The First Woman in Congress Braved Political Charges of Treason

The first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress was Montana’s Jeannette Rankin. Her most noteworthy feat was her opposition to war. Then, very much like now, being against the war was seen as a treason.

In an essay she wrote in 1958, she explained her votes against World War I in 1917 and against World War II after the country had been attacked at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

While she did have some support the first time, she stood alone before congress the second time around.

According to her own account, she would not be able to face her remaining days in office if she had not voted against the war. In her remarks after a long investigation into data available then, Rankin claimed the war was nothing but an attempt to blame the Japanese for the aggression the United States had started by imposing economic sanctions against them.

To read the entire article, click here.

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