Jeannette Rankin was born near Missoula, Montana, on June 11, 1880. In 1902, she graduated from the University of Montana, and soon after, she attended the New York School of Philanthropy. In 1909, she decided on a career in social work and moved to Seattle, Washington. Then, from 1909 to 1914, she campaigned in Washington, California, and Montana for women's suffrage. In1914, she became the National American Woman Suffrage Association's legislative secretary.
In 1916, Jeannette became the first woman to become elected into the House of Representatives. There, she introduced a bill that gave women independent citizenship and hygiene instruction during maternity and their children's infancy. However, it did not pass. Then, in 1917, she voted against declaring war on Germany. This gave her great unpopularity and she ended up losing her seat in the House in 1918.
In 1940,Jeannette won a seat in the House once more by running on an antiwar platform. However, once more she stimulated her unpopularity by voting against declaring war on Japan after Pearl Harbor was harmed (and the only person to vote against the declaration of war, I might add).
Although Jeannette lost politically, she participated in the National Consumer's League and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, among others. In the 1960's, she established a homestead for women in Georgia and also participated in the antiwar effort against the Vietnam War. When she was 87 years old, on January 15, 1968, she led over 5,000 women, the "Jeannette Rankin Brigade," to oppose Indochina's hostilities at the bottom of Capitol Hill.
Jeannette died in Carmel, California, on May 18, 1973, a great antiwar activist.
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