Pioneering Women and Early Government Leaders

Hattie Caraway

76-cent Senator Hattie W. Caraway stamp
The Senator Hattie W. Caraway stamp was issued on February 21, 2001.

Hattie W. Caraway was a woman of many ‘firsts.’ When her husband, Thaddeus Caraway, died while serving as a congressional senator in 1932, Hattie stepped in to fill his seat. She was subsequently re-elected for two terms, becoming the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Hattie took her responsibilities seriously and encouraged New Deal legislation and prohibition. She became the first woman to chair a Senate committee (the Committee on Enrolled Bills) in 1933. She introduced an early version of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1943. When Hattie left her post as senator, she exited to a standing ovation on the Senate floor.