Tuesday, December 18, 2007


(596 words)

By Larry and Lenna Mae Gara

On December 8, 1941, when President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, Montana Republican Jeannette Rankin cast the single negative vote.

“I want to stand by my country,” she said, “but I cannot vote for war."

Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, was also there in 1917 when she joined forty-nine others in the House and six senators to cast “no” votes against declaring war on Germany. The lifelong pacifist was vilified and hanged in effigy, but years later, President Kennedy included her in his book, Profiles in Courage. Jeannette Rankin was part of a pacifist tradition in American history extending from its beginnings, when Pennsylvania was founded as a haven for Quakers. ... (for exclusive consideration of the full text contact us).

Larry Gara, Emeritus Professor of History at Wilmington College, is the author or editor of six books and numerous scholarly articles. Lenna Mae Gara is a homemaker, writer and editor. They have lived in Wilmington since 1962.

No comments: