This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
On this day in 1932, Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway (February 1, 1878 – December 21, 1950), a Democrat from Arkansas, becomes the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Hattie Wyat was born near Bakerville, Tennessee, in Humphreys County, the daughter of William Carroll Wyatt, a farmer and shopkeeper, and Lucy Mildred Burch. At the age of four she moved with her family to Hustburg, Tennessee. After briefly attending Ebenezer College in Hustburg, she transferred to Dickson (Tenn.) Normal College, where she received her B.A. degree in 1896. She taught school for a time before marrying in 1902 Thaddeus Horatius Caraway, whom she had met in college; they had three children, Paul, Forrest, and Robert. The couple moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas where she cared for their children and home and her husband practiced law and started a political career.
The Caraways settled in Jonesboro where he established a legal practice while she cared for the children, tended the household and kitchen garden, and helped to oversee the family’s cotton farm. The family eventually established a second home Riversdale at Riverdale Park, Maryland. Her husband, Thaddeus Caraway, was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1912, and he served in that office until 1921 when he was elected to the United States Senate where he served until he died in office in 1931. Following the precedent of appointing widows to temporarily take their husbands’ places, Arkansas governor Harvey Parnell appointed Hattie Caraway to the vacant seat, and she was sworn into office on December 9. With the Arkansas Democratic party’s backing, she easily won a special election in January 1932 for the remaining months of the term, becoming the first woman elected to the Senate. Although she took an interest in her husband’s political career, Hattie Caraway avoided the capital’s social and political life as well as the campaign for woman suffrage. She recalled that “after equal suffrage I just added voting to cooking and sewing and other household duties.”
n May 1932 Caraway surprised Arkansas politicians by announcing that she would run for a full term in the upcoming election, joining a field already crowded with prominent candidates who had assumed she would step aside. She told reporters, “The time has passed when a woman should be placed in a position and kept there only while someone else is being groomed for the job.” When she was invited by Vice President Charles Curtis to preside over the Senate she took advantage of the situation to announce that she would run for reelection. Populist Louisiana politician Huey Long travelled to Arkansas on a 9-day campaign swing to campaign for her. She was the first female Senator to preside over this body as well as the first to chair a Committee (Senate Committee on Enrolled Bills). Lacking any significant political backing, Caraway accepted the offer of help from Long, whose efforts to limit incomes and increase aid to the poor she had supported. Long was also motivated by sympathy for the widow as well as by his ambition to extend his influence into the home state of his rival, Senator Joseph Robinson. Bringing his colorful and flamboyant campaign style to Arkansas, Long stumped the state with Caraway for a week just before the Democratic primary, helping her amass nearly twice as many votes as her closest opponent. She went on to win the general election in November.
475 – Basiliscus becomes Byzantine Emperor, with a coronation ceremony in the Hebdomon palace in Constantinople.
1528 – Gustav I of Sweden crowned king of Sweden.
1539 – Treaty of Toledo signed by King Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
1773 – The first public Colonial American museum opens in Charleston, South Carolina.
1777 – Mission Santa Clara de Asís is founded in what is now Santa Clara, California.
1808 – The organizational meeting that led to the creation of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is held in Edinburgh.
1848 – The Palermo rising takes place in Sicily against the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
1866 – The Royal Aeronautical Society is formed in London.
1872 – Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first imperial coronation in that city in over 200 years.
1875 – Kwang-su becomes emperor of China.
1895 – The National Trust is founded in the United Kingdom.
1898 – Ito Hirobumi begins his third term as Prime Minister of Japan.
1906 – Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman’s cabinet (which included amongst its members H. H. Asquith, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill) embarks on sweeping social reforms after a Liberal landslide in the British general election.
1908 – A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
1911 – The University of the Philippines College of Law is formally established; three future Philippine presidents are among the first enrollees.
1915 – The Rocky Mountain National Park is formed by an act of U.S. Congress.
1915 – The United States House of Representatives rejects a proposal to give women the right to vote.
1918 – Finland’s “Mosaic Confessors” law went into effect, making Finnish Jews full citizens.
1921 – Acting to restore confidence in baseball after the Black Sox Scandal, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is elected as Major League Baseball’s first commissioner.
1932 – Hattie W. Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate.
1942 – World War II: President Franklin Roosevelt creates the National War Labor Board.
1964 – Rebels in Zanzibar begin a revolt known as the Zanzibar Revolution and proclaim a republic.
1966 – Lyndon B. Johnson states that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there is ended.
1967 – Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation.
1970 – Biafra capitulates, ending the Nigerian civil war.
1971 – The Harrisburg Seven: The Reverend Philip Berrigan and five others are indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and of plotting to blow up the heating tunnels of federal buildings in Washington, D.C.
1976 – The UN Security Council votes 11-1 to allow the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in a Security Council debate (without voting rights).
1986 – Space Shuttle program: Congressman Bill Nelson lifts off from Kennedy Space Center aboard Columbia on mission STS-61C as a Mission Specialist.
1991 – Gulf War: An act of the U.S. Congress authorizes the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.
1992 – A new constitution, providing for freedom to form political parties, is approved by a referendum in Mali.
1998 – Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.
2004 – The world’s largest ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, makes its maiden voyage.
2005 – Deep Impact launches from Cape Canaveral on a Delta 2 rocket.
2006 – A stampede during the Stoning the Devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills at least 362 Muslim pilgrims.
2006 – Turkey releases Mehmet Ali Agca from jail after he served 25 years for shooting Pope John Paul II.
2006 – The French warship Clemenceau reaches Egypt and is barred access to the Suez Canal. Greenpeace activists board the ship.
2007 – Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) reaches perihelion becoming the brightest comet in more than 40 years.
2010 – The 2010 Haiti earthquake occurs killing at least 230,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_12#Holidays_and_observances Holidays and observances
Christian Feast Day:
Memorial Day (Turkmenistan)
Zanzibar Revolution Day (Tanzania)