This Week in History…

January 12, 1932: Hattie Wyatt Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate.

Hattie Carraway was initially appointed to fill her husband’s Senate seat when he passed away in 1931 but went on to win the seat in her own right in 1932 and served two terms in office. With her strong rural roots, Senator Carraway was a staunch supporter of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and also became the first female Senator to support the Equal Rights Amendment.

January 14, 1943: Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first sitting U.S. president to travel by plane.

FDR needed to get to North Africa for a 10-day conference in Casablanca with Winston Churchill and traveling by sea was considered too dangerous with so many German submarines operating in the Atlantic. No official presidential plane existed at the time, so the president took a Boeing 314 Flying Boat piloted by a civilian Pan American crew across the Atlantic.

January 16, 1919: The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified.

Driven by the Temperance Movement, the 18th Amendment began the Prohibition Era when making, selling, and shipping alcohol for mass production was illegal. Far from stopping the sale and consumption of alcohol, the 18th Amendment merely drove it underground, creating a massive black market and giving rise to more organized crime. The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition on December 5, 1933.