Jeannette Pickering Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973) was the first woman in the United States Congress. A Republican, she was elected statewide in Montana in 1916 and again in 1940. A lifelong pacifist, she was one of the 50 members of Congress who voted against the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917 and the only member of Congress who voted against declaring war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (World War II) in 1941. She is the only woman to be elected to Congress from Montana.
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... On the 18th of May 1973, just weeks before her 93rd birthday, Jeannette Pickering Rankin died of natural causes in Carmel, California ... However, Rankin remained as active in politics as she could right up until her death ... Rankin bequeathed her property in Watkinsville, Georgia to help "mature, unemployed women workers." This was the seed money for the Jeannette Rankin Foundation, a 501(c)(3) (non-profit) organization that gives ...
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“The individual woman is required ... a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition.”
—Jeannette Rankin (18801973)