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.


See biography by H. Josephson (1974).

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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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Montana never has shied from female representation, electing Jeannette Rankin as the first female member of Congress even before women gained the right to vote on the national level.
Gretchen Woelfle's beautiful book, Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer (Calkins Creek, 978-1-59078-437-2), does a superb job of telling the story often with Rankin's own words and showing it through photos and document reproductions.
She lived long enough to lend support to a new generation of opponents to the Vietnam war, women who formed "Jeannette Rankin brigades" in 1968.
In 2000, the Montana American Civil Liberties Union presented him with the "Jeannette Rankin Civil Liberties Award."
The text was Solutions to Violence, an anthology of essays I put together that included the writings of Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Gene Sharp, Leo Tolstoy, Jeannette Rankin, Sargent Shriver, Helen Nearing, Barbara Deming, Joan Baez, Daniel Berrigan, Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Michael True, and a long list of others.
Grace Lillian Burke Hubble (1889-1981), wife of the famous astronomer, and Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), first U.S.
The first woman in the House of Representatives, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, was asked to speak for "the womanhood of the country" in supporting the war.
Despite severe governmental pressure anti-war leaders such as Eugene Debs, Robert LaFollette, Jeannette Rankin, and Harry Emerson Fosdick never wavered in demanding that human rights were best served by peace.
ITEM: Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) cast the sole dissenting vote against a resolution authorizing the president to wage war on terrorism, reported the Washington Post, in a story entitled "Congresswoman Against Use of Force." Her vote, claimed the Post on September 19th, "is reminiscent of the first woman ever elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who voted against the nation's entry into World War land World II."
What Our Past Can Tell Us: Jeannette Rankin and Her Life Long Fight for World Peace, Charlotte A.
In the entry on 'Women in Congress', reference is made to the separate entry on the first woman (Jeannette Rankin) elected to Congress before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote nationwide, includes discussion of 1992, 'the year of the woman', covers the term of the first black woman in Senate (Carol Moseley Braun, Illinois, 1992-8), mentions the first two states to have an all-woman Senate team (California and Maine), and features two of the most interesting victors in 1996, the Hispanic, Loretta Sanchez (California) and Carolyn McCarthy (New York), both of whom stood as Democrats and beat male Republican incumbents.
The entry on music in the West is especially interesting, On the other hand, the one on the women is relatively skimpy, although there are separate entries on women of such variable shades as Cattle Kate (Ella Watson, 18627-1888), madam and cattle rustler and Willa Cather (1873-1947) the author, or Lola Montez (1818-1861) the dancer and Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) the pacifist congresswoman from Montana.