A true Montanan pioneer: Daines, Tester and Zinke honor first female elected to Congress

by Taylor Chase, ABC Fox Montana

On Monday, US Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester took a moment to honor Jeannette Rankin (R-Montana), the first woman elected to Congress.

December 5th marks the 100th Anniversary of that election. Daines and Tester introduced new legislation to pay tribute, which will change the name of the US Department of Agriculture’s “Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program” to the “Jeannette Rankin Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program.”

Representative Ryan Zinke has also been a part of the action. In April of 2017 he introduced companion legislation, stating, “Representative Rankin was a true Montanan, embodying the pioneer spirit we know and love.”

According to a press release sent out by Senator Daines’ office, Rankin was born in 1880 and was elected on November 7th, 1916, almost four years prior to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Rankin graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology in 1902.