Historical Society honors Montana women, 19th Amendment

The letters of three Montana women politicians offer historic insight as the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in August, which gave women the right to vote.

Women’s earliest known role in Montana politics began in 1882 when Helen Piotopowaka Clarke was the first woman and first Native American elected as county superintendent of schools in Helena. In 1916, Jeanette Rankin was elected as U.S. Representative for Montana four years before women could vote; she cast the single dissenting against entering both World Wars.