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Jeanette Rankin became the first woman to hold a high government office in the US when she won election to the United State Congress in 1916. The Nineteenth Amendment, granting universal suffrage, was approved by Congress during her term, thus making Rankin, as she later noted, "... the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.”
Never married, Rankin bequeathed her estate to help mature, unemployed female workers. Thus, the Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund was founded in her name and annually educational scholarships to low-income women 35 and older across the United States. Beginning with a single 500-dollar scholarship in 1978, the fund has since awarded more than $1.8 million in scholarships to more than 700 women.