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Posts Tagged ‘Jeannette Rankin’

Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for this tweet!

Jeannette Pickering Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973) became the first woman to hold a high government office in the United States when, in 1916, she was elected to the United States Congress from the state of Montana. After winning her House seat in 1916, she said, “I may be the first woman member of Congress but I won’t be the last.” She also was elected in 1940.

Rankin’s two terms in Congress coincided with U.S. entry into both World Wars. A lifelong pacifist, she was one of 56 members of Congress (including 50 in the House) who voted against entry into World War I in 1917, and the only member of Congress to vote against declaring war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

SNIP

In February 1911, Rankin became the first woman to speak before the Montana legislature, making her case for women’s suffrage. In November 1914, Montana passed a similar amendment granting women unrestricted voting rights. Rankin later compared her work in the women’s suffrage movement to the pacifist foreign policy that defined her congressional career. She believed, with many suffragists of the period, that the corruption and dysfunction of the United States government was a result of a lack of feminine participation. As she said at a disarmament conference in the interwar period, “The peace problem is a woman’s problem.”

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