Profile America: Jeannette Rankin

Sunday, March 4th. The first woman to serve in Congress took her seat on this date 101 years ago. Barely a month later, Jeannette Rankin,       Republican from Montana, became one of the few congressional representatives to vote against entry into World War I, a stand that contributed to her defeat when she ran for the Senate in 1918. Absent for 24 years, she reentered Congress by winning a seat in the 1940 elections. Putting her pacifist principles ahead of office holding, she cast the lone vote against declaring war on Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Rankin’s political career, which began before women gained the right to vote, ended with her term in early 1943. Over 63 percent of female citizens over 18 voted in the 2014 elections, and over 72 percent report being registered to vote.

You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online.

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