Photo of Jeannette Rankin, January 1, 1917, Photo by Library of Congress.

Who is Jeannette Rankin?

Jeannette Rankin grew up on a ranch in Montana working alongside men while operating heavy machinery. She would later argue that women and men labor as equals in the Western frontier, but were not equal in their political voices. Rankin’s convictions led her to help fight for women’s right to vote in both Washington and Montana. She would later become the first woman in the U.S. to ever be elected to Congress via the House of Representatives back in her home state of Montana in 1916. During her two terms, she formed the Committee on Woman Suffrage in 1917 and eventually helped to pass the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote across the nation. Rankin was also a well-known pacifist and the only Congressperson to vote against both WWI and WWII during her tenure.

“We’re half the people; we should be half the Congress.”

© 2021 by Women Soaring Project