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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1880 - Death: 1973
Born In: Montana, United States of America
Died In: California, United States of America
Achievements: Government
Educated In: Montana, New York, Washington
Schools Attended: University of Montana, New York School of Philanthropy, University of Washington
Worked In: Montana, Washington, New York, California, Ohio, Georgia, District of Columbia

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Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress, serving two separate terms. She injected the first woman's voice into national political debates. A committed pacifist, Rankin was the only member of Congress to oppose entry of the United States into both World Wars. Rankin, a lifelong Montana resident, was active in the woman suffrage movement in the West, and campaigned for election to Congress after her state gave women the right to vote. In Congress she sponsored legislation to provide federal voting rights and health services to women. Her anti-war vote in 1917 cost her her office, and she devoted much of the remainder of her life to pacifist causes. She held leadership roles in the Women's Inter-national League for Peace and Freedom and other groups. In 1940 she ran again for Congress on an isolationist platform and in 1941 was the sole Member to oppose the declaration of war on Japan. She later traveled extensively, studying with Ghandi, among others. She was, at age 86, a proud marcher in the Jeannette Rankin Brigade in the March on Washington to oppose the Vietnam War.
Additional Sources:
Josephson, Hannah.Jeannette Rankin, First Lady in Congress: A Biography. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1974.

Smith, Norma. Jeannette Rankin, America's Conscience. Falcon Publishing Company, August 2002.

Block, Judy Rachel. The First Woman in Congress: Jeannette Rankin. Silver Burdett Pr., 1978.

Jeannette Rankin: Activist for World Peace, Women's Rights, and Democratic Government. An Oral History conducted by Maka Chall and Hannah Josephson. University of California, Berkeley.

Papers 1879-1976. Radcliffe College, The Arthur & Elizabeth Schesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Papers 1936-1950. Montana Historical Society, Library and Archives Department. Helena, Montana.
National Women's Hall Event in Chicago