First elected female senator - HISTORY
Year
1932

First elected female senator

Ophelia Wyatt Caraway, a Democrat from Arkansas, becomes the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Caraway, born near Bakerville, Tennessee, had been appointed to the Senate two months earlier to fill the vacancy left by her late husband, Thaddeus Horatio Caraway. With the support of Huey Long, a powerful senator from Louisiana, Caraway was elected to the seat. In 1938, she was reelected. After failing to win renomination in 1944, she was appointed to the Federal Employees Compensation Commission by President Franklin Roosevelt.

Although she was the first freely elected female senator, Caraway was preceded in the Senate by Rebecca Latimer Felton, who was appointed in 1922 to fill a vacancy but never ran for election. Jeannette Rankin, elected to the House of Representatives as a pacifist from Montana in 1917, was the first woman to ever sit in Congress.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Massive earthquake strikes Haiti

On this day in 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastates the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. The quake, which was the strongest to strike the region in more than 200 years, left over 200,000 people dead and some 895,000 Haitians homeless.The earthquake hit southern Haiti at ...read more

Pyramid mystery unearthed

On this day, an international panel overseeing the restoration of the Great Pyramids in Egypt overcomes years of frustration when it abandons modern construction techniques in favor of the method employed by the ancient Egyptians.Located at Giza outside Cairo, some of the oldest ...read more

British-Zulu War begins

The British-Zulu War begins as British troops under Lieutenant General Frederic Augustus invade Zululand from the southern African republic of Natal.In 1843, Britain succeeded the Boers as the rulers of Natal, which controlled Zululand, the neighboring kingdom of the Zulu people. ...read more

Henry Ford sets speed record

On this day in 1904, Henry Ford sets a land-speed record of 91.37 mph on the frozen surface of Michigan’s Lake St. Clair. He was driving a four-wheel vehicle, dubbed the “999,” with a wooden chassis but no body or hood. Ford’s record was broken within a month at Ormond Beach, ...read more

Operation Ranch Hand initiated

The United States Air Force launches Operation Ranch Hand, a “modern technological area-denial technique” designed to expose the roads and trails used by the Viet Cong.Flying C-123 Providers, U.S. personnel dumped an estimated 19 million gallons of defoliating herbicides over ...read more

Broadway Joe delivers

On January 12, 1969, in the most celebrated performance of his prolific career, quarterback Joe Namath leads the New York Jets to a stunning 16-7 victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, held in Miami, Florida.Born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, in ...read more

Johnson says U.S. should stay in Vietnam

On this day in 1966, Lyndon Johnson, in his State of the Union address, commits the United States to staying in Vietnam as long as aggression commands us to battle. Johnson justified his position on the basis of national security and the principles of democracy and national ...read more

Joseph Smith abandons Ohio

After his Mormon bank fails in the Panic of 1837, Joseph Smith flees Kirtland, Ohio, to avoid arrest and heads for Missouri to rebuild his religious community.A sensitive and religious-minded man since his youth, Joseph Smith claimed the angel Moroni visited him in 1823, when he ...read more

Jack London is born

On this day, Jack London, the illegitimate son of an astrologer father and a spiritualist mother, is born in San Francisco. His father abandoned the family, and Jack, whose last name at birth was Chaney, later assumed his stepfather’s surname, London. From an early age, London ...read more

Dynasty premieres on ABC

The oil tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe) prepares to marry his former secretary, the beautiful and innocent Krystle (Linda Evans), in the three-hour television movie that kicks off the prime-time ABC soap opera Dynasty on this day in 1981.Over the next eight years, the ...read more

Blizzard brings tragedy to Northwest Plains

On this day in 1888, the so-called “Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” kills 235 people, many of whom were children on their way home from school, across the Northwest Plains region of the United States. The storm came with no warning, and some accounts say that the temperature fell ...read more

Malcolm X’s Daughter Arrested

Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, is arrested for conspiring to kill Louis Farrakhan. Shabazz believed that Farrakhan was responsible for the assassination of her father in 1965, and sought to exact revenge through a hired killer. Subsequently, Shabazz admitted her ...read more