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February 1

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This document has been taken from emailed versions
of Women of Achievement. The complete episode
will be published here in the future.

Hattie Carraway

February trivia


QUOTES by Hattie Caraway and Emmaline Pankhurst.

Hattie Caraway

      Born 02-01-1878, Hattie Wyatt Caraway has gone down in the HIStory books as a sweet little old lady who just kept her dead husband's senate seat warm. Another case of selective history, writings of what they would like women to be instead of what they really are.
      Caraway was first woman elected to the U.S. Senate in her own right (1932); first to preside over a Senate sessions (1932); first to conduct a Senate hearings; first woman to chair a Senate committee; first to be president pro tem of the Senate (1943); first woman member of Congress to endorse the Equal Rights Amendment (1943). Not quite the timid woman sitting and knitting and waiting for time to pass.
      Actually she got to the office every day at 8 am and worked straight through to evening. She had a close relationship with thousands of Arkansans who saw her as their only hope in the tragic days of the depression. She fought valiantly for federal help for many of her constituents who faced starvation and life without hope. Some of her favorite legislative causes included populist, anti-big-business measures, farm relief, anti-isolationism, the New Deal, flood control, anti-lobby legislation, and safety in commercial aviation.
      She chaired the Senate Committee on Enrollled Bills from the 73rd to 78th Congress, and in 1940 was a cosponsor of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.       Hattie Caraway was appointed to fill her husband's unexpired seat after his death in 1931. In January, 1932 without opposition she won the special election to serve the balance of her husband's term - through May, 1933. She changed her mind about not running again after completing her husband's uncompleted term and in May 1932 announced her decision to run for reelection.
      Supported by Senator Huey Long of Louisiana, Caraway won the primary election with a vote tally that equaled that of her six opponents combined. She traveled the length and breath of Arkansas in an open car speaking in favor of the New Deal and the rights of the common person. She was elected to a full six-year term and William Fulbright defeated her for reelection in 1944 when she was 66. Caraway then served on the Federal Employees' Compensation Commission (later the Bureau of Employees' Compensation in 1945/46, and on the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board from 1946 to 1950.

In 1893, New Zealand extended the vote to women, the first nation to do so officially, and 27 years before the United States.

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February Trivia

* In February, 1970 Peggy Williams became the first professional clown with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily Circus.

* An unnamed woman took the top off an ice cream sandwich during the St. Louis World's Fair, rolled it into a cone, and the rest is HIStory. The names of the men involved in the incident are known, but the woman's name who actually invented the ice cream cone is not recorded.

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B. 02-01-1859, Lydia Maria Adams DeWitt, American experimental pathologist.

B. 02-01-1878, Hattie Wyatt Caraway, first woman elected to U.S. Senate and co-sponsor of the Lucretia Mott Equal Rights Amendment. She served 13 years, having been appointed to fill the seat of her late husband; she was elected in 1932 and was re-elected on her own right.
      Many historians denigrate her service in the U.S. Senate, but this little lady got to the office every day at 8 am riding a streetcar and read EVERY bill and EVERY word of the Congressional Record. She seldom spoke on the floor of the Senate, explaining,
"I haven't the heart to take a minute away from the men. The poor dears love it so."
      She never missed a committee meeting where, she said, the real work of the Senate occurred. From the forestry and agriculture committees, her home state of Arkansas received a great deal in federal aid. (Check the map for national forests, man-made lakes, etc., etc.) One day she filed 43 bills.
      Her usual costume of plain dark clothes had replaced her usual brightly colored costumes for her first re-election campaign, and she continued wearing them, playing the sweet little-old widow to the hilt.
      In 1944 at 67, she declined to campaign seriously and was defeated. She was appointed to the Federal Employees Compensation Commission.

B. 02-01-1888, Winifred Goldring, paleontologist, first woman to be named state paleontologist for New York, worked for the State Museum from 1920 to her retirement in 1954. Her writings and educational materials made her an internationally known figure but she was stymied at every turn because she was a woman and was never paid as much as the men.

B. 02-01-1889, Gertrude Caton-Thompson, English archaeologist who did major work with prehistoric cultures in the al-Fayyum depression of Upper Egypt.

B. 02-01-1905, Doris Emrick Lee, artist and illustrator with works in permanent collections of major art museums.

B. 02-01-1906, Hildegarde, song stylist. "Darling, je vous aime beaucoup" was her signature song.

B. 02-01-1918, Muriel (Sarah) Spark, British novelist, critic, poet, and playwright. Her best known work is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961).

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      "...there's no sound reason why women, if they have the time and ability, shouldn't sit with men on city councils, in state legislatures, or in the House and Senate... Women are essentially practical because they've always had to be. From the dawn of time it's been our job to see that both ends meet. And women are much more realistic than men, particularly when it comes to public questions. Of course, having had the vote for such a short time is a distinct advantage, for we have no inheritance of political buncombe."
            -- Arkansas' Senator Hattie W. Caraway, first women elected to the U.S. Senate.

      "We have taken this action, because as women... we realize that the condition of our sex is so deplorable that it is our duty even to break the law in order to call attention to the reasons why we do so."
            -- Emmaline Pankhurst, 1908

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