“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Watkinsville in Oconee County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

Jeannette Rankin’s Georgia Home

Jeannette Rankin's Georgia Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, October 29, 2006
1. Jeannette Rankin's Georgia Home Marker
Inscription.  Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) was the first woman to serve in Congress: being elected from Montana in 1916 before women had the right to vote in other states. She was active in women's suffrage and was a peace advocate who opposed all war. She was one of only fifty persons in Congress who voted against entry into WW I. Her position was unpopular and she did not return to Congress. She purchased land near the Oconee-Clarke County line in the twenties and lived there on a seasonal basis. She purchased 44 acres on this site in 1933. She renovated an old farm house and used it as a seasonal residence that became her beloved “Shady Grove”.

In the 1920's she helped found The Georgia Peace Society that worked for over ten years to support the Kellogg-Briand Pact which would have outlawed war as a way of settling disputes. She was reelected to Congress in 1940 from Montana. She cast the only vote against entry into WW II after President Roosevelt's “Day of Infamy Speech”. Steadfastly she remained active in peace movements during the Vietnam Era, participating in the “Jeannette Rankin Brigade” march in Washington
Jeannette Rankin<br>member of the United States House of Representatives from Montana image. Click for full size.
2004 oil painting by Sharon Sprung, via Wikipedia Commons
2. Jeannette Rankin
member of the United States House of Representatives from Montana
This portrait is in the U.S. House of Representatives collection.
on January 15, 1968.
Erected 1992. (Marker Number 108-6.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: PeaceWar, VietnamWar, World IWar, World IIWomen. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Historical Society, and the Women's Suffrage series lists.
Location. 33° 52.518′ N, 83° 26.712′ W. Marker is near Watkinsville, Georgia, in Oconee County. Marker is on Mars Hill Road ¼ mile west of Hog Mountain Road (Georgia Route 53), on the right. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Watkinsville GA 30677, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Eagle Tavern (approx. 2.2 miles away); Oconee County (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Stoneman Raid (approx. 2.2 miles away); Birthplace of Bishop A. G. Haygood and Miss Laura A. Haygood (approx. 2½ miles away); E. D. Stroud School (approx. 2.8 miles away); Chestnut Grove School (approx. 4 miles away); William Bartram Trail (approx. 4.4 miles away); John Andrew (approx. 5.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Watkinsville.
Also see . . .
1. Biography of Jeannette Rankin. Excerpt:
Only four days after taking office, Jeannette
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Rankin made history in yet another way: she voted against U.S. entry into World War I. She violated protocol by speaking during the roll call before casting her vote, announcing “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war.” Some of her colleagues in the National American Woman Suffrage Association—notably Carrie Chapman Catt—criticized her vote, saying Rankin was opening the suffrage cause to criticism and it was impractical and sentimental.

Rankin did vote later in her term for several pro-war measures, as well as working for political reforms including civil liberties, suffrage, birth control, equal pay, and child welfare. In 1917, she opened the congressional debate on the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which passed the House in 1917 and the Senate in 1918. It became the 19th Amendment after it was ratified.

But Rankin’s first anti-war vote sealed her political fate. When she was gerrymandered out of her district, she ran for the Senate, lost the primary, launched a third-party race, and lost overwhelmingly.
(Submitted on December 5, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 

2. Jeannette Rankin Biographical Directory of United States Congress. Excerpt:
As the first woman Member, Rankin was on the front lines of the
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national suffrage fight. During the fall of 1917 she advocated the creation of a Committee on Woman Suffrage and, when it was created, she was appointed to it. When the special committee reported out a constitutional amendment on woman suffrage in January 1918, Rankin opened the very first House Floor debate on this subject. “How shall we answer their challenge, gentlemen,” she asked. “How shall we explain to them the meaning of democracy if the same Congress that voted for war to make the world safe for democracy refuses to give this small measure of democracy to the women of our country?” The resolution narrowly passed the House amid the cheers of women in the galleries, but it died in the Senate.
(Submitted on December 5, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 2, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 2,200 times since then and 97 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week January 12, 2020. Photos:   1. submitted on December 2, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   2. submitted on January 11, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Aug. 12, 2020