America's First Congresswoman

We hear much about Hillary Clinton as someone breaking through barriers for women. Here's a test. Who was America's first congresswoman, and which party did she belong to? One brave Republican woman: Jeanette Rankin. How many feminists know that Montana's groundbreaker, born in 1880, trimmed her own hats, but was still gutsy enough to -- I quote -- tramp "through deep snow potting bears and wolves for pastime"? [i] (Loud claps and laugher.) How many journalists are aware that Miss Rankin, a seamstress, made her own clothes, cooked excellent meals, and "endured all the hardships of pioneers" with her sisters in Montana's wilderness? [ii] I especially like the fact that Rankin, the fighter, could verbally bludgeon Democrats, but "enjoyed being heckled by the crowds" because "she always had a good comeback."[iii] The year was 1916. Not surprisingly, the Fort Wayne Daily News correctly observed that even "after entering politics" Miss...(Read Full Article)