- Rankin, Jeannette
- (1880-1973)Born in Missoula, Montana, Jeannette Rankin was a graduate of the University of Montana in 1902 and the New York School of Philanthropy in 1909. She was a social worker in Seattle in 1909 and became involved in the women’s suffrage campaign. Following Montana’s acceptance of female suffrage in 1914, Rankin was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress when she was elected on a progressive Republican platform in 1916. She voted against U.S. entry into World War I. Having failed to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1918, Rankin returned to social work and became active in a number of women’s causes and was particularly active in peace organizations, notably the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She returned to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1940 on an antiwar platform and became a supporter of the America First Committee. Rankin’s vote was the sole vote cast against war in 1941, and she did not seek reelection in 1942 but turned instead to lecturing and working for the National Consumers’ League and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. After World War II, she became interested in nonviolent campaigns for civil rights and visited India several times. She later protested against the war in Vietnam and in 1968 led several thousand women in an antiwar demonstration in Washington, D.C.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.