Rebecca Latimer Felton Becomes the First Female US Senator (1922)

Georgia Governor Thomas Hardwick unsuccessfully fought the 19th Amendment, which allowed women to vote—and to vote against him in retaliation when he ran for US Senate. Before the election, he tried to appease female voters by naming Felton, an 87-year-old suffragist and white supremacist, to be Georgia’s interim senator for the shortest term in history—one day. Felton thus became the first woman, one of the last former slave-owners, and the oldest freshman to serve. Did Hardwick’s ploy work? Discuss


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