Know Your History: Jeannette Rankin

A curious event happened in November 1916. A women was voted into the United States House of Representatives without the aid of one single woman vote. Jeannette Rankin became the first ever congresswoman at the time when women had yet to achieve the right to vote. It’s quite extraordinary, actually. Every once in a while, men step it up and do the right thing!

Rankin served out her two year term as a pacifist who voted against U.S. entry into World War I. She also fought tirelessly for woman’s suffrage, and was instrumental in helping to pass the 19th amendment which finally afforded women with the right they deserve.

Rankin ended up serving again for Montana after she was re-elected for office in 1940, again defending her pacifist views by being the only person in Congress to vote against entry into WWII after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Regardless of whether you agree with her politics or not, she is to be admired and commended on being a trail-blazer. Can you imagine all the nonsense in Congress that she must have had to deal with? Rankin should be remembered as one of the most influential American women of the 20th century.

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