June 4, 2007
It has been a common practice in the history of U.S. politics that, upon the death of a senator or representative, his spouse would be appointed to fill the seat. Thus was the case when Thaddeus Caraway died suddenly in 1931. Before the end of the year, his wife, Hattie, was appointed by Governor Harvey Parnell. She won a special election and then the general election in November 1932, becoming the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Shown here is the governor’s certifying letter to the president of the Senate recognizing Caraway as the duly elected senator.