On November 7, 1916, Montana suffragist Jeannette Rankin is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the first woman in the history of the nation to win a seat in the federal Congress. A dedicated pacifist, Rankin’s first vote as a U.S. congresswoman was against U.S. entry into World War I. Many supported her courageous stand, though others claimed her vote showed that women were incapable of shouldering the difficult burdens of national leadership—despite the fact that 55 men had also voted against the war. Rankin’s vote against WWI contributed to her defeat in her 1918 reelection bid. Ironically, she again won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1940, just as the nation was about to enter World War II. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Rankin became the only person in the history of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into both world wars. This time, though, the principled pacifist from Montana cast the sole dissenting vote. Find Jeanette Rankin at the library, and on hoopla.
Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell, Canadian singer-songwriter and painter. was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada on November 7, 1943. Some of her original songs (“Urge for Going”, “Chelsea Morning”, “Both Sides, Now”, “The Circle Game”) were covered by folk singers, allowing her to sign with Reprise Records and record her debut album in 1968. Settling in Southern California, Mitchell, with popular songs like “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock”, helped define an era and a generation. Her 1971 recording Blue was rated the 30th best album ever made in Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Mitchell switched labels and began moving toward jazz rhythms by way of lush pop textures on 1974’s Court and Spark, her best-selling LP, featuring the radio hits “Help Me” and “Free Man in Paris”. Rolling Stone has called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever”, and AllMusic has stated, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century”. Find Jonie Mitchell performing at the library, on hoopla, and download free tracks from Freegal.
Albert Camus, French Algerian Nobel Prize–winning philosopher and novelist, was born in Drean, El Taref, Algeria on November 7, 1943. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay The Rebel that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom. Camus’s first significant contribution to philosophy was his idea of the absurd. He saw it as the result of our desire for clarity and meaning within a world and condition that offers neither, which he expressed in The Myth of Sisyphus and incorporated into many of his other works, such as The Stranger and The Plague. Find Camus at the library and on hoopla