Jeannette Rankin

During her short time in Congress, Jeannette Rankin voted on three historic issues: women’s suffrage, and the U.S. entrance into WWI and WWII. She will be remembered as the first woman in Congress and the first woman in the U.S. to hold a federal office. 

Photograph of Jeannette Rankin speaking from the balcony of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Monday, April 2, 1917

When Rankin was first elected to Congress, Montana had two at-large House seats, meaning the top two winners of the U.S. House election statewide would win the two House seats. While she was in Congress however, the Montana legislature moved to two single-member districts. This meant that only Montanans in a particular geographic area could vote for their single House seat. This explains the long twenty-two year gap between her Congressional terms.