Born on the frontier in Montana in 1880, Jeannette Rankin grew up with a love for nature, an independent spirit, and much tenacity. But she also experienced a lot of violence and wars with Native American tribes, leading to a lifetime commitment to being a pacifist.
She brought her values to politics. In 1916, she ran for office on a platform of suffrage, social welfare, and prohibition. Elected to represent Montana in the House of Representatives, she became the first woman to hold federal office in the United States.
“I am deeply conscious of the responsibility, and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to be the first woman to sit in Congress. I will not only represent the women of Montana, but also the women of the country, and I have plenty of work cut out for me,” she said.
Jeannette was elected to the House of Representatives twice; in 1916 and again in 1940.
“A snapshot biography of Jeannette Rankin” sources: Harris, Ted C. “Jeannette Rankin in Georgia.” The Georgia Historical Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 1, 1974, pp. 55–78. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40579668. Accessed 5 Apr. 2021. / Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division / Wikimedia Commons (restored by Adam Cuerden)