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).