On This Day

April 2, 1917




The first woman sworn into Congress – 3 years before women granted the constitutional right to vote.

On This Day

“I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.”

Jeannette Rankin (R-MT) when she was elected in 1916. Montana had granted women the right to vote in 1914 and she had gained notoriety, in part, as a suffragist. Today, 25 women serve in the U.S. Senate & 102 women serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Women make up nearly 24% of Congress.
On This Day


  • Daughter of a rancher & school teacher; Republican.
  • Suffrage leader & pacifist.
  • The only Member of Congress to vote against the entrance to World War I & World War II. Voted out of her position each time.
  • Since 1978, her scholarship foundation has awarded more than $2.75 million in scholarships to 1,000+ low-income women.
On This Day

Rankin was a two-term congresswoman, serving from 1917–1919 & 1941–1943. Wars defined her platforms & also lead to her political defeat. In 1973, at 92, she even contemplated a third run before her death because of America's involvement in Vietnam.

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