“The remainder favors conscription.”

On this date 100 years ago . . . an interesting article from The Butte Daily Post.

The Butte daily post. (Butte, Mont.), 24 April 1917. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85053058/1917-04-24/ed-1/seq-1/>

A transcription of the article is as follows . . .

Organization That Has Lost 10
Per Cent of Its Members
Favors Conscription.
At a meeting of the Pan-Hellenic
club at noon today resolutions were
adopted favoring the government’s
plan for conscription and a telegram
sent at once to Congresswoman Jean-
ette[sic] Rankin as follows:
“Hon. Jeanette Rankin,
“Washington, D.C.
“Ten per cent of our membership
have already volunteered. The re-
mainder favors conscription. We
therefore respectfully urge your sup-
port of the government’s selective
conscription bill.
“Butte Pan-Hellenic Society,
“F.A. SILVER, Sec’y.”
During the discussion preceding the
action by the organization, the fact
was pointed out that to date vol-
enteers have consisted mostly of uni-
versity men, ranchers and workers.
Within the next week it is believed
that at least 10 more members of
Butte’s university club will enlist.

The Selective Service Act of 1917, allowing the federal government to raise a national army through compulsory enlistment, was enacted several weeks later on May 18, 1917.

Jeannette Rankin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I have been unable to determine whether Ms. Rankin – the first woman elected to Congress – voted for or against The Selective Service Act. As a committed pacifist, however, she voted against the war resolution on April 5th, along with 49 other members of the House. Twenty-four years later, she was the only member of the House to vote against the war resolution following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

Many years later, she led the Jeannette Rankin Brigade in a protest march on Washington in January of 1968 in order to protest the Viet Nam War. At the time of her death in 1973, she was considering another House campaign in order to protest the war. She was 93 years old at the time.

Copyright (c) 2016, Lark M. Dalin Robart


History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “RANKIN, Jeannette,”http://history.house.gov/People/Detail/20147 (April 24, 2017).

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