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The Hattie and Huey Tour

Hattie Caraway and Huey Long

Hattie Caraway of Arkansas entered the Senate in November 1931, by appointment, following the death of her husband, Senator Thaddeus Caraway. Party leaders assumed the widow had no intention of seeking a full term, but they were wrong. On May 9, 1932, Caraway declared her candidacy. "I pitched a coin and heads came [up] three times," she noted in her diary. "I really want to try out my own theory of a woman running for office." Competitors ridiculed her chances, but they underestimated the tenaciousness of the "little lady from Arkansas." Among her many supporters was Louisiana senator Huey Long. In August 1932, the controversial Long joined Caraway for a week-long road trip—the Hattie and Huey Tour. "We're here to pull a lot of pot-bellied politicians off a woman's neck," Long bellowed to appreciative crowds. Caraway easily won the election. Reelected in 1938 (without Long's help), she served in the Senate until 1945.


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Washington, D. C.—The Electoral Contest—The United States Senators Entering the House of Representatives, with the Electoral Certificates, to Re-open the Joint Session, February 12th.

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Washington, D.C.—The Electoral Contest—The United States Senators Entering the House of Representatives, with the Electoral Certificates, to Re-Open the Joint Session, February 12th. by Unidentified after Harry Ogden.

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Senators and Presidential Elections

Mark Hanna & Theodore Roosevelt

Senators have often played important roles in presidential elections, using their political skills and state-based networks to bolster their party's candidate. In the late 19th century, two senators were so instrumental in electing presidents that they gained the title "kingmaker." Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania played a pivotal role in the 1888 election of Benjamin Harrison. Six years later, Ohio senator Mark Hanna devised a successful strategy for putting William McKinley in the White House.


States in the Senate

Image: Screenshot of the States in the Senate homepage.

Each state has its own unique place in Senate history. Explore the States in the Senate website to learn about your state.

Civil War Sesquicentennial

View online features that explore the Senate's wartime experience.

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