Jeannette Rankin

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Rankin, Jeannette,

1880–1973, American pacifist, b. Missoula, Mont. She was active in social work and campaigned for woman suffrage. A Republican, she was the first woman in the United States to serve (1917–19) in Congress and also was (1941–43) a member of the 77th Congress. She voted against the declaration of war on Germany in 1917 and in 1941 cast the only vote in the House against entering the war. A member of various antiwar organizations, she led (1968) the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, a peace group, to Washington to protest the Vietnam War.

Bibliography

See biography by H. Josephson (1974).

Rankin, Jeannette (b. Pickering)

(1880–1973) U.S. representative; born in Missoula, Mont. A graduate of the University of Montana (1902) and of the New York School for Social Work (1909), she fought for women's suffrage and helped obtain it in Montana (1914). Running on a platform that called for prohibition and "preparedness that will make for peace" (1916), she was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (Rep., Mont.; 1917–19) and became one of only 57 members to vote against U.S. entry into World War I. After losing a reelection bid, she devoted herself to pacifism and women's and children's causes. Serving again in the House (1941–43), she was the only member of Congress to vote, on December 8, 1941, against U.S. entry into World War II. She continued to lobby for peace in later years, particularly during the Korean and Vietnam Wars; in 1967 a group of women formed the Jeannette Rankin Brigade to oppose the latter war.
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