Rankin, Jeannette

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  • Rep. Jeannette Rankin (1880–1973), R-Mont., was the first woman in U.S. history to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She is best remembered for voting against declarations of war in both World War I and World War II. She became a leading peace advocate in the twentieth century, and during the Vietnam War, she became the titular head of the Jeannette Rankin Brigade.

    Rankin was born on June 11, 1880, near Missoula, in the Montana Territory. Rankin graduated from the University of Montana in 1902, having earned a BS degree. Actively involved in the women's suffrage movement in the states of Washington and Montana, she merged her struggle for the right to vote with her pacifist beliefs. Influenced by the pacifist Minnie J. Reynolds, ...

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