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Hattie Wyatt Caraway: A Featured Biography


Hattie Caraway

Appointed to the Senate in 1931, Hattie Caraway (D-AR) filled a vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Thaddeus Caraway. The second woman to serve in the Senate, Caraway became the first woman elected to the Senate in January of 1932, easily winning a special election to fill out the remainder of her husband's term. Most considered her a longshot for the general election of 1932, however, so "Silent Hattie" enlisted the help of controversial senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana to bolster her campaign. The highly publicized "Hattie and Huey" tour through Arkansas resulted in a landslide victory for Caraway. Reelected in 1938, she served until 1945. Hattie Caraway broke many gender barriers in the Senate, including becoming the first woman to chair a Senate committee in 1933 and the first woman to preside officially over the Senate in 1943.