Hattie Caraway was not going to stay quiet. Her husband dead only a few months and already having had to fight an election to keep his seat in the United States Senate, the nation’s only woman Senator was determined not to be ignored and pushed aside.

Her husband of 29 years, Thaddeus Caraway, was a popular congressman and U.S. Senator from Northeastern Arkansas. Hattie Caraway had proudly stood by his side as his career advanced and was heartbroken by his sudden death by a heart attack on Nov. 6, 1931. One week later, Gov. Harvey Parnell appointed her as interim U.S. Senator, not expecting she would seek a full term.

Dr. Ken Bridges is a Professor of History at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado. He has written seven books and his columns appear in more than 85 papers in two states. Dr. Bridges can be contacted by email at kbridges@southark.edu.

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