June 5, 1972
Jane Briggs Hart, though married to a US senator — Senator Philip A. Hart (D-Michigan), –informed the Internal Revenue Service that she wouldn’t pay some of her taxes; instead, she deposited her quarterly estimated tax of $6,200 in a special bank account. “I cannot contribute one more dollar toward the purchase of more bombs and bullets,” she wrote.
It wasn’t her first or her only controversial or strong stance: As the proud mother of eight, she nonetheless publicly disagreed with her church’s positions on birth control and women in the church.
A leader in aviation history, as a pilot, Mrs. Hart flew her husband around the state during his political campaigns. Later, she became the first woman in Michigan to be licensed to fly helicopters. In 1961, she was one of 13 women pilots chosen to participate in NASA’s Mercury 13 program.
Ever a champion for women, Briggs Hart participated in the founding of the National Organization for Women in 1966.
Committed to peace and civil rights, she actively opposed the Vietnam War—risking arrest while attending a Mass for Peace at the Pentagon.