Profile America: Jeannette Rankin, First Woman To Serve In Congress

Jeannette Rankin_First Woman Congress_GOP-largeJEANNETTE RANKIN


Profile America —  The first woman to serve in Congress took her seat on this date in 1917. Barely a month later, Jeannette Rankin of Montana shortly became one of the few 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. Her political career, which began before women gained the right to vote, ended with her term in early 1943. A full 43 percent of female citizens over 18 voted in the 2014 elections, and over 66 percent report being registered to vote.


Sources: U.S. Census Bureau

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