Whereas: Stories from the People’s House

Celebrating 100 Years of Women in Congress

Jeannette Rankin/tiles/non-collection/w/wic_cont1_1_rankin_hc.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives 
About this object
Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a suffragette and pacifist, was the first woman elected to Congress.
One hundred years ago, Jeannette Rankin of Montana made history as the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. A remarkable achievement in itself, Rankin’s election in 1916, is even more noteworthy because women did not secure the right to vote nationally until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. As with many pathbreakers, Rankin’s accomplishment served as more than a personal triumph or symbolic victory. Her House tenure paved the way for other women Members and staff to follow in her footsteps. In honor of the centennial of Rankin’s November 1916 election and April 1917 swearing-in as a U.S. Representative, the Office of the Historian and the Office of Art and Archives will publish a series of blog posts about the early women Members of Congress and the changing role of women in the institution. Check back each month to learn something new about women in Congress.