The Jeannette Rankin You May Not Know


“Introducing the Jeannette Rankin You May Not Know”

The Peace Center’s namesake, Jeannette Rankin, was a tireless campaigner for women’s suffrage, not only leading the movement in Montana that won women the right to vote in 1914, but also working for the cause in New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. Rankin was the first woman elected to the US Congress, where she voted against US entry into WW1. In her second Congressional term, she voted against US entry into WW2. In later life, Rankin led a peace march against the Viet Nam War.

The New York Times described Rankin this way: “Given her electric presence, she was eminently suited to symbolize the emergence of women in national politics.”

Who was the woman behind the image?

Rankin was born and raised right here in Missoula, and is our most famous native daughter. It’s no wonder we have generated a set of common beliefs about her life that have built up an image of Rankin as an egalitarian Montanan of high integrity on issues of women’s rights and peace. In actuality, Rankin was a product of her family and the times. A closer look at her life, her actions and words reveal the contradictions and failings of a real person grappling with the need to make a life of meaning for herself and sometimes succeeding, other times falling short.

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, together with the League of Women Voters of Missoula, are co-hosting “Introducing the Jeannette You May Not Know: The Life and Times of Jeannette Rankin,” a free public lecture:

When: Wednesday, November 20, from noon to 1:00 pm,
Where: Missoula Public Library large meeting room.

The presentation and discussion feature James Lopach and Jean Luckowski, authors of the book “Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman.”. In writing their book, Lopach and Luckowski did extensive research into the correspondence of Rankin’s family members and contemporaries. What they found gives us a more realistic picture of Rankin, one that makes her less iconic, more human and imperfect.

Come join us on November 20th and meet the Jeannette Rankin you may not know.

Nancy Leifer, member Jeannette Rankin Peace Center and co-president, Missoula League of Women Voters

in the eleventh month, on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour..


“in the eleventh month, on the eleventh day, at the eleventh hour…”

Dear friends,
Over 100 years ago, the world celebrated peace as a universal principle. Armistice Day, which took effect at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918, was designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated.”

It’s time to reckon whether the world is safer or more dangerous than it was this time last year. As Afghanistan is moving into its 19th year of conflict, civilian victims of this enduring war continue to be killed by Americans, the Afghan army and the Taliban alike.  The Saudis, aided by the US, have been bombing Yemen since 2015, causing massive civilian casualties that are worsened by blockade-induced shortages of food and medicine.  And, Iraq has yet to recover from the destructive 2003 U.S. invasion, its corrupt government resorting to slaughter of civilians who dare protest in the street.

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From Jenny Zaso

Dear JRPC Members & Supporters,
It is a bittersweet day having to write this letter to you all. The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center has been like a second home to me and the people here my family. The Peace Center has been an incredible place to work, given me many professional opportunities, cherished friendships, and so much more.

I will be transitioning to Five Valleys Land Trust to be their new Executive Director, and I am honored to have been chosen to do this job. On the other hand, I am deeply saddened to leave JRPC at a time when my momentum and contributions here feel so strong and sure. I plan to remain a very active participant in the success of JRPC in any way that I can, and so Continue reading

Community Remembrance

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”, Albert Pike

Dear Friends,
Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She has been dead for many years, but today I remember how she laughed when I tried to show her floor exercises from gym class, how wonderful her fried pies tasted, and how stately she looked in her nurses uniform as she went off to work. Yesterday as I stopped in The Break for a meeting, I saw the community remembrance shrine that is being created as part of our Festival of Remembrance to honor loved ones and create community around grief and healing. I thought of my “Nana”, my parents and so many others who have touched my life. And even though I had nothing to leave, I was moved to remember. But even more, I was moved to see beyond my life to the stories of loved ones that others grieve and to think about the stories of people I will never know in places I have never been — those who died in wars, violence or climate disasters and all the families who grieve them. Albert Pike said, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”. In the notes that adorned the shrine, I saw a glimpse of immortality. Grief connects me to my ancestors, but also to my community and to all those who suffer and die around the world.

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Thank you!


Dear friends,
The words, “thank you” do not come close to expressing the emotion, the gratitude and the pride I feel as I look back to the generous contributions of time, energy, money, muscle, music, food, services, gifts and so much more that was given to us last Sunday to make our peace party a success.  And it was a very wonderful success.  We had fun together, we raised money for a cause close to our hearts and we celebrated our successes and our connections.  It was a perfect example of what “we the people” can do.  Many people do not know that the Peace Center relies entirely on the money we receive from the public to survive — that’s your memberships, your donations at the end of the year, the sales from our fair trade store and this event.  And for 33 years, the public – our community – has come through for us.  Check out the list of donors and volunteers below and make a point to thank them yourself!  Thanks to all of you, we will forge ahead into the future to work alongside you in order to leave a better world to those who come behind

With much gratitude for each and every one of you, Betsy

In case you missed the party, but still want to get in on the fun, we have a few dinners left that are available for purchase.  To find out more, see the program or give us a call at 543-3955.

  • The Flavors of Tuscany: Cuisine of the Italian Heartland by Chef Ray Risho, November 9, 2019, 1 plate at $350
  • Authentic Portuguese Dinner by Sofia Reis at the home of Steve and Connie Running on Saturday, January 18, 2020, 2 plates at $225 each
  • A Turkish Delight from Leslie Burgess, Serena Early and Cyndy and Ray Aten on Saturday, February 1, 2020, 2 plates at $350 each
  • Taste of New Orleans Cajun and Creole Dinner by Nancy Leifer and Linda Andrus on Saturday, February 8, 2020, 2 plates at $225 each
  • Authentic Indian Dinner from former Coordinating Council member Srini Mondava on Saturday, February 29, 2020, 3 plates at $375

And of course, THANKS to our sponsors: