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Thu Aug 13, 2020, 07:00 PM

Jeannette Rankin, 1st woman elected to Congress, among Montana's influential Women of the Century

A few years before women across the country got the right to vote, the foundation of the 19th Amendment was being laid in Montana.

Jeannette Rankin helped secure the right to vote for Montanan women in 1914, and used that political momentum to fuel her campaign to become the first woman elected to Congress. Two years later, she did just that.

This year, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the USA TODAY Network is naming 10 women from all 50 states, plus D.C., as its “Women of the Century.”

These women have made significant contributions to their communities, states and country, with documented achievements in areas such as arts and literature, business, civil rights, education, entertainment, law, media, nonprofits and philanthropy, politics, science and medicine, and sports. To make the list, they also had to have had U.S. citizenship and have lived between 1920 and 2020.


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