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The first woman elected to Congress in 1916, Jeannette Rankin didn’t always know she wanted to be in politics. Her political interest began when she returned to school in 1910 at the University of Washington in Seattle, and joined the state suffrage organization. Over the next four years, she spoke and lobbied for women's suffrage.
Ultimately serving two terms in the House, Rankin was the only member of Congress to vote against the U.S. participation in both World Wars. She also served as an officer for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and campaigned for maternal and child health care and to the regulation of hours and wages of women workers.
Continuing her pacifist traditions, Rankin helped form the “Jeannette Rankin Brigade,” a collection of some five thousand feminists, pacifists, students and others who opposed to the Vietnam War.