baldwin replaced retired Senator Herb Kohl. Baldwin first ran for Congress in 1998 after serving 8 years in the Wisconsin Assembly.

Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group which supports gay candidates, called Baldwin's election “real progress.”

“LGBT Americans have finally broken through a glass ceiling that held firm for more than two centuries,” Wolfe said in an email to supporters. “This is real progress – a victory for us all. And this is a moment to smile, celebrate and raise a glass to a record number of out federal lawmakers.”