Jeannette Rankin Women's Rights Activist, U.S. Representative (1880–1973) Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. She helped pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, and was a committed pacifist.
The first US congresswoman (representing her native Montana) could vote for herself in 1916 but not for a presidential candidate. Jeannette Rankin lost her next run after opposing America's entry into WWI. Her continued pacifism led to a 2nd term in 1940; she thereupon became the lone legislator to vote against declaring war on Japan after Pearl Harbor.