MISSOULA – The suggestion by Sen. Steve Daines that the U.S. Treasury put the face of Jeannette Rankin on the $10 bill is being welcomed by advocates of the nation’s first female congresswoman.
Betsy Mulligan-Dague, director of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, said the development is exciting.
“It’s a huge step forward for women to be taken seriously in the world,” Mulligan-Dague said. “It’s way past time.”
Rankin would serve as a fitting figure for the bill and for further advancing the achievements of women, Mulligan-Dague told the Missoulian.
Rankin was first elected in 1916 and again in 1940.
Aside from becoming the first woman elected to Congress, she also cast votes against the U.S. entering both World War I and World War II.
Daines acknowledged Rankin’s contributions to American democracy, and Mulligan-Dague agreed with the senator’s insight.
“I think people would become more curious about who she was and what she did,” Mulligan-Dague said if Rankin is selected as the new $10 image. “We’d get more people coming to us for information. It’s sometimes about exposure, and the more we get the more we can teach people and put issues and ideas out for discussion.”
In what The Daily Missoulian reported as Rankin’s first letter home to her constituency in June 1917, she disavowed rumors that she was eager to send “fathers to the front,” and that she’d dyed her hair red.
“No doubt you have read in the papers about my ‘red hair’ and ‘sending the fathers to war’ and other inventions of the Eastern press,” she wrote. “I wish you were here to see Congress working and to know the true facts.”
Rankin added, “In spite of the fact that the women all over the country seem to claim me as their special representative, my first service shall always be to you folks at home .”